By Duane Paul Murphy
While there is supposed to be a total of 435 members of the House of Representatives, five congressional seats remain vacant. This April, three out of the five vacant seats in the House will have special elections. The first special election to fill these seats will occur on April 4th in California’s 34th Congressional District, which includes most of the city of Los Angeles. Former Congressman Xavier Becerra resigned from Congress to become the state’s attorney general after Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate to replace Barbara Boxer. More than 23 candidates, most of them Latino or Hispanic, have declared their candidacy. Even though the district is heavily Democratic, the election will decide which wing of the party will be prominent in future elections. State assembly member Jimmy Gomez, seen by some as the establishment candidate, has been endorsed by Senator Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Former Bernie Sanders presidential campaign staff member Arturo Carmona has been endorsed by actor Danny Glover and the National Nurses United labor union. Because of California’s top two jungle primary in which the top two candidates advance in the general election, a runoff is expected on June 6th.