Gubernatorial candidates, who have been pressed to offer their thoughts on affirmative action by Latino and black state lawmakers, began to weigh in Monday evening.
Antonio Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, gave the most concrete response.
"Mayor Villaraigosa agrees with both caucuses that keeping this issue at the forefront is vital to the future of California,” a campaign spokeswoman said in a statement. “He went to UCLA on an affirmative action program and was on the frontline against Prop. 209. Villaraigosa believes California can’t truly be progressive unless we’re all making progress together, which means we must support and expand programs that lift more families into the middle class."
Villaraigosa was responding to a questionnaire sent to six Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates about affirmative action and the ramifications of a 1996 voter-approved law that banned it in publicly funded institutions of higher education.
The letter by the chairmen of the Latino and black legislative caucuses, which was mailed Friday, injects a potentially volatile racial issue that has previously splintered California Democrats into the 2018 contest.
The questions also raise a divisive 2014 effort to repeal the ban on affirmative action.
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