Hertzberg, Horvath ahead in race to replace L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

Close-up shots of candidates Bob Hertzberg and Lindsey Horvath
In early returns, Bob Hertzberg and Lindsey Horvath were the top-two finishers in the race for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor’s 3rd District.
(Rich Pedroncelli; Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

State Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) appeared headed for a runoff election to replace Sheila Kuehl on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, with two candidates in a close contest to be his opponent.

In early returns Wednesday, Hertzberg had 34% of the vote in the 3rd District, which covers much of the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.

West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath had 25% and state Sen. Henry Stern (D-Malibu) had 22%, with three other candidates in single digits.


Unless a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, the top-two finishers will move to a November runoff.

In the 1st District, which includes much of East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, the early returns showed incumbent Hilda Solis with more than 70% of the vote against four challengers.

Although the results will take days, if not weeks, to finalize, Hertzberg and Horvath were already drawing battle lines for the November election.

In a statement Wednesday, Horvath’s campaign strategist, Eric Hacopian, called the runoff “one of great contrasts, between the solution named Lindsey Horvath and a problem called Grabby Bob Hertzberg.”

“A failed Sacramento politician who has been in office or running for office for more than 25 years, he’s best known for his workplace misconduct and inappropriate actions while the state under his watch was going to hell,” Hacopian said in a statement.

Hertzberg in his statement Wednesday said the results “speak volumes about voters’ desire for decisive action to help solve our biggest and most urgent challenges and to fix the mess in L.A. County” on issues such as homelessness.

On Tuesday night, Stern’s campaign called the results “a nail biter.”

Billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso holds a narrow lead over U.S. Rep. Karen Bass in the race to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The county supervisors are sometimes referred to as the “five little kings” because of their unglamorous but powerful jobs controlling an annual budget of nearly $39 billion in a county of more than 10 million people.

The lines for their districts were redrawn by a citizens committee last year, with some conservative-leaning parts of the San Fernando Valley joining the 3rd District.

Homelessness and crime, as well as the high cost of living, have been among the defining issues in the 3rd District race, which became competitive after Kuehl announced she would not seek a third term.

The primary election will help determine Los Angeles’ next mayor and sheriff.

Hertzberg has called for a massive bond measure to help people buy homes, while Horvath has emphasized setting aside a percentage of new housing units for low- and middle-income families.

Stern and Horvath have called for the closure of the Aliso Canyon gas facility, which was the site of a massive leak in 2015. Last year, Hertzberg and Stern co-sponsored a bill to close the facility.

For the record:

3:16 p.m. June 8, 2022A previous version of this story said that state Sen. Bob Hertzberg has not taken a stance on whether to close the Aliso Canyon gas facility. In 2021, Hertzberg co-sponsored a bill to close the facility.

The election has been marked by the candidates’ contrasting backgrounds and personalities, as well as their generational and geographic differences.

Hertzberg, 67, served in the state Assembly from 1996 to 2002 and then was elected to the state Senate in 2014, representing an east San Fernando Valley district. In debates and forums, he has emphasized his experience.

The 1st District seat, which includes much of East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, is also on the June 7 ballot, with incumbent Hilda Solis running against four challengers.

In Sacramento, Hertzberg was nicknamed “Huggy Bear” for his love of embraces that made some women uncomfortable. In 2018, three lawmakers accused him of initiating unwanted hugs, and he was reprimanded by the state Senate Rules Committee.

Stern, 40, was the first millennial elected to the state Senate in 2016, representing Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Simi Valley and western parts of the San Fernando Valley. He has said that as a relatively young politician, he will bring new ways of thinking to the Board of Supervisors.

Horvath, 39, was elected to the West Hollywood City Council in 2015 after serving as an appointed council member between 2009 and 2011. She has said that her experience in local government makes her better equipped to be a county supervisor than her opponents.

The latest campaign filings show that Hertzberg has raised more than $1.1 million, Stern has raised $900,000 and Horvath has raised $800,000.

As of May 21, a separate political action committee for Horvath has raised $130,000.

Two committees for Hertzberg combined have raised about $1.4 million, mostly coming from law enforcement and construction unions, while a Service Employees International Union committee supporting Stern raised about $58,000.