Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) last week received the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business/California SAFE Trust in his bid for reelection to represent the state Assembly’s 43rd District.

“[Gatto] has proven himself a friend to small business and committed to creating jobs,” said John Kabateck, California director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Gatto is one of only four Democrats endorsed by the organization’s political action committee, which made 42 endorsements, Kabateck said.

The assemblyman is also the only incumbent Democrat endorsed by the committee and the only Democrat running against a Republican — longtime Glendale Unified school board member Greg Krikorian, Kabateck added.

The PAC is headed by Sunder Ramani, who was Gatto’s opponent in a bitter battle for the 43rd District seat in 2010. Ramani recused himself from voting or discussion during the endorsement process, Kabateck said.

Gatto’s support is important for small businesses that are still weathering tough economic times, Kabateck said.

“Mike’s actions have matched his words in efforts to bring greater certainty on Main Street,” he said.

One example of Gatto’s commitment to mom-and-pop businesses was an amendment he made to one of his own bills that did away with a proposed sales tax on services to fund state veterans’ homes and pest eradication services.

“Mike recognized the severe hardship this tax would be on small businesses and jobs and amended his bill to remove the tax altogether and identified funding elsewhere,” Kabateck said.

However, the legislation did not make it out of the Assembly Rules Committee.

While the business organization’s PAC was impressed with Krikorian, Kabateck said the endorsement was based on Gatto’s record of supporting small businesses during his two years in office.

Gatto also recently received endorsements from local civic leaders including Rep. Adam Schiff, Glendale Mayor Frank Quintero, Burbank Mayor Dave Golonski, Burbank Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy, Glendale Councilwoman Laura Friedman and Burbank Unified school board member Dave Kemp.

The Sierra Club has also endorsed Gatto.

-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam