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Activist Kicks off State Campaign

Posted: February 19, 2008 11:22 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Carole Lutness, flanked by her granddaughter Isabella Clark, stands in front of her platform statement Tuesday. She announced her candidacy for California's 38th District Assembly seat.

Framed by the solemn setting of Veteran's Historical Plaza on Tuesday afternoon, a longtime Santa Clarita Valley Democrat annnounced her bid to unseat incumbent California Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, in the November General Election.

"I believe we need to see a change in government policy to support our communities, our families, our jobs as the future of California, our children," Carole Lutness said at a news conference. "To ensure the economic viability and sustainability of this great state, we must address such pressing issues as health care, energy and water supply from a new perspective."

Lutness acknowledged the long history of Republican leadership in the Santa Clarita Valley but said she believes there's been a shift in public perception about the Republican Party.

She says her background as a health care professional - she's a psychiatric social worker for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health - gives her experience on issues of concern to Santa Clarita Valley voters.

"As a community activist and health care specialist who has long promoted creative thinking and problem solving in these areas, I am ideally suited to represent the 38th Assembly District."

Politically active since the 1960s, Lutness has been a leader in the Santa Clarita Valley "clean money" movement and also in campaign finance reform.

"Clean money" is a movement that calls for elections to be publicly financed. The result, supporters say, would be elected officials with no obligations to campaign donors who could ignore lobbyists in favor of public interests.

"When it comes to politics, people deserve better," said John Heaner, a regional director for the California Democratic Party, who attended Lutness' news conference.

"Smyth is in for a little trouble thanks to Carole. She is going to bring a little fight to the game."


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