They say all politics is local, and the 2010s went a long way toward affirming that around the 818 area code.
Consider the 25th Congressional District, the northern LA County district that covers a snippet of the San Fernando Valley.
That’s where Democrat Katie Hill scorched a path to Congress in 2018, upsetting incumbent GOP-er Steve Knight in a pivotal 2018 race. Hill’s success flipped the district from red to blue, and affirmed its move left from a recent past of Republican seat-holders.
But Hill’s skyrocketing ascent in Congress fizzled in late 2019, when nude photos of her were released by a right-leaning website and allegations of affairs with staffers led to a congressional ethics investigation. Hill would resign, opening up a newfound battleground for the 25th.
It all came after a tumultuous period for local politicians caught up in the #MeToo zeitgeist:
- San Fernando Valley state Assemblyman Matt Dababneh began 2019 by abruptly resigning under a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations, just days after a lobbyist accused him of sexually assaulting her.
- And that wasn’t long after Raul Bocanegra, D-Arleta, announced his resignation after seven women accused him of unwanted sexual advances. Bocanegra denied wrongdoing and blamed “political opportunism” for his downfall. (Dababneh would later file a Dababneh lawsuit against his accuser, alleging that her allegations against him were false and that they damaged his reputation).
- State Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, was formally reprimanded by the Senate Rules Committee after an investigation found his trademark hugs made women uncomfortable.
- And Assemblyman Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita, denied a 2016 allegation that before he held office he propositioned a female political consultant.
Oh, no! That’s just the end of the decade, and we’ve got a limited number of column inches here. There was so much more.
- L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti flirted with a presidential run but in the end decided against it for now.
- Garcetti, an Encino native, was elected mayor over Wendy Greuel, another Valley native who represented the area on the City Council.
- Before there was Garcetti, there was Antonio Villaraigosa, whose tenure as mayor ended in 2013. The former mayor did manage to keep himself in the game, though, even running for governor in 2018.
- Staying on the local city political scene for a bit: Council District 12 in the north San Fernando Valley became hotly contested in 2019, almost breaking from a succession of more right-leaning candidates in recent years. It saw the departure of Mitch Englander, but the rise of one of his aide, John Lee, to win the seat. And that set the table for another battle in 2020 for the seat.
- Nury Martinez was elected to the LA City Council in 2013 after Tony Cardenas vacated his seat for Congress. By the end of the decade, she would become the council’s first Latina president as Herb Wesson stepped away to run for the LA County Board of Supervisors.
And, by now, who would have thought that “Quid Pro Quo” would become a household word.
But that’s exactly what happened over allegations that Trump bribed a foreign leader to go after his political opponent Joe Biden. Rep. Adam Schiff, a Burbank Democrat, emerged as a leader in the House of Representatives in the impeachment effort against the president.
This followed on the heels of an early version of impeachment articles written against the president by Brad Sherman, a Sherman Oaks Democrat, who defeated Howard Berman in a showdown of Democratic House veterans.