Former legislator Sheila Kuehl to run for Westside supervisor seat
Kuehl was the first openly gay person elected to the Legislature, where she served a total of 14 years in both houses before she was forced out by term limits in 2008. She had a varied career before that, including working as a women's rights attorney and as an actress -- she was best known for her role as Zelda in the television sitcom "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis."
"Honestly speaking, I probably made the decision several years ago" to run for the Board of Supervisors, Kuehl told The Times on Thursday. She said she plans to set up her campaign committee and begin fundraising this month, with veteran political consultant Parke Skelton running her campaign.
Kuehl's plans to launch an official campaign were first reported by public radio station KPCC.
With four out of the five current county supervisors set to be termed out by 2016, Kuehl said she thought her experience would help her bring a "sense of stability" to the county, and to deal with issues important to the 3rd District including health and human services, environmental protection and transportation.
Yaroslavsky has a longstanding good relationship with Kuehl, but has not said if he will endorse her.
Kuehl said she had spoken to the supervisor several times about issues facing the county, including the contentious issue of prison realignment, which transferred responsibility for some nonviolent offenders from the state to counties.
"I see the next year and a half as not only a campaign, but as a deeply educational time for me," she said.
Former Santa Monica councilman and Kennedy family member Bobby Shriver has also spoken about a possible run for the seat.
Speculation has also begun around the other county seat opening in 2014, the Eastside district of Gloria Molina. When Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced her resignation Wednesday, speculation began that she was planning a run for Molina's seat.
-- Abby Sewell at the County Hall of Administration
Photo: Former state legislator Sheila Kuehl. Credit: Handout