Gay California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) is eying a potential 2018 bid for lieutenant governor.
Should he indeed seek the post and win, Perez could potentially be the first openly LGBT person to hold a statewide elected office in the Golden State. He is the first out politician to file papers to run for such a post in an upcoming election.
Late Wednesday afternoon (December 5) the Sacramento Bee reported that Perez had opened up a campaign committee Friday, November 30 to begin raising money for a potential race. The current holder of the office, former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, would be termed out in 2018 should he win re-election to a second term in 2014.
Back in 2010 Perez endorsed Newsom over the candidacy of fellow Angeleno Janice Hahn’s bid for lieutenant governor. Hahn had been an L.A. city councilwoman but won a congressional seat in 2011.
Perez just won re-election to a third term in the Assembly and thus will be termed out of that office in 2014. He could run for a state Senate seat in the future or some other post depending on what seats become open.
His political strategist Doug Herman suggested such a possibility to the Bee, telling the paper that running for lieutenant governor is “among his ‘serious options’ for continuing public service after leaving the Assembly.”
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has also opened up an exploratory committee to run for lieutenant governor and has raised more than $500,000 since 2011, noted the Bee. Steinberg is termed out of office in 2014.
But seeing the state’s top two legislative leaders duke it out for the lieutenant governor’s post is unlikely, according to Herman, who was quoted saying that he doesn’t believe they would run against each other.