It was what’s known as a secreto a voces in Spanish: a secret being loudly murmured.
Richelle Huízar put an end to speculation Thursday, taking to Twitter to announce that she will officially seek election to the seat representing District 14 in the Los Angeles City Council –an office her husband José Huízar has occupied since 2005.
Today I announce my candidacy for Los Angeles City Council, District 14. It has been my home for 20+yrs & I am prepared to work tirelessly on behalf of my neighbors who make its vibrant communities. #RichelleHuizar2020 #CD14 pic.twitter.com/V0vCb8R4rZ
— Richelle Rae Huizar (@Richelle_Huizar) September 13, 2018
“Today I announce my candidacy for Los Angeles City Council, District 14. It has been my home for 20+yrs & I am prepared to work tirelessly on behalf of my neighbors who make its vibrant communities. #RichelleHuizar2020 #CD14,” read a single message Tweeted by Huízar.
Richelle Huízar currently serves on the city’s Commission on the Status of Women. She’s an attorney who, according to a bio on the commission website, works for a law firm in Pasadena and previously worked at Bishop Mora Salesian College Preparatory in Boyle Heights. She identifies as an “advocate for youth and families” on her Twitter bio.
Thursday’s announcement had been widely expected. For months, Huízar had accompanied her councilmember husband at public events in Boyle Heights and other communities in District 14, which includes El Sereno and parts of downtown and Northeast LA.
Earlier this month, they shared the podium at a ceremony at Cal State Los Angeles where he announced that an intersection in Boyle Heights will be named after Dolores Huerta.
That Huízar was positioning herself to run for her husband’s seat has been rumored in the district for months. Last year, the councilmember told the Los Angeles Times that his wife was indeed considering the run.
The Huízars have been married since 1999, have four children and live in Boyle Heights. Their marriage was tested in 2013 when he admitted to having a “consensual relationship” with a former aide who claimed he sexually harassed her. The woman’s lawsuit was settled.
José Huízar took office following a special election in 2005, to fill the seat vacated by newly-elected Antonio Villaraigosa. He was reelected in 2007 and 2011 to regular four-year terms and in 2015 to a term that was stretched to 5 ½ years because of a change in election dates mandated by voters. He will be termed out in 2020.
If elected, Richelle Huízar has the potential of serving three consecutive four-year terms –which means that CD 14 could have a member of the same family in office for a total of 27 years.
Huízar is the first to announce, but likely not to be the only one seeking the council seat. Among names being mentioned is another Democratic Latino politician –Assemblymember Miguel Santiago– who also lives in Boyle Heights.
There are currently only two women serving on the 15-member Los Angeles City Council.
Photo above: Richelle Huízar (left) with Councilmember José Huízar and labor activist Dolores Huerta. Photo courtesy Cal State LA.