Candidate forum to be held this week for mayoral, state, federal races

Long Beach residents will have one of their first opportunities to meet candidates headed for runoff elections next week as Jewish Long Beach hosts a forum at the Barbara and Ray Alpert Jewish Community Center Thursday, Sept. 22.

The group, which advocates for the Jewish community in Long Beach and Orange County, hopes the event will offer the community an opportunity to meet the future leaders of the city and to make those leaders more aware of the concerns of Jewish constituents.

The event is open to all residents of the city and free parking is available at the facility.

The forum will include the remaining two candidates in the city’s mayoral race, as well as those trying to become Long Beach’s next representatives in Congress and the state Legislature. Organizers say the forum will include a one-hour meet and greet portion that is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. with the forum starting at 7 p.m.

“Jewish Long Beach is committed to serving as the central address for Jewish communal advocacy in the Long Beach area, which means ensuring that the Jewish and broader communities are able to remain as engaged as possible in civic processes,” Jewish Long Beach CEO said in a statement.

Former Long Beach Councilmember Evan Braude will moderate the event, which is going to be a “talk show” format where each candidate will have about 20 minutes to state their platform and answer questions from Braude.

Braude will not moderate the discussion for the 69th State Assembly seat, which will include Long Beach Councilmember Al Austin and Josh Lowenthal in the runoff, because Braude is married to Lowenthal’s mother.

While candidates in the runoff races in the 3rd, 5th and 9th district City Council races are invited to attend the event and interact with attendees, they won’t be part of the forum portion of the event.

Here is the list of candidates invited to Thursday’s forum:

  • Long Beach mayor: Rex Richardson and Suzie Price
  • 42nd Congressional District: Robert Garcia and John Briscoe
  • State Assembly 69th District: Al Austin and Josh Lowenthal
  • State Senate 36th District: Kim Carr and Janet Nguyen

The Barbara and Ray Alpert Jewish Community Center is located at 3801 E. Willow Street. People planning to attend are being asked to RSVP at 562-426-7601

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Jason Ruiz has been covering City Hall for the Post for nearly a decade. A Long Beach resident, Ruiz graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in journalism. He and his wife Kristina and, most importantly, their dog Mango, live in Long Beach. He is a particularly avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the UCLA Bruins, which is why he sometimes comes to work after the weekend in a grumpy mood.