Santa Barbara County Democratic Party endorses Hilda Zacarias

Praising her for excellence "at growing and supporting ... grassroots efforts, " the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party has given Assembly candidate Hilda Zacarias the Roosevelt Hamer 2010 Democratic Values Award.

Zacarias, a Cal Poly alumna and Santa Maria city councilwoman, is seeking to succeed Sam Blakeslee in the 33rd Assembly District, which encompasses San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County.

The award goes annually to a local elected official "who has excelled at growing and supporting Democratic Party grassroots efforts, " according to Roger Hart of the Santa Maria Democratic Club.

Hart called Zacarias "a Latina and Harvard MBA who...has never forgotten her humble roots. During her tenure on the City Council, not only does she always put people first, but she has shown grace, humility, and has never flinched when fighting injustice."

Zacarias is the sole Democrat in the race to succeed Blakeslee, who must leave the Assembly at the end of this year because of term limits.

Libertarian Paul Polson of Arroyo Grande also is in the Assembly contest, as are 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.