L.A. Now

West Hollywood Councilman John Duran may run for county supervisor

West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran said Friday that he has filed paperwork to run for termed-out Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's seat and expects to make a formal announcement later this year.

"I am calling supporters now to get people's ideas on whether they think I can win, and I'm getting a lot of favorable responses…. I am inclined to run," Duran said in an interview. "I'm smiling and dialing."

The decision by Duran, an openly gay Mexican American attorney who has served on the council for 12 years, comes as Latino leaders have been seeking to increase Latino representation on the board. Nearly half of the county's residents are of Latino descent, but the sole Latino member of the five-member board is Supervisor Gloria Molina.

Duran, 54, said his experience on the council makes him perfectly suited for the job. And he took a jab at former state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, the only other candidate who has filed to run for the seat.

"I am in a city that works well, that's financially in the black, AAA bond rating, and I think what I've done with my service here in West Hollywood, I'd like to bring [that] to the county of Los Angeles," he said. "I think I would make a really great supervisor. I'm a local government guy, not a former Sacramento legislator…. I know how to make local government work."

Kuehl declined to comment on Duran's filing for the seat. But in a pre-Halloween fundraising plea, she urged her supporters to donate money to ward off competition.

"It would be great to keep others from jumping in the race so I can prepare to tackle our most difficult problems on the Board of Supervisors," she wrote. "Can I count on you to help me scare away the competition with a donation before Thursday?"

Former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel is also considering running for the seat and has said she expects to make a decision this month. Others who are or have reportedly been considering running include former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver, and Los Angeles City Councilmen Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz. Termed-out Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge, thought by some observers to be eyeing the seat, said in an interview this week that he has no plans to run.

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