Politics

5 things to watch for in the Kuehl-Shriver Board of Supervisors debate

Candidates Bobby Shriver and Sheila Kuehl are two Santa Monica residents running against each other for the Board of Supervisors.
Candidates Bobby Shriver and Sheila Kuehl are two Santa Monica residents running against each other for the Board of Supervisors.
Shriver Campaign/Kuehl Campaign

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Former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver, the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, faces former State Senator Sheila Kuehl Tuesday night in their first one-on-one debate since the June primary election. They are competing to replace Zev Yaroslavasky on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

The powerful five-member board controls funding for everything from public health to the Sheriff's Department. Both candidates want to represent the sprawling Third Supervisorial District, which includes Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and most of the San Fernando Valley.

Shriver, 60, and Kuehl, 73, are both Democrats – the race is non-partisan.  Kuehl edged Shriver in the primary, 36-29 percent, but the election is expected to be close. The focus of the debate is transportation and economic development issues.

Here are five things to watch for:

The two candidates present very different resumes. Shriver is a former Santa Monica mayor who has used his powerful political connections as a member of the Kennedy family to team with U2 rock star, Bono and raise money for worldwide causes including the fight against AIDS in Africa. Kuehl was a child actor who spent nearly two decades in the state legislature, championing healthcare and family leave legislation. She was the first openly gay member of the legislature and, if elected, would be the first openly gay member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.