Will Sheila Kuehl Become First Openly Gay L.A. County Supervisor?

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Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 6:00 AM
click to enlarge Sheila Kuehl - KUEHL CAMPAIGN
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It came as a surprise to no one following L.A. politics, but one-time TV actress, former state senator, and current and proud lesbian and gay rights icon Sheila Kuehl announced her run for Los Angeles County Supervisor on Thursday.

Kuehl, 72, could be the first openly gay person elected to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

In an email to supporters, Kuehl wrote, "I will bring continuing stability to county government, as well as innovation and diversity, big picture thinking as well as attention to the daily lives of those who depend on us, an open door and an open mind, collaboration with anyone willing to work with me, years of experience and lots of energy."

Maybe it's a sign of the rapidly accepting times, but there was little, if any, mention that Kuehl could break another glass ceiling of sorts and become L.A. County's first gay supervisor.

Kuehl became the first openly gay person elected to the California state legislature in 1994 when she won a seat in the state assembly. She served in the state assembly and senate between 1994 and 2008.

Kuehl's now looking to replace longtime Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who will be termed out in 2014. Yaroslavsky would have been a strong contender for L.A. mayor, but decided not to run in 2013.

Kuehl is the first major candidate in L.A. politics to throw her hat in the ring for L.A. County's Third District race. The district includes such tony places as Malibu, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Hancock Park, Bel Air, and Brentwood.

Kuehl believes a winning candidate will have to raise at least $1.4 million.

"The June 2014 primary is only a little more than a year away and I am asking for your support starting now!" she writes in her email to supporters. "This race will likely cost 1.4 million dollars and early fundraising will be key to my success."

Although she makes no mention of her sexual orientation in her email, L.A.'s wealthy gays should expect a call from Kuehl soon.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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