Political Notebook:Lesbians win big in local CA races

  • by Matthew S. Bajko
  • Wednesday June 4, 2014
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Sheila Kuehl
Sheila Kuehl

Lesbian candidates running in local races throughout the state Tuesday proved to be formidable campaigners this spring.

Former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl class=txt7> came in first in her bid to become the first out person elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. She received 36 percent of the vote Tuesday in her race for the board's newly created District 3 seat, according to unofficial returns Wednesday morning.

The Santa Monica resident will now face off against former Santa Monica Mayor and Councilman Bobby Shriver, who netted nearly 29 percent of the vote, in the November runoff election since no one captured a clear majority of votes.

A star of the 1950s TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Kuehl became the first out lawmaker to serve in California's Legislature when she won an Assembly seat in 1994. The race for the open supervisor seat attracted eight candidates, including gay West Hollywood Mayor John Duran. He placed third with 16 percent of the vote.

Also on the ballot in Los Angeles County was gay West Hollywood Councilman Jeffrey Prang, who ran in the crowded race for county assessor. He placed first with 18 percent of the vote and will advance to the November runoff against John Morris , who placed in second with 16 percent of the vote.

In Sonoma County incumbent District Attorney Jill Ravitch clinched her re-election by netting 64 percent of the vote Tuesday. Her opponent Deputy District Attorney Victoria I. Shanahan came up short with 35 percent of the vote.

Bonnie Dumanis

In San Diego incumbent District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis also sailed to an easy win Tuesday for a fourth term against two challengers. The Republican took first place with 54 percent of the vote, based on unofficial returns Wednesday, enough to avoid a runoff

Falling short, however, was lesbian San Diego County assessor-recorder candidate Susan Guinn class=txt7>, who serves on the board of Equality California, the statewide LGBT advocacy group. She was among a trio of challengers trying to oust the incumbent, Assessor-Recorder Ernie Dronenburg , who sued in state court last year to prevent county clerks from having to marry same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out California's ban against such marriages.

Dronenburg survived the effort to defeat him with 59 percent of the vote, while Guinn came in second with 29.65 percent of the vote.

The history of the state's same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, was also an issue in the race for district attorney in Sacramento County. Deputy District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert , a Republican and the lesbian sister of Prop 8 campaign mastermind Frank Schubert, faced fierce opposition to her DA campaign from LGBT groups that claimed she could have done more to help defeat the anti-gay ballot measure in 2008.

Anne Marie Schubert

Nonetheless, Schubert sailed to victory in her race with nearly 58 percent of the vote. Landing in second was Deputy Attorney General Maggy Krell, one of two Democrats in the race who had won the endorsement of local LGBT leaders and state politicians such as Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris. She netted nearly 32 percent of the vote Tuesday, according to unofficial returns.

In El Dorado County Dylan Sullivan , a superior court commissioner, won her race for the open Office 5 seat on the El Dorado County Superior Court. With close to 60 percent of the vote, Sullivan will now become the first out person to serve on her county's court.

And in Long Beach voters elected City Councilman Robert Garcia as their city's first gay mayor, the first Latino to hold the post, and, at age 36, its youngest. Garcia survived a runoff race on Tuesday's ballot by capturing 52.1 percent of the vote based on unofficial returns.

Ending his last bid for a Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors seat Tuesday was gay Supervisor Ken Yeager . Barred from seeking a fourth term due to term limits, Yeager ran unopposed for a final third term. He netted 26,818 votes.


SF judge race enters runoff

The contest for an open seat on the San Francisco Superior Court appears headed to a November runoff, as none of the three candidates was able to net a majority of votes in Tuesday's primary.

Daniel Flores

According to the unofficial returns Wednesday morning, criminal defense attorney Daniel A. Flores landed in first place with 45.35 percent, or 36,934 of ballots cast. A married father of two children, Flores had won the backing of the progressive Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club as well as the Bay Area Reporter.

Carol Kingsley

Holding on to second place, with 27.43 percent of the vote, or 22,334 of ballots cast, was lawyer Carol Kingsley, who stepped down from the city's police commission after entering the judicial race. Her husband, Jack Berman, was among those killed in the mass shooting that took place in 1993 at 101 California Street in San Francisco's Financial District.

Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Toney Williams was not far behind in third place with 26.85 percent of the vote, or 21,865 of ballots cast. She had won the endorsement of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club.

The seat opened up due to Judge Charlotte Walter Woolard 's decision not to seek another six-year term. The race marks the first time in recent years that no LGBT candidates opted to run for a judicial seat on the local bench.


Web Extra: For more queer political news, be sure to check http://www.ebar.com Monday mornings at noon for Political Notes, the notebook's online companion. This week's column reported on SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi's softening stance on Laura's Law.

Keep abreast of the latest LGBT political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/politicalnotes.

Got a tip on LGBT politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 861-5019 or e-mail mailto:.