The announcement that Los Angeles City Councilman Felipe Fuentes said he will not run for a second term caught many by surprised late last week.
Fuentes, who represents the San Fernando Valley-based 7th District, said he decided against running for re-election next year after thinking it over and talking with his family.
“I know that I will be 46 years old when I finish this term, and I want to write a new chapter, try a new career,” he said.
Fuentes said he has served as a “public servant for 16 years” and the job of councilman “has been the best job ever for the past three years.”
“I’m thankful to my colleagues in the council for their continuous support, along with my friends and supporters who have made it possible for me to serve this great city,” he said.
Fuentes said that during the last 18 months of his term, he will “continue to improve, preserve and advocate for my communities because of my passion for the district and my passion for this city.”
Council seats for odd-numbered districts are up for election in 2017. The candidates elected to City Council in this election would serve 5 1/2 year terms, instead of the usual four years. The one-time lengthening of the terms was done so that subsequent city elections will land in even-numbered years, a shift that was approved by voters last year.
Fuentes has been in conflict with residents in his district over the last year. One large issue has been the High- Speed Rail project that is proposed to run through various parts of his district. Residents have criticized him for failing to demonstrate leadership to stop the controversial bullet train and failing to represent their opposition.