Hilda Zacarias, running for the 33rd Assembly District seat, has picked up the endorsement of the region's most prominent Democrat, Rep. Lois Capps.
Capps, of Santa Barbara, praised Zacarias for a lifetime of accomplishment and commitment to improving her community, including time on the Santa Maria school board and the Santa Maria City Council, where Zacarias is a councilwoman.
A former public accountant, Zacarias is executive director of the Santa Barbara Family Care Center.
She has assisted such organizations as the Dana Adobe in Nipomo, the Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access in northern Santa Barbara County and the California Family Resource Association.
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Zacarias is the only Democrat to announce for the job, which is being vacated by Sam Blakeslee, who cannot run again because of term limits.
Republicans in the race are San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Katcho Achadjian, former Santa Maria Planning Commissioner Etta Waterfield, Paso Robles City Councilman Fred Strong and San Luis Obispo financial planner Matt Kokkonen.