Two out former southern California lawmakers are starting off 2013 with new roles.
Lesbian former Democratic state Senator Sheila Kuehl announced Thursday her bid to return to elective politics. She is seeking an open Los Angeles County supervisor seat, becoming a political candidate for the first time since 2004.
The first out lawmaker to serve in California’s legislature, having won an Assembly seat in 1994, Kuehl was termed out of the state Senate in 2008. At the time it was widely known that she was eying a run for Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s seat in 2014, when he will be termed out of office.
Thursday, January 10 Kuehl made her bid for the Westside supervisorial district official, according to local media reports. This month Kuehl plans to set up a campaign committee and begin raising money. Veteran political consultant Parke Skelton reportedly will be her campaign manager.
“I see the next year and a half as not only a campaign, but as a deeply educational time for me,” Kuehl, a Santa Monica resident, told the Los Angeles Times.
The paper said that former Santa Monica councilman and Kennedy family member Bobby Shriver may also seek the seat.
Kuehl played Zelda Gilroy in the long-running 1950s TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Since leaving public office, she has written about the state budget at her website, launched her own consulting firm, and was the founding director in 2010 of the Public Policy Institute at Santa Monica College.
This week former gay Republican San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio (seen at right) announced he had been hired to head two lobbying efforts, giving him dual platforms to remain in the public’s eye as he ponders a future political bid.
Not only did he lose his bid to be San Diego’s mayor in November, but DeMaio also stepped down from the City Council due to his decision to seek the higher office instead of re-election to his council seat.
One of his new roles is that of chairman of the California Reform Council. A Los Angeles-based project of the Reason Foundation, the council is launching a “Reform Agenda” aimed at finding ways to balance the state budget without raising taxes.
It will also push for improvements in the transparency, performance and accountability of state government in Sacramento. A key concern that DeMaio plans to focus on this year is pension reform, the goal of which is to use San Diego’s pension reform measures as a template for the state.
The second initiative will focus on San Diego. DeMaio is launching Reform San Diego, a research and political advocacy group whose main priority will be the city’s finances.
The group will re-launch the “San Diego Citizens Budget Project,” which DeMaio led in 2003 as the city was facing a fiscal crisis. Those efforts led to his successful campaign for a seat on the city council in 2008.
“I’m excited to take on these two new roles that allow me to continue to shine a big light on state and local government and hold both accountable to taxpayers,” stated DeMaio in a release announcing his new jobs.