Capitol Alert

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The "LA Shuffle" isn't a dance, or at least not one of the musical variety, but rather a name that some political insiders apply to the constant movement of politicians in Los Angeles County, which has more than a quarter of the state's population.

The county has all or parts of 18 of the state's 53 congressional districts, 15 of the 40 state Senate districts and 24 of the 80 Assembly districts. There are also 15 well-playing slots on the Los Angeles City Council, the city's mayoralty and five seats on the county's Board of Supervisors.

With that many political positions as lures and term limits as spurs, there's a lot of movement among Los Angeles, Sacramento and Washington in any election year, whether it's the even-numbered year for federal, state and county balloting or the odd-numbered year for city elections.

Five members of the Los Angeles City Council are former state legislators, including the council's president, Herb Wesson, a former speaker of the state Assembly but one, Tony Cardenas, is leaving to take a seat in Congress, which will mean a special election next spring for his seat.

Eight odd-numbered city council seats are up in the spring as well, and five current or recently termed-out state legislators are running for them. Were state Sen. Curren Price and Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield to win their council races, the new Democratic supermajorities in both legislative houses would be diminished until their seats are filled by special election.

And then there's the county Board of Supervisors, whose members were dubbed the "five little kings" until women began to win seats.

Three of the five supervisors are former state legislators. Two of the five, ex-Assemblywoman Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky, will be forced off the board by term limits in 2014, two others, former Assemblyman Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe, will be out in 2016, and the fifth, former Assemblyman (and LA City Councilman) Mark Ridley-Thomas can serve until 2020.

The departures of Molina and Yaroslavsky, and later of Antonovich and Knabe, are expected to touch off a political feeding frenzy among the county's legislators, city council members and even members of Congress.

Former Assemblywoman and state Sen. Sheila Kuehl has already declared her candidacy for the Yaroslavsky district, which includes the wealthy "west side" of Los Angeles.

Editor's note: Updated at 1:11 p.m. to reflect Sheila Kuehl's candidacy.



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