School Board Member Vies for Assembly Seat

By Jorge Casuso

School board member Brenda Gottfried became the second Santa Monican to vie for Assembly member Sheila Kuehl's seat, joining former City Councilman Tony Vazquez in next spring's Democratic primary.

Both Gottfried, who is serving her third four-year term on the school board, and Vazquez are members of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights, the city's powerful grassroots tenants group. But Gottfried said she is not engaging in a battle for the group's endorsement.

"We bring different qualifications to the race," Gottfried said. "I'm running for the open seat. I'm not running against anyone.

"I'm running because I think the legislature needs experienced teachers and educators," said Gottfried, a former teacher who is a member of the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Reorganization. "I'm also interested in the environment and health care."

Gottfried, who also is vice president of the local Democratic Club, is among four candidates who has declared an intent to run in the Democratic primary for the 41st Assembly District, which stretches from Santa Monica to the valley and inland to the 405 Freeway. Fran Pavley, a former mayor of Augora Hills and member of the California Coastal Commission, and William Wallace, also have joined the race.

David Freeman, director of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is also expected to join the race for the seat Kuehl is vacating under term limitations.

Steven Stich and Collin Goldman have announced their candidacies in the Republican primary.

Candidates have until Nov. 10 to enter the race.