Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson announced this week that he would be leaving his council presidency in January.
He is leaving to focus on his Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors campaign, but will continue to serve as a city councilman until elections next November.
“Serving Los Angeles as the first black council president and 10th District council member has been the honor of a lifetime,” said Councilman Wesson. “I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish as a unified council over the last eight years, and have no doubt that the good governance that has helped to make Los Angeles the greatest city in the world will carry on under our next president.”
Prior to being City Council President, Wesson was in the state Assembly from 1998 to 2004. He has served on the LA City Council since 2005, and was first elected President of the Council in 2012 during the mayoralty of Antonio Villaraigosa.
As president of the 15-member council, Wesson was noted for his strong stance on immigration, where he hired immigrant advocates for the city and was behind creating a $10 million fund to that helped Los Angeles residents who were facing deportation. He was also instrumental in bringing the Olympics to Los Angeles in 2028 and passing a $1.2 billion homeless initiative through his City Council leadership.
“He was head of the city council in America’s second-largest city,” said Pedro Cordova, a Los Angeles political consultant. “Going to the county board of supervisors seems like a lateral move, but it’s also likely a sunset position
This hasn’t been a surprise that he was going to leave soon, but there’s going to be a bit of a power struggle on the city council now. Besides one Republican, there are 14 Democrats who are going to want to lead the city council because it’s one of the best spots to jump to if they want to be mayor next. And because LA Mayor’s in the past have been considered for Governor, Senator, and even the President, a lot of people will be breaking their necks for it. Especially since there’s also a lot of power as President of the council.”
Councilwoman Nury Martinez is expected to succeed him in the short-term as president of the council. Board of Supervisor elections, including Wesson’s race for the 2nd District, will take place in March during the statewide primary election.