Julie Lythcott-Haims joins growing list of House candidates

Julie Lythcott-Haims

Palo Alto Councilwoman Julie Lythcott-Haims sent out an email this morning saying she intends to run in the 5 March primary for Congress to replace Anna Eshoo, who is retiring.

Lythcott-Haims was elected to council in 2022 and has served less than one year.

As a councilwoman, she been mired in a controversy about whether she can hold a full-time job as a public speaker, in violation of a political reform law that says elected officials can only derive half of their income from such work. The Fair Political Practices Commission is trying to find a workaround for her.

Eshoo’s decision to retire has created a rare undefended seat in Congress. Lythcott-Haims joins a field that includes:
• Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell;
• Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto;
• Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, a Democrat;
• Former Saratoga Councilman Rishi Kumar, a Democrat;
• Stanford graduate student Joby Bernstein, D-Palo Alto;
• And Karl Ryan, R-Los Gatos.

Lythcott-Haims, a Democrat, is an attorney, former Stanford dean and the author of three non-fiction books, “How to Raise an Adult,” “Real American: A Memoir” and “Your Turn: How to Be an Adult.”

On council, a statement from her campaign says “she has been a staunch advocate for meeting the city’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) goals by increasing density, raising height limits, and building more housing for the missing middle, youth, seniors and city workers.”


  1. Federal politics and Congress demands a person with years of relevant experience (Simitian for example). JLH has a teaspoon full of this.
    Her decision to run for Congress is silly.

  2. Does this mean she’ll resign from City Council to concentrate on her campaign? We could use someone who cares about CITY issues and staff oversight — perspectives she said during her CC campaign were less interesting to her than traveling the US espousing her views on parenting, mental health, social justice etc.

  3. Less than a year as a CC member, and she thinks she’s qualified to run for Congress. She had higher aspirations all along, and I’m not surprised.

  4. She’s going to use the campaign to add to her list of race grievances. If Palo Alto doesn’t elect her, we’re a bunch of racists. If she does poorly in a candidate forum, she’ll accuse the moderator and audience of being a bunch of Trump fans.

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