Sheila Kuehl, the former state lawmaker, beat former Santa Monica mayor Bobby Shriver with 52.78 percent of the vote. She will form, with Mark Ridley-Thomas and another newcomer, Hilda Solis, a majority of public union-backed supervisors on the board. Not a great turnout in the 3rd district, even for such a head to head runoff battle. Out of 949,237 registered voters, Kuehl won with just 114,328 votes and Shriver got just 102,319. Those figures will creep upwards as final votes are counted.
Kuehl comes to the supervisors with, in addition to her record as a liberal legislator and activist, lawyer and law professor, a set of distinguishing or at least interesting personal facts. She has been known throughout her political career as the former Zelda Gilroy, the character she played as a teenager on TV's "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis." She is a lesbian, so I'm pretty sure the first openly gay member of the Board of Supervisors. She stands about 4 feet 10 inches, so even her IMDb bio refers to her as "the diminutive dark-haired comedienne." And at age 73 she is eight years older than the five-term supervisor she will succeed, Zev Yaroslavsky, but she won't be the oldest on the board. Michael Antonovich is 75 and terms out in two years.
In selected other county races, Jeffrey Prang is just 9,000 votes ahead of John Morris in the race for Assessor. Long Beach police chief and former LAPD official Jim McDonnell got just shy of 75% of the vote for sheriff. In CD33, Ted Lieu got 58 percent of the vote to be elected as the successor to Rep. Henry Waxman.
County Measure P, to fund parks, was falling short of the two-thirds majority required. In Santa Monica, the city council's measure to limit future uses of Santa Monica Airport passed while a rival measure to inhibit closure of the airport failed. Voters in Malibu passed Measure R, to put some controls on commercial development.
Photo of Kuehl celebrating with Antonio Villaraigosa, by Marta Evry on Facebook