Normally, the hostility is so thick between two political candidates, you can feel it through the screen during a televised debate. Not so with Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver, vying to become the next Los Angeles County Supervisor from the Third District on Nov. 4. Their attacks are more blunt jabs. They so politely state their differences, they sometimes laugh afterwards. It looks like they are leaving any overt negative campaigning to independent expenditures, political campaigns set up to help the candidates—but which, by law, must have no connection to the candidate’s campaign.
Kuehl and Shriver have debated so often, they can anticipate each other’s answers. But the debate at the Edmund “Pat” Brown Institute Friday night was slightly different. When asked a question about the Los Angeles County’s response to the Ebola crisis, Shriver referred to his longtime work fighting AIDS in Africa through his philanthropic ONE &(Red) organization, which he co-founded with U2’s Bono. In her one minute rebuttal, Kuehl said it was her community—the LGBT community—that had been the most deeply impacted and while Shriver did good work for AIDS in Africa, she was working to combat HIV/AIDS here.