Guide to L.A. County Supervisor District 3 race: Bob Hertzberg vs. Lindsey Horvath

From left; Bob Hertzberg and Lindsey Horvath are headed for a runoff in the Los Angeles County District 3 supervisor's race.
(Rich Pedroncelli; Myung J. Chun/Associated Press; Los Angeles Times)

State Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and West Hollywood City Council member Lindsey Horvath are running to replace Sheila Kuehl on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing the 3rd District.

The 3rd District, which spans much of the San Fernando Valley and stretches along the coast from Santa Monica to Malibu, is the only board seat up for grabs in November’s general election.

The 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 the nation’s most populous county.

The 3rd District’s boundaries changed in December when a redistricting commission moved some conservative-leaning Valley communities like Chatsworth and Porter Ranch into the district while retaining liberal bastions such as Santa Monica and West Hollywood.


Hertzberg has a strong base in the Valley, while Horvath has sought to distance herself from West Hollywood, scrubbing any mention of the city’s name from her campaign website. In the June primary, Hertzberg finished first with 31% of the vote, with Horvath second with 28% and State Sen. Henry Stern (D-Malibu) third with 24%.

For as long as anyone can remember, pundits have used the “midterm” label for elections halfway between presidential elections. But what does it mean?


Who are the candidates?

Horvath, 40, calls herself a change maker with “21st Century solutions.” She’s served as a member of the West Hollywood City Council, including as mayor for 16 months during the pandemic, since 2015.

Horvath owns a small advertising agency and, if elected, would become the lone supervisor who is a renter. During her West Hollywood City Council tenure, Horvath pushed for an hourly minimum wage of $17.64 for hotel workers, the nation’s highest. She’s advocated for affordable housing, including helping open a 40-unit West Hollywood apartment complex for artists. She also voted in June to cut one sheriff’s deputy position and install 30 unarmed security ambassadors. Detractors called this approach “defunding the police,” while Horvath it was a chance to “reexamine” policing and criminal justice.

Many celebrated the increase as a meaningful step for low-wage workers. Others expressed concerns that it would cripple businesses already hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nov. 5, 2021


Horvath is backed by four of the five current supervisors, including Kuehl, as well as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Garcia. Horvath’s campaign has raised a little over $1 million.

Hertzberg, 67, considers himself a pragmatic leader who “searches for common ground.” He was first elected in 1996 — the same year Horvath began high school — to the California Assembly and became speaker by 2000. He left office in 2002 and ran for Los Angeles mayor in 2005, finishing third. Hertzberg served as an unofficial consultant to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and returned to politics in the state Senate in 2014, representing the east San Fernando Valley. He is terming out of the Legislature, and his 31-year-old son Daniel is running to replace him.

Hertzberg touts his $1.2-billion expansion to California’s Cal Grant financial program. One of his signature proposals, which ended cash bail, was overturned by voters in 2020. Hertzberg was known in Sacramento for his propensity for embraces, landing him the nickname “Huggy Bear.” He was eventually warned to stop in 2018.

Hertzberg is endorsed by U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, four members of Congress and California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta. His campaign has raised over $1.6 million.


Where Hertzberg and Horvath stand on working with Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Horvath said she is not supporting Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s reelection. She has said she wants a sheriff who will “help restore trust and accountability in the department.” While she has said law enforcement needs to be properly resourced “to fight violent crime and keep people safe,” she is also in favor of alternatives to traditional policing, such as using unarmed security guards while directing more funding to homeless services.

Hertzberg has said the Sheriff’s Department is “too militarized” and has also agreed to rethinking some elements of law enforcement, including in dealing with mentally ill residents. Hertzberg said he does not approve of the Sheriff Department’s search of Kuehl’s home as part of a criminal investigation into a county contract awarded to a nonprofit organization.


Kuehl and other supervisors have been in a long-running feud with the sheriff. Hertzberg said that press conferences and op-eds criticizing the sheriff are not an effective “way to fix problems” and would only “further exacerbate the challenges that we currently have.”

Hertzberg had earlier said, “Defunding the police is the dumbest statement in the world.”


Where Horvath and Hertzberg stand on keeping housing and cost of living affordable

Hertzberg, a Van Nuys homeowner, said that building wealth is as important as reining in costs.

The senator is proposing a $25-billion private sector bond for new homeowners that would help with down payment assistance. He said this would encourage home buying, lower long-term costs and lead to generational wealth.

“When people rent the place, at the end of 10 years all you have is a bigger rent,” he said.

As a renter, Horvath said she was concerned about how the expiring of evictions and rent increase moratoriums would affect affordability. Horvath said renters need guidance to tap into funding that could help with emergency payments or Section 8 vouchers.


Past coverage

A West Hollywood councilwoman has removed the name of the famously LGBTQ-friendly city from her campaign website as she runs for Los Angeles County supervisor.

July 5, 2022


Homelessness and crime, as well as the high cost of living, have been among the defining issues in the race for the 3rd District supervisor’s seat.

June 7, 2022

Three prominent Democrats are vying to replace Sheila Kuehl as Los Angeles County supervisor for District 3, which covers swaths of the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.

June 4, 2022

Hertzberg’s entry into the race shakes up the contest to represent 2 million people in the 3rd District.

Jan. 18, 2022


L.A. Times Editorial Board Endorsements

The Times’ editorial page publishes endorsements based on candidate interviews and independent reporting. The editorial board operates independently of the newsroom — reporters covering these races have no say in the endorsements.

The L.A. Times’ editorial board endorsements for statewide ballot measures, elected offices in Los Angeles city and county, L.A. Unified School District board, L.A. county superior court, statewide offices, the state Legislature and U.S. House and Senate seats.


How and where to vote

Ballots will be in the mail to all 22 million registered voters in the state no later than Oct. 10. Californians can return ballots by mail, drop them at collection boxes or turn them in at voting centers. They can also cast ballots early at voting centers or wait until Nov. 8 to vote at their neighborhood polling places.

Californians can register to vote or check their status at

Here’s how to vote in the California midterm election, how to register, what to do if you didn’t get mail ballot or if you made a mistake on your ballot.


Follow more election coverage

California voters head to the polls Nov. 8 to vote for U.S. Senate, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller, treasurer, attorney general, and races for U.S. representative in Congress, state senator and state Assemblymember. Local races include who will be the Los Angeles mayor and L.A. County sheriff. There are seven ballot propositions for voters to decide on the table.


In the November midterm election, California is one of the battlefields as Democrats and Republicans fight over control of Congress.


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