Saturday, July 12, 2014

SATURDAY POLITICS: John Duran Snubs Sheila Kuehl In L.A. Supervisor Runoff

In a pretty shocking turn of events, openly gay West Hollywood city councilman John Duran has endorsed Bobby Shriver instead of openly lesbian Sheila Kuehl in the run-off for Los Angeles County Supervisor. Kuehl placed first and Duran third in the June 3 primary election.

Karen Ocamb reports for Frontiers L.A.:
“A lot of our old assumptions are no longer true,” Duran told Frontiers on July 7. “The idea of the first gay this or that has run its course. We just had a lesbian Speaker of the Assembly replace a gay Speaker of the Assembly. We have a gay City Controller and gay City Councilmembers in L.A. and West Hollywood. It was a big issue in the 1990s, and we fought hard for it—to have LGBT people immersed in the power structure. Now we’re in it. We are it. Now how people vote is based not on whether someone is gay or straight—but on whether we agree or disagree with them—and that’s how it should be.” 
Duran said he decided on Shriver after having lunch with both candidates and participating with them in 25 debates. “In all those debates, I found myself agreeing with what Bobby was saying—in particular, his experience and how he perceives local government—and many times I was in disagreement with Sheila.”
This is a very disappointing development. John Duran is a friend of mine and I am stunned to read that he thinks that LGBT people have made so much progress that it is not important whether one of the most powerful important elected positions in the country (Los Angeles County Supervisor) should be filled by an openly gay politician. I vehemently disagree with this sentiment. Even if the person involved was not Sheila Kuehl, one of the smartest politicians ever to serve in the California Legislature (and who was the first openly LGBT member of that body), Duran would still be wrong. The fact that he is endorsing someone other than Kuehl when she is still in the run-off makes Duran's decision worse than wrong.

1 comment:

carter said...

While all 3 candidates would make a quality supervisor, especially when comparing them to some of the former and current ones.
However, Sheila is so well qualified, while Bobby may know Santa Monica, and be well connected, Sheila's connections run much further, and in places where things get done. And it would not hurt to have another female on the Board either.
But I suspect John wants to remain a top dog in the gay political world, and if Kuehl loses, he stands a chance to reach that rung on the ladder.


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