Los Angeles City Council member Felipe Fuentes was already not running for reelection next year, but now he says he will resign his seat next month to become a lobbyist in Sacramento. He will be the advocate for Associated General Contractors of California, Fuentes tells David Zahniser of the LA Times. Once Fuentes resigns on Sept. 11, his district in the northeast Valley is now likely to go without representation on the council until after next spring's elections.
Fuentes is a rare beast at Los Angeles City Hall in giving up a seat on the City Council after just one term. He has worked in City Hall previously for then-councilman Alex Padilla and then-mayor James Hahn, and he served six years in the state Assembly from the Valley. He said in January that he was ready to get out of the elected side of politics. "I want to write a new chapter,” he said then.
There are at least 21 people from the northeast Valley who have indicated their intentions to run to replace Fuentes, among them school board member Monica Ratliff, former public works commissioner Monica Rodriguez and Karo Torossian, a planning aide to Councilman Paul Krekorian. The regular election is in March. The city could call a special, but that seems unlikely this close to the next election.
In April, an LA Weekly story by Gene Maddaus titled Why are people so mad at Felipe Fuentes examined the politics of his Valley district and concluded that "Local politics is never free of personal conflicts, but the Weekly spoke with several community members and neighborhood council leaders who described unusually fraught relations with their councilmember."