Out in the West San Fernando Valley, Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield is running for his final term as a state lawmaker. After the November election, he’ll be preparing for his first run at the Los Angles City Council.
While other Sacramento politicians are running for the Los Angeles City Council in 2013, Blumenfield is the only one whose seat is also up for reelection this year. Following the June primary for his Assembly seat, Blumenfield filed papers to run for the council’s Third District, where Dennis Zine is being termed out. (Zine's Assembly seats covers much of the same area as the Third District.)
“It’s an unfortunate clashing of the calendars,” Blumenfield said. “The seat is coming open now in March and you know, these typically are 12-year — up to 12-year — seats.”
His opponent in November is electrical engineer Chris Kolski, who received 41 percent of the vote in the primary. Kolski, a Republican who supported Ron Paul's run for the GOP presidential nod, hopes that Blumenfield's dual-race strategy turns off independents and even some Democrats.
“He obviously has a disregard for his constituents,” Kolski said. “We have too many career politicians who are supported by special interests and they really cater to them, and not to the constituents.”
The former president of the Center for Governmental Studies isn’t so sure that's the case.
“Some voters are actually proud your legislator will continue to serve them," Stern said. "Other voters are saying, ‘Pick one, don’t pick the other,’ so there’s a mixture. but we haven’t seen it be enough of a backlash that these people don’t do that."
For his part, Blumenfield says he’s just being practical about the elections. He chairs the committee that oversees the state budget process, which will wrap up by the end of next June. If elected to the LA City Council, he would be sworn in days later, on July 1.
“At that point I’ll be on my last year of my six years of which, typically, that very last year you lose your chairmanship, you lose a lot of your clout,” he said.
A special election would be held if Blumenfield leaves the Assembly to join the city council. The Assembly election is set for Nov. 6, while the city primary will be next March.