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POLITICAL LANDSCAPE:Liu looks to run for state Senate

July 07, 2007

In hopes of succeeding state Sen. Jack Scott, former Assemblywoman Carol Liu is gearing up for a possible state Senate campaign in 2008.

Though Liu, the former mayor of La Cañada Flintridge, has not officially announced her candidacy, she has set up a fundraising committee and filed a statement of intent to run with the California Secretary of State.

"I think my time in the Assembly was very short," Liu said. "I have a lot of work left undone."

Liu, a Democrat, was termed out of her Assembly seat in December after six years representing the 44th Assembly District — which includes La Cañada Flintridge and Pasadena — a post now held by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino. The 21st Senate District, held by Scott for seven years, includes Glendale and Burbank.

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Next year will mark the end of Scott's second and final four-year term.

"I'd love to succeed him because I feel like there's so much more to do," Liu said.

Scott and Liu were colleagues during Scott's tenure as president of Pasadena City College, where Liu served on the board of directors for two years, she said. Both politicians maintain a focus on education, she said.

"Increasingly in California we're very diverse in our population, with lots of [English as a Second Language] learners," Liu said. "We need to step up to the plate and make sure all of these kids can remain competitive and it's really a huge challenge. I just want to make sure that we have policies in place that makes sure everybody has an opportunity to be their best."

No other candidates for Scott's seat have set up campaign committees with the Secretary of State, but Liu said she expects that Dario Frommer, the former Democratic Assemblyman of the 43rd district, will be a likely contender.

Frommer could not be reached for comment by press time.

If a pending initiative to extend term limits for state legislators gets on the ballot next February, and if voters approve the measure, Scott would be eligible for another run.

A coalition that includes the California Teachers Assn. and the California Chamber of Commerce is pushing for the measure, which would allow legislators to serve up to 12 years in one house instead of the current limit of six years for the Assembly and eight for the Senate.

As of now, Scott is concentrating on the current legislative session and he has not made any decisions about a possible campaign if term limits are extended, Scott aid Wendy Gordon said.

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