California Federation of Teachers endorses Hilda Zacarias

Santa Maria City Councilwoman and Assembly candidate Hilda Zacarias has picked up the endorsement of the California Federation of Teachers.

Kenneth Burt, the union's political director, stated in a news release that Zacarias would "protect the interests of working families while promoting California's educational system."

The union represents faculty and nonteaching employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education.

Zacarias welcomed the endorsement, adding, "It will take courage to make the hard choices necessary to balance the state budget, and the (union) knows that I will consider the needs of every Californian."

Zacarias, a former accountant, educator and Cal Poly graduate, is executive director of the Santa Barbara Family Care Center.

She is the only announced Democratic candidate for the 33rd Assembly District, which stretches from San Miguel to Lompoc. Republicans running for the position are San Luis Obispo financial consultant Matt Kokkonen, Paso Robles City Councilman Fred Strong, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Katcho Achadjian and former Santa Maria Planning Commissioner Etta Waterfield.

The seat is held by Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, who cannot run again because of term limits.