Kelly Hayes-Raitt, a candidate in next year’s race for the State Assembly seat now held by Fran Pavley, has been endorsed by actor Martin Sheen, aka President Jed Bartlett on the long-running television series, ‘West Wing.”
Sheen, one of the Westside’s leading activists and Malibu resident, said he was impressed with Hayes-Raitt’s two humanitarian trips to Iraq and her on-going work for peace.
“Californian taxpayers have spent $26 billion in President Bush’s war on Iraq. Now Governor Schwarzenegger wants to balance our state’s $8 billion shortfall on the backs of college students, uninsured children and teachers,” Hayes-Raitt said during an appearance with Sheen last week. “Our state has sent more soldiers to Iraq than any other. California now has more war widows, more war orphans and more injured soldiers who must rely on our state’s social service programs. In Sacramento, I will fight for the true interests that make California special — our vets and their families, our teachers and other public employees and our children.”
Hayes-Raitt is running in the 41st Assembly District, which includes Santa Monica, Malibu, Topanga, Pacific Palisades, Encino, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Oak Park, Port Hueneme and Oxnard. Term limits forbid Pavley from seeking a third term.
Sheen and Hayes-Raitt met in 1993 at a non-profit social service organization whose mission is to prevent low income families from becoming homeless. At the time, Hayes-Raitt was a full-time fundraiser and Sheen was a volunteer. They met again during Santa Monica’s Living Wage battle.
“I’ve long admired and been inspired by Martin Sheen’s heartfelt activism. We share a willingness to speak up when no one else dares. Since my campaign reflects the values Mr. Sheen embodies, I am proud he is supporting my Assembly campaign,” said Hayes-Raitt.
On Thursday, May 26, the Ventura County Grassroots (formerly the Ventura County Progressives) voted to endorse Kelly Hayes-Raitt. Following the district’s first candidate forum, over 70 percent of the Club’s members voted to endorse the Santa Monican.
“Kelly is a true progressive whose values are reflected in her 25 years of community activism and leadership,” said Chair Tom Mullens. “Our members were impressed by her experience, but as activists we were won over by her compassion, by her enthusiasm and by her proven ability to turn passion into action. We can’t wait to see what she can accomplish in Sacramento!”The club’s endorsement is accompanied by a commitment to undertake a grassroots voter contact campaign.