By T.A. Hendrickson
Los Angeles County made history in 2020 when an all-female Board of Supervisors took the reins of county government.
This year, history has repeated itself.
Two of the Board’s five seats were up for election this year and both were won by women, ensuring an all-female Board for at least another two years.
On Thursday, Lindsey Horvath, a West Hollywood city councilmember, won the seat for the 3rd Supervisory District, representing much of the San Fernando Valley and some Westside and beach communities. Horvath defeated State Senator Bob Hertzberg, who conceded Thursday evening. The seat was open because the current officeholder, Sheila Keuhl, did not seek another term.
The other winner this year was incumbent Hilda Solis, who represents Northeast L.A. as part of the 1st Supervisory District. Solis won re-election in the first round of voting in June with an overwhelming 76% of the vote. Solis, who was first elected supervisor in 2014, is the Board’s longest serving member.
The other women on the Board are Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn, who were first elected to the Board in 2016, and Holly Mitchell, who was elected in 2020.
The gains of women are often characterized as symbolic victories on the march toward equality. The continuation of an all-female Board of Supervisors in L.A. County is more than that. It is an affirmation of immense political power.
Operating with a budget of nearly $40 billion, the supervisors pass laws and implement policies that daily impact the lives of L.A. County’s 10 million-plus residents in areas as diverse as Metro projects, homelessness services, public health, mental health services, law enforcement and incarceration, to name just a few. The separation of powers does not apply to the county; rather, supervisors perform executive, legislative and even some quasi-judicial functions as the final decision makers in certain administrative and public hearings.
The L.A. County Supervisors – Solis, Barger, Hahn, Mitchell and Horvath — are arguably the most powerful local elected officials in the United States.