No more. Several rivals have emerged with the most prominent being Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver, brother of California's former first lady, Maria Shriver, and a member of the Kennedy political family.
A seat on the five-member board is widely regarded as one of the state's top political prizes because of its power in a county with more than 10 million residents. Two of the five seats are being vacated this year due to term limits. Former congresswoman and labor secretary Hilda Solis is considered to be a shoo-in to succeed Gloria Molina in the other one.
Shriver has declared that he won't abide by voluntary campaign spending limits and will at least partially finance his campaign with family money - and that's causing Kuehl to put out urgent pleas for campaign money in anticipation of a high-dollar shootout for the seat in the June primary election and possibly a November runoff.
One of Kuehl's appeals for money harkens back to her career as a television actress before becoming a lawyer and politician - to the early 1960s when, as Sheila James, she played lovelorn "Zelda" on the popular TV comedy, "The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis."
Kuehl is staging "A Night at the Movies with Zelda" on April 5 to raise money, including screenings of old episodes from the show, and says some of her Hollywood pals will make an appearance.
LA Observed, a website that covers local affairs, has the whole story.
PHOTO: Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, holds a rally on the north steps of the state Capitol on Monday Jan. 28, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer.