Former Obama Law Student Announces Challenge to Diane Watson for California Congressional Seat
Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Felton Newell Launches Congressional Campaign for California’s 33rd District
Felton Newell, a criminal prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, officially announced today that that he is a Democratic candidate to represent California’s 33rd Congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. Newell, 37, attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he studied under President Barack Obama. After graduating from Georgetown University in 1993, Newell worked in former President Bill Clinton’s White House Office of Legislative Affairs. In the second quarter of 2009, Newell out-fundraised incumbent Representative Diane Watson by raising more than $41,000 from more than 250 individual contributors.
“I stand as part of a new generation of American leaders who will fight to give our kids the same opportunities our parents gave to us. I am running to preserve the American dream,” said Newell. Newell’s top legislative priorities are reforming schools in Los Angeles and across the nation, encouraging the creation of jobs and the preservation of existing jobs in the district, supporting working parents, promoting a stronger health care system, making our streets safer and increasing environmental standards to fight climate change. “We find ourselves in a new time where new solutions are necessary to address the historic challenges facing our nation. Our great district needs a representative in Washington who is in touch with the needs of the people, has a clear vision, and will take aggressive action to preserve the American dream for our children. That is the leadership I will provide,” Newell said.
As a Deputy City Attorney, Newell has handled hundreds of criminal misdemeanor cases and taken more than two dozen cases to trial, including cases involving domestic violence, vandalism and criminal assault. Newell also has filed lawsuits on behalf of the City of Los Angeles against lax property owners to retake control of those properties from gang members and drug dealers who were using the buildings for criminal activity. Prior to working as a prosecutor, Newell was a corporate litigator who represented dozens of companies throughout the state of California. In 2004, legal services organization Bet Tzedek awarded Newell with the Wiley Manuel Pro Bono Award for his work representing low-income tenants in Hollywood.
Newell was born and raised in Northern California by his mother, an elementary school teacher, and his father, a union electrician. The Democratic primary election will be held on June 8, 2010. California’s 33rd Congressional district encompasses Culver City, the unincorporated neighborhoods of Ladera Heights, View Park and Windsor Hills, and all or portions of the Palms, Mid-Wilshire, Hollywood, Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Village, West Adams, Hancock Park, Koreatown, Echo Park, Silver Lake and Los Feliz neighborhoods in Los Angeles. “Many of our parents and grandparents came to Los Angeles because it is a place where dreams can come true and I will work hard every day to preserve this opportunity for future generations of Angelenos,” said Newell.