Which Way District 3?

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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Which Way District 3?
Lindsey Horvath, left, and Bob Hertzberg vye for Supervisor’s seat.
With Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl opting out of a third term on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, Topanga voters will decide who will be their next Supervisor between West Hollywood Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath and State Senator Robert Hertzberg (SD 18), who terms out this year. In the June primary, Horvath beat out State Sen. Henry Stern to face Hertzberg in the November 8 mid-term election. An early poll* showed the candidates tied at 23%. “Yet, as 54% of those surveyed remain undecided, this suggests the race is still in its early stages and both candidates must still establish profiles with a majority of voters in the District,” the poll said. At age 26, Horvath was appointed to the West Hollywood City Council to fill a vacancy in 2009, but lost in her first election. In 2015, she returned to the Council and was sworn in as Mayor in April 2015 and again in May 2020. Horvath led the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, cutting red tape to help businesses expand outdoor operations; provided rental relief to prevent homelessness; and activated partnerships with community-based organizations like Project Angel Food to deliver medically-tailored meals to the homes of people affected by life-threatening illnesses. Simultaneously, she created safe spaces for protest and progress in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Senate Majority Leader Emeritus Robert Hertzberg was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1996. He then served as the 64th Speaker of the California State Assembly, unanimously elected by both parties in 2000 and 2001. After his tenure as Speaker, Hertzberg set out to the private sector as a clean energy entrepreneur and in 2014, he returned to state government when he was again elected to represent nearly 1 million people in the San Fernando Valley in the California State Senate. Hertzberg terms out in December. Endorsements In her endorsement of Horvath, Kuehl wrote, “Here’s the truth. Lindsey Horvath has been one of the most stalwart allies of our [LGBT] community through her life and electoral service.” Horvath’s endorsements are growing but can’t compare with the long list of those on Hertzberg’s website. His political roots go deep and his legislative achievements are many. According to his website, “For his final term in the California State Senate, he remained committed to reforming criminal justice, clean energy, water conservation, maintaining dignity and companionship for our homeless community” and a host of other legislation, some of which he could carry into the Board of Supervisors should he win. No doubt Hertzberg has the bigger platform and years of experience. It feels like a “David and Goliath” scenario, but that remains to be seen. Horvath may come from a smaller stage but this one poll, something we probably shouldn’t hang our hat on yet, “indicated that voters prefer Horvath’s background and experience as a ‘local mayor and city councilmember’ by almost three times compared to Hertzberg’s background as a ‘member of the State Legislature.’ After being presented with positive and negative information about both candidates, Horvath’s favorability significantly increases and Horvath took the lead.”
During the June 7 primary, the L.A. Times wrote in their endorsement of Horvath that “she has helped make her small city a laboratory for ideas and programs that promote opportunity, equity and justice for its residents, and she could do the same for the 2 million people who live in the redrawn Third District, and the more than 10 million countywide. It’s noteworthy that county officials tasked with handling the enormous homelessness problem have looked to West Hollywood with Horvath’s leadership as a model, rather than the other way around.”

How these candidates will respond to the needs of unincorporated areas like Topanga and the continued stewardship of the Santa Monica Mountains is yet to be determined.

*The poll was conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates from August 10-18, 2022. In total, 538 respondents within LA County Board District 3 were reached via cell phone, landline, or online, in both English and Spanish. Due to rounding, some percentages may not sum to 100%.

For more information on Sen. Robert Hertzberg: https://sd18.senate.ca.gov. For more information on Lindsey Horvath: lindseyhorvath.com.
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September 2, 2022

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