Nurses, law enforcement and civil rights groups endorse Hilda Zacarias

Hilda Zacarias has picked up the endorsements of several organizations in her bid to succeed Sam Blakeslee and represent the Central Coast in the 33rd state Assembly district.

Zacarias, a Santa Maria city councilwoman and the sole Democrat in the race, has been endorsed by the California Nurses Association, Equality California and the National Latino Peace Officers Association.

POA Chairman Hank Aguilar praised Zacarias for her "commitment to community and leadership."

Zacarias also received the endorsement of 100 percent of the delegates to the California Democratic Party pre-endorsement caucus in Ventura.

A Cal Poly graduate, Zacarias is a former accountant and educator and is executive director of the Santa Barbara Family Care Center. She has served on the Santa Maria Joint Union High School Board and many nonprofit boards.

Others running to succeed Blakeslee include Libertarian Paul Polson and four Republicans -- San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Katcho Achadjian, San Luis Obispo financial planner Matt Kokkonen, Paso Robles City Councilman Fred Strong and former Santa Maria Planning commissioner Etta Waterfield.

Blakeslee cannot run again because of term limits. The 33rd Assembly District stretches from San Miguel to Lompoc. --Bob Cuddy