Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan has launched a campaign for the Third District seat on the OC Board of Supervisors in  the 2024 election.

The Board of Supervisors is responsible for so much that goes on at the county level, and that has repercussions in cities as well, Khan said of her interest in the next-level office. A lot more needs to be done, Khan said, adding that addressing some of the county’s biggest issues will take much collaboration, which is something she said she has put a lot of focus on as mayor of Irvine.

“My time as mayor in Irvine, even though my focus was in Irvine, I always tried to bring in other cities, whether it was residents or businesses or even other elected officials for regional work,” Khan said. “I think that’s really important work that was done during my time as mayor. I’ll bring that experience and that exposure along with me on the Board of Supervisors.”

The district is currently represented by Supervisor Don Wagner, who has already announced he will be running for re-election in 2024. Wagner is also a former Irvine mayor.

When Khan was elected as Irvine’s mayor in 2020, she was the first woman of color and Muslim woman to lead a large American city (In 2019, Sadaf Jaffer was the first the first Muslim woman mayor in the United States, of the much smaller Montgomery Township in New Jersey). She’s been a resident of the city since 2004.

Khan is most proud, she said, of banning smoking in public places, creating a healthier environment and improving residents’ quality of life.

Khan led the development of Irvine’s first climate action plan and advocated for the city’s first Community Workforce Agreement, which ensures that local workers are prioritized for jobs in city-funded projects, her campaign announcement highlighted.

Homelessness, mental health, the fentanyl crises and veterans’ needs are some of the most pressing issues on Khan’s mind, she said, and are issues she wants to prioritize as a supervisor.

“These are some of the top issues that we need to work on right now. And I think there’s been so much time that has been passed where not enough action has been taken,” Khan said. “I’m hoping that with me on the board, and hopefully with the support of the other supervisors, we can really get down to business and not only work on these issues but resolve them as well.”

The county’s Third District touches 10 cities including portions of Anaheim, Irvine and Mission Viejo as well as unincorporated areas of Orange County. Supervisor races are included as part of the primary election, which is March 5.

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