State Sen. Bob Hertzberg and West Hollywood City Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath were locked in a virtual dead heat Wednesday in their battle for an open seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, a small but powerful board struggling to find solutions for a rampant homelessness problem and public safety concerns.
As votes were tallied from Tuesday’s election, Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, and Horvath almost evenly split the vote — 51% to 49% — with Hertzberg holding a slim 4,100-vote lead.
It was unclear how many vote-by-mail and provisional ballots remain to be counted, with an estimate expected to be released sometime Wednesday by the county Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office. The next updated vote tally is not expected to be released until Friday, then every subsequent Tuesday and Friday until all ballots are counted, a process that could last until the end of the month.
The District 3 seat covers a majority of the San Fernando Valley, stretching from Westlake Village and Malibu to Calabasas, West Hills, Porter Ranch, San Fernando, Panorama City and Northridge, while also stretching to West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. The district’s boundaries changed dramatically during the county’s most recent redistricting effort, giving it a larger swath of the Valley. The move that drew the ire of some observers — including outgoing Supervisor Sheila Kuehl — who felt the change gave Hertzberg an edge in the election, given his longtime representation of the area in Sacramento.
Hertzberg has been in the state Senate since 2014 and previously served in the Assembly, including a stint as Assembly Speaker.
“As a clean energy entrepreneur, state Assembly Speaker who was elected unanimously on a bipartisan vote, and Senate Majority Leader, I’m the only candidate with both meaningful business and political leadership experience,” Hertzberg proclaimed on his campaign website. “At the state level, we’ve sent billions to L.A. County, but the county has squandered state funding I’ve worked tirelessly to bring home.
“Now I’m running for county Supervisor to fix the mess. I will take responsibility for solving emergencies like homelessness, crime, housing, and mental health — and make sure county government gets the job done.”
Hertzberg said he will lead a “coordinated regional response” to address the homelessness issue, while backing a restructuring of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and addressing root causes of homelessness by improving access to mental health services, better job opportunities and more affordable housing.
He also said he will work to increase policing, encourage collaboration between law enforcement and communities and make “serious investments” in crime-prevention measures.
Horvath also listed homelessness as a top priority of her campaign.
“As a mayor and council member, I have taken action to successfully get 80% of my community’s unhoused population off the streets and into housing and services,” Horvath wrote in her official candidate statement. “As supervisor, I will get the bureaucracy out of the way, create accountability, and expand partnerships with experts who know how to help people off the streets and into supportive housing.”
She also vowed to “prioritize your safety and fight for additional resources to provide care and prevent crime from happening in the first place.”
Horvath said she helped spearhead an “intersectional approach” to homelessness in West Hollywood, incorporating housing, services and community safety, while pushing for the production of transitional, supportive and long-term affordable housing.
She also called for more investment in Mental Evaluation Teams that pair trained social workers with public safety officials responding to relevant calls for service.
Horvath has been endorsed by Kuehl and Supervisors Holly Mitchell, Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis, along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
Hertzberg has the backing of Supervisor Kathryn Barger, as well as Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California, Attorney General Rob Bonta, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and Reps. Tony Cardenas, Brad Sherman and Norma Torres.