Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, will run against Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss when Lieber is term-limited out of her Assembly seat in 2008.
Lieber had been planning to run for the District 3 supervisorial seat held by Pete McHugh in 2008. Kniss has even endorsed Lieber in that race. But now Kniss said that Lieber is planning to run for the District 5 seat held by Kniss.
"I certainly find it is not only a puzzle, but I wonder why," Kniss said. "It's very unusual for two Democrats to run against each other, unless there is a major issue (dividing them)." Kniss said she didn’t know of any such issue separating her and Lieber.
Lieber prefers to run for the District 5 seat "because District 5 is where I live and where I have much stronger ties," she said. She added that she was urged to run for that seat by others.
"This is difficult decision," Lieber said. "I've always been a strong supporter of women in public office."
Kniss said she will run for re-election in 2008 and has already picked up the endorsement of State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, as well as those of the mayors of most of the cities in her district, which includes Palo Alto and Mountain View.
Lieber is a former Mountain View mayor who was recently elected as president pro tem of the Assembly, its second-ranking post. Kniss is a former Palo Alto mayor and former Palo Alto school board member.