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Villaraigosa Endorses Alarcon for Assembly Despite Felony Charges

The mayor calls the city councilman "a fierce champion for the residents of the Northeast San Fernando Valley."

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today endorsed 7th District City Councilman Richard Alarcon's bid for a seat in the state Assembly.

Villaraigosa called Alarcon "a fierce champion for the residents of the Northeast San Fernando Valley" and said he is "not afraid to take on powerful, big-money interests."

The mayor's high-profile endorsement comes as Alarcon is in the midst of an uphill battle to win the campaign for the 39th Assembly District, which includes the neighborhoods of North Hollywood, Mission Hills, Pacoima, San Fernando and Sylmar.

Alarcon and his wife were ordered this month to stand trial on perjury and voter fraud charges stemming from allegations that they did not live in a Panorama City home he claimed as his residence.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar de Longoria, the mayor's sister, found there was sufficient evidence to require Alarcon, 58, to proceed to trial on 17 felony counts, including perjury by declaration, perjury in an application for a false drivers license, falsifying a declaration of candidacy and fraudulent voting.

Alarcon is running against a fellow Democrat, Raul Bocanegra, for the seat, which is being vacated by Assemblyman Felipe Feuntes, who is running for Alarcon's City Council seat in March. Bocanegra is Fuentes' chief of staff.

Alarcon finished second behind Bocanegra in the June 5 primary, garnering 26.9 percent of the vote to Bocanegra's 36.2 percent.

Bocanegra has the backing of the California Democratic Party and a host of Democratic state lawmakers.

Alarcon has the support of the San Fernando Valley Democratic Party and some of his fellow City Council members, including Council President Herb Wesson.

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