With the June 3 primary just weeks away, the pace is picking up in the 18-candidate race to succeed retiring longtime Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills).

 A campaign mailer from spiritual teacher and bestselling author Marianne Williamson landed in some voters' mailboxes over the weekend, possibly the first piece of political mail of the race.

Williamson, a former Democrat who switched her voter registration to "no party preference" as part of her stated goal to help break the partisan gridlock in Congress, asks voters to support a constitutional amendment to help "get money out of politics."

She advocates an amendment that would repeal the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling that opened the doors to corporations and interest groups spending unlimited amounts to support or oppose candidates.

Opening with her "Create Anew" campaign theme, the mailer states, "We need a new politics of conscience and a new bottom line" and includes a postcard to use for volunteering in her campaign.

It was not immediately clear how many mailers were sent and to which voters in the 33rd Congressional District, which runs from parts of the Westside and Malibu south through the Palos Verdes Peninsula and is strongly Democratic.

On Monday, one of Williamson's rivals, Democrat Matt Miller, released his second position paper, this one of his proposals for improving public education.

It comes down to improving the teacher pool, says Miller, a journalist and former public radio public affairs show co-host.

"Elevating the teaching profession so that we attract and retain top talent in our classrooms is the critical missing piece" in helping prepare American students to compete in a global economy, Miller said in introducing his plan.

He calls for a $30 billion federal fund to help local communities recruit top teaching talent, in part by raising starting salaries. The full plan is on his website.

Miller called improving public schools "a passion of mine."  A director of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, which works with 17 urban campuses, Miller also was appointed by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to his Equity and Excellence Commission.

Previously, Miller released a plan for making healthcare more affordable by cutting inflated costs.

On the Republican side of the contest, gang prosecutor Elan S. Carr on Monday announced his endorsement by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

"Elan has built a successful record of public service, from serving in the military to serving in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office," Cantor said in a statement released by Carr's campaign.

With three Republicans on the ballot, the Carr campaign is trying to solidify GOP support around his candidacy to boost his chances of getting on the November ballot.

Under the state's relatively new elections system, only the top two primary finishers, regardless of any party affiliation, will advance to the fall general election.

 Besides the three Republicans, the candidates on the primary ballot include 10 Democrats, three independents (no party preference), one Green Party member and one Libertarian.

 

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jean.merl@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeanmerl