Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis. Images via offices

Two leading Democratic candidates for the 53rd Congressional District seat held by retiring Rep. Susan Davis announced their latest endorsements Monday.

First, San Diego Councilwoman Georgette Gómez won backing from La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis. An hour later, nonprofit leader Sara Jacobs told of being endorsed by Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis.

Arapostathis, a longtime La Mesa educator and junior theater director, is the fifth local mayor to endorse Council President Gómez.

“As a lifelong La Mesa resident and a career educator, I support candidates who I know will serve with integrity and always with the interests of families and community in mind,” he said in a statement.

“In the 53rd Congressional District race, that candidate is Georgette Gómez. I am proud to be among the local mayors in San Diego County who are helping send Georgette to Washington, D.C., to stand up for students, families and our community.”

Other mayors for Gómez are Chula Vista’s Mary Salas, National City’s Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, Imperial Beach’s Serge Dedina and Encinitas’ Catherine Blakespear.

In a statement, Kounalakis said: “I’m proud to endorse Sara Jacobs for Congress today. As a former ambassador, I know how important having someone with Sara’s foreign policy and national security credentials will be in Congress.

“We need to send a new generation of leaders to Congress. Young women who know that change cannot wait. Our children, our climate, immigrants, and refugees — they need champions now. That’s why it’s critical that we elect a leader who will hit the ground running, who knows how to get things done, and who understands the tough policy decisions that need to be made to safeguard a better future for our children. Sara Jacobs is that leader.”

Jacobs said she was honored to accept the endorsement of the highest-ranking woman ever elected in the state of California.

Kounalakis, Jacobs said, is a role model for women and girls across the state – “a reminder that the corridors of power, in Sacramento and in DC, aren’t barred from us any longer. Women can’t wait for a seat at the table — we have to claim it.”

Also running in the 53rd District are Democrats Jose Caballero, Joaquin Vazquez and Zack Fields. Famela Ramos is the lone Republican.

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