Mayoral Candidate and District 5 City Councilmember Victor Gordo announced on Sunday that he has gained the endorsement of Planning Commissioner Felicia Williams.
Williams, who easily won the council’s District 2 seat in the March primary election against three other opponents, will join the City Council in December.
“As I prepare to take my seat as the newly elected Pasadena Councilmember representing the people of District 2, I have given great consideration to the position of Mayor of Pasadena. I am proudly endorsing Victor Gordo for Mayor,” Williams wrote.
“More than ever, Pasadena faces unprecedented challenges with COVID-19, calls for social justice, and the raging wildfires. We need a change in leadership at City Hall, one that will promote collaboration and empathy to get us through these challenges and bring hope for the future.”
Gordo finished first in a field of four candidates in the March election, winning 18,586 votes, or 46.52 percent, to Mayor Terry Tornek’s 16,607 votes, or 41.57 percent. Gordo and Tornek will square off again on Nov. 3 for the city’s highest elected position.
Last week, District 6 Councilman Steve Madison said he was “enthusiastically” supporting Gordo.
The endorsement represents something of a switch in Pasadena politics. In the last election, when Tornek and then District 1 Candidate Jacque Robinson competed for the mayor’s seat, councilmembers did not publicly endorse either candidate.
Williams said she has known Gordo for 25 years, first meeting him when she was an intern at the Pasadena Public Health Department. At the time, Gordo was the youth programs coordinator at Day One, a nonprofit organization working with at-risk youth and on social justice issues.
“Victor and I worked together on the Quality of Life Survey and the Coalition for a Non-Violent City trying to bring healing, peace, safety, equality, and expanded services to the youth and citizens of Pasadena. More recently, I have watched Victor step in as a leader when the COVID 19 pandemic struck our City, ensuring Pasadena moved swiftly to address the challenges of the pandemic. In doing so he took the same hands-on, collaborative, empathetic approach that I recall from over 25 years ago,” Williams wrote
Williams will replace City Councilmember Margaret McAustin. McAustin announced late last year she would not seek reelection. Her husband is battling cancer.
“Being raised in Pasadena means that both Victor and I have deep connections and a love for this community,” Williams said. “It also provides a good perspective. Knowing where we came from helps guide where we are going.
“I thank Mayor Terry Tornek for his service. Now we need a new direction, a Mayor who can work with all residents, listen to all sides, achieve balance, work with neighboring cities and stand up for local control so Pasadena can chart its own destiny based on the needs of our residents and businesses,” Williams continued.
“Are you ready for a new day in Pasadena? I am, that is why I am joining thousands of other Pasadena residents in supporting and voting for Victor Gordo as our next Mayor.”