Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Lesbian CA Senator nixes San Diego mayor bid

Lesbian state Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) has nixed running for mayor of her hometown in 2012. Whether she will retire from political life next year remains unclear.

Kehoe will be termed out of her Senate seat but does have two years remaining in the Assembly as she only ran twice for the Legislature’s lower house. Lawmakers can serve a total of six years, or three terms, in the Assembly, and Kehoe already has formed a 2012 Assembly campaign committee.

But were she to run for her old seat, that would mean lesbian Assemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) would need to either step aside, face off against a mentor and ally, or seek Kehoe’s senate seat. Atkins won election to the Assembly in the fall and is in the middle of her first year in legislative office.

Supporters of Kehoe had been pushing her to enter the mayoral race. Lesbian District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a Republican, is already running, as is gay Republican City Councilman Carl DeMaio. Her decision to nix a bid for mayor, reported last night by the local San Diego newspaper, leaves Congressman Bob Filner the only Democrat in the race.

It could open the door for Dumanis to seek the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund’s endorsement. It normally stays out of races with more than one out candidate. But if the group determines DeMaio is not a credible contender for mayor, then it could opt to back Dumanis’ historic bid, for she could become the first openly LGBT elected mayor of a major California city.

[Bevan Dufty, a gay man and former San Francisco supervisor, could beat Dumanis to the punch if he is elected his city’s mayor this fall.]

The San Diego Union Tribune report did not cite why Kehoe opted against entering the mayor’s race nor if she had decided to seek her old Assembly seat.

“For the next year and a half I am going to concentrate on the Senate — as I always have,” Kehoe told the paper.

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 29, 2011 @ 1:51 pm PST
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