Zev Yaroslavsky said today that he will finish out his term on the county Board of Supervisors and not make a bid to become mayor of Los Angeles. "While I have never been a supporter of term limits, I do believe that four decades is long enough for any citizen to hold elective office, especially in an executive capacity," he posted at his website. "So I’ve made the decision to complete my current term on the board and then move on to the other things I’ve longed to do outside the political arena while I have plenty of productive years ahead of me. Simply put, it’s time for a new generation of leaders to emerge and guide this region into the future."
This greatly simplifies the race for mayor and I have to believe helps Controller Wendy Greuel, who by early this morning was already contacting key Yaroslavsky supporters about joining her campaign. Councilman Eric Garcetti should also pick up some momentum from Yaroslavsky's decision. Of course, should millionaire shopping center developer Rick Caruso suddenly jump in it becomes complex all over again. Other candidates so far include Councilwoman Jan Perry and former radio commentator Kevin James. Austin Beutner, the ex-deputy mayor, raised money for awhile then dropped his campaign.
The supervisor began calling potential backers last night to inform them of his decision not to run. He had previously faced such a decision in the 1980s and chose then not to run against Mayor Tom Bradley. He would have been viewed as a more viable candidate this time around — provided he had the drive to both run hard and convince voters he was prepared to serve eight years, into his 70s.
Here's Yaroslavsky's statement. His site has a nice picture up of him at 26 with his wife Barbara.
For many months, I’ve been wrestling with one of the most difficult decisions of my political life—whether to run for the office of Mayor of Los Angeles. I’ve been urged to enter next year’s race by friends, supporters and residents throughout the city. And I’ve been humbled and touched by the confidence they’ve placed in me.
I’m a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, a city facing serious challenges and opportunities. I have no doubt that, with my expertise and experience, I could help transform L.A.’s fortunes. In the end, however, it is this very length of service that has tipped the scales for me.
By the end of my current term on the Board of Supervisors in December, 2014, I will have served the people of the city and county of Los Angeles for nearly 40 eventful, productive and fulfilling years. Beginning as a 26 year-old councilman, I have quite literally come of age in public life at the forefront of Los Angeles’ most critical issues. While I have never been a supporter of term limits, I do believe that four decades is long enough for any citizen to hold elective office, especially in an executive capacity.
So I’ve made the decision to complete my current term on the board and then move on to the other things I’ve longed to do outside the political arena while I have plenty of productive years ahead of me. Simply put, it’s time for a new generation of leaders to emerge and guide this region into the future.
I want to thank the many people who have given me advice and encouragement during the period that I have weighed this decision. I deeply appreciate their patience and understanding. I also want to thank the voters who have elected me 11 times and given me the privilege of representing them. Above all, I’m eternally grateful to my family, which has encouraged me every step of the way while sacrificing so much.
Now, with that said, let me be clear: I’m not finished yet. I have more work to do and very little time in which to complete it. My dedicated staff and I will give our all during the next 27 months to get the job done. I look forward to working with you toward that end.
Update: Greuel's reaction