L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich said in an interview Thursday that he is seriously considering a run for state Senate. Antonovich, 75, has served on the Board of Supervisors since 1980. He is termed out next year and is eyeing a run for the 25th State Senate district seat, now held by Democrat Carol Liu.
"I'm leaning toward it," he said.
Antonovich, a Republican, would face a tough battle. The district extends from Burbank along the San Gabriel foothills out to Upland. Democrats make up 41 percent of the registered voters, to Republicans' 30 percent.
Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale, has already announced his campaign for the seat. Former Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, is also in the running, as are Pasadena Democrats Phlunte' Riddle and Katherine Perez-Estolano.
In the interview, Antonovich touted his experience and his relationships with local officials in the Senate district.
"I don't need on-the-job training," he said. "I have represented over 85 percent of that district currently. ... I've been there and worked with these individuals, and I want to continue."
Antonovich said he would make a final decision by next month. If he runs, he would be the second longtime supervisor to seek another office recently after being forced out by term limits. Supervisor Gloria Molina, who was termed out last year, tried to unseat L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar in March, but was defeated soundly.
Molina was trying to return to the City Council decades after her first stint there. Antonovich would be attempting something similar. He served in the Assembly for six years, from 1972 to 1978. If elected to the Legislature again, he said he would try to restore some of the bipartisan spirit of an earlier era.
"We have disagreements on issues (at the board)," he said. "We still are working together on the other issues."
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On state issues, Antonovich has been critical of Gov. Jerry Brown's policies on prison realignment and high-speed rail. He noted, however, that he has always supported the Gold Line, the train that runs from downtown to Pasadena with plans for an extension to Claremont.
On the drought, he argued for more reservoir construction in Southern California.
"Without water you’re going to have a loss of jobs, and the economy goes into the toilet," he said.
Antonovich was first mentioned as a potential candidate on Wednesday in the Nooner, a Capitol newsletter.