LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Herb Wesson, Los Angeles’ first black City Council president, announced Wednesday he will be stepping down from his leadership role in January to focus on his campaign for the county Board of Supervisors.

Wesson – the longest-serving council president since John Ferraro, who was council president for 14 years – said he will continue to serve on the City Council as the 10th District representative until his term ends next November.

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“Serving Los Angeles as the first black council president and 10th District council member has been the honor of a lifetime,” Wesson said. “I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish as a unified council over the last eight years, and have no doubt that the good governance that has helped to
make Los Angeles the greatest city in the world will carry on under our next president.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 04: Herb Wesson attends the official unveiling of City Of Los Angeles’ Obama Boulevard in honor of the 44th President of the United States of America on May 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

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Wesson has led the council since 2012 under two mayors — Antonio Villaraigosa and Eric Garcetti. He previously served as the 65th Assembly Speaker, representing what was then the 47th Assembly District, and prior to that was chief of staff to Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Los Angeles City Councilman Nate Holden.

In a motion introduced Friday, Wesson nominated Councilwoman Nury Martinez to succeed him as president and supported the nomination of Councilman Joe Buscaino as the council president pro tem.

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(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)