Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid has flirted with retirement many times before. But this time is different. Reid said Thursday that he will not seek re-election to his seat in District 7.
“It’s not a big deal. I don’t want any attention. It’s not why I got into politics,” Reid said after Thursday’s special city council meeting. Reid is, by far, the city council’s longest-serving councilmember . Twenty-four years, at the end of his current term.
Instead, Reid said he will support his daughter, Treva Reid, a lobbyist for PG&E, to succeed him on the council. Reid, though, added that he initially urged his daughter not to run.
Treva Reid appeared poised to seek her father’s seat before. She has held open a campaign committee for District 7 since 2014, according to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.
Reid’s retirement has been an open secret around Oakland City Hall and among some members of his East Oakland district. But rumors of Reid’s exit from Oakland politics after nearly three decades seems to have periodically persistent on numerous occasions over the years.
This election cycle, however, appeared different. A host of candidates, including Treva Reid, have already filed statements of intent to run for his seat in November 2020.
They include Ken Houston, Esmeralda Cortes Rosales, Tyrone Stevenson, 2018 Oakland mayoral candidate Marchon Tatmon, and “Bishop” Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel Church.
Reid has also faced some health issues. He had a heart procedure done last March that hospitalized him for three day, and another in 2017.
Reid came to Oakland City Hall in 1991 as chief of staff for Mayor Elihu Harris. Reid won the District 7 council seat in 1996 and has served as council president on numerous occasions. His re-election has never been seriously challenged.
With a blue-tooth receiver in his ear, Reid made his mark as one of the most colorful elected officials in Alameda County. Following spates of homicides in his district, Reid routinely called District 7, the “killing fields.”
In 2014, Reid contemplated a run for Oakland mayor. However, he would not make a definitive decision until God made the call. God said no.