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Congressman endorses Ender

Posted: March 9, 2008 1:12 a.m.
Updated: May 10, 2008 5:01 a.m.
 
Laurie Ender can add another name to her list of endorsements in the race for a seat on the City Council.

Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon announced Friday he is endorsing Ender and considers her the most qualified person to aid him in the fight against Cemex Inc.'s proposed sand and gravel mine.

"He's looking for someone who's willing to stand up and fight," McKeon's spokesman Bob Haueter said Saturday.

Incumbent Mayor Bob Kellar was also endorsed by McKeon, R-Santa Clarita.

Ender's local PTA involvement and her support for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital's expansion has demonstrated the kind of leadership that are needed, Haueter said.

"Those characteristics clearly lend her to being a ... supporter in our battle," he said, referring to the city's long fight to keep the Mexican cement giant from operating a 56-million-ton, 20-year sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon.

"It's a huge honor," Ender said of the endorsement. "I can't think of anybody who has done more for this community."

When it comes to the Cemex mine, she said the key is combining local efforts with federal efforts to stop the project, and uniting community support.

Ender is running for one of two seats on the council - either Kellar's or that of outgoing Councilman TimBen Boydston - in the at-large election.

Before Ender entered the race, candidate Bob Spierer had the best shot at the second open seat, said Kevin Korenthal, a local Republican who manages SocalPundit.com.

"It really is a toss-up at this point," he said, and added that his money remains on Kellar and on Spierer, a former sheriff's captain, in the April election. "There's a lot of good candidates in this race."

In a town with historically dismal voter turnout for municipal elections, Korenthal said even the endorsement of McKeon may not be enough of a voter stimulus.

Conversely, he said, voters who care about the process "may take Buck's endorsement to heart."
Other candidates in the race for a seat on the council are Planning Commissioner Diane Trautman and Maria Gutzeit, vice president of the Newhall County Water District board.

Ender has also netted an endorsement from Councilwoman Marsha McLean, who is also endorsing Trautman.

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