If you're a normal person, you're probably not paying too much attention to the race for L.A. County district attorney. The election is 16 months away. But given how much money the candidates have to raise, they're starting now and the field is getting crowded.

Mario Trujillo, the head deputy in the Bellflower D.A.'s office, is the latest to formally announce. In a move that was widely anticipated (because Trujillo had told everyone about it), he it official in front of a friendly crowd on Saturday night at the Mexican-American Bar Association installation dinner.

“I think we can do it,” Trujillo said. “I think it's time we have a Latino district attorney in L.A. County.”

That raises the thorny question of whether Trujillo would actually be the first Latino to hold that office.

Gil Garcetti, who is of Mexican and Italian heritage, would seem to have a good claim to that title.

That aside, the D.A. field is unprecedentedly diverse. Among the candidates who have declared or expressed a strong interest, three are African-American, two are women and one is Latino. That just hasn't happened before.

Two of those candidates — Jackie Lacey and Bobby Grace — were in attendance on Saturday, schmoozing in a crowd of several hundred Latino lawyers. The rest of the field stayed away, perhaps recognizing it was Trujillo's night.

Of course, Steve Cooley has not officially said he won't run in 2012. But it appears that most of his employees are operating on that assumption.

“From private conversations, I believe he is going to retire,” Trujillo said.

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