Sheila Kuehl, a former member of the state Assembly and Senate, confirmed to KPCC Thursday that she will run for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2014.
Kuehl will run for the Third District, which is currently represented by Zev Yaroslavsky, who will be termed out of office next year.
“It’s really the only place I can imagine using all the things that I learned in the Legislature in 14 years,” Kuehl told KPCC.
“My priorities [are] environmental, health and human services, and then the third thing really has to do with transportation.”
Members of the Board of Supervisors also serve on the Metro Board, which oversees public transportation for L.A. County.
“I want to make certain that we continue our adherence to really developing public transit, paying attention to the way people in the county are able to get around, get to work, do what they want to do and maybe not have to use their car so much,” Kuehl said.
Kuehl expects she will have to raise a couple of million dollars to reach the district’s more than two million constituents. In the coming weeks Kuehl will set up a campaign website, look for early donors and endorsements, and “see if I can’t scare everybody else out of the race.”
Former Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver’s name has also come up as a possible candidate for the Third District. The district stretches from the San Fernando Valley to the Santa Monica Mountains to the Westside of Los Angeles. Yaroslavsky has served on the board since 1994. His endorsement in the race would likely carry great weight with voters.
Kuehl was the first woman in the state’s history to be named Speaker pro Tempore of the Assembly. She was also the first openly gay person to be elected to the California Legislature. Since leaving office in 2008, she has worked with the Public Policy Institute at Santa Monica College and taught at UCLA.
In addition to Yaroslavsky, Supervisor Gloria Molina is also termed out in 2014. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced Wednesday that she would leave President Obama’s cabinet and return to California, sparking speculation that she will run for Molina's seat.