Who will replace L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl — a seasoned Sacramento legislator or a millennial West Hollywood activist?
The answer seems clear: Both.
The state Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointment of former Assemblyman Ed Chiampo of San Rafael by a voice vote.
Kuehl, of Richmond, is a veteran Democratic state lawmaker, known as an outspoken advocate of issues like the county’s affordable housing crisis and efforts to curb homelessness, while also serving as a leader on issues like women’s health and education.
A former school board member, Kuehl has also authored legislation to protect public housing tenants from harassment by landlords, and has consistently called for more transparency in California’s political process.
The former state lawmaker replaces Kuehl, who resigned in January 2017 because of her role in a multimillion-dollar civil rights lawsuit against the county for alleged wage theft.
Chiampo is the first person to be appointed as a new supervisor by the Legislature since the election of President George W. Bush in 2000. Four months after his appointment, in March 2001, the then-assemblyman was named to replace long-serving Supervisor Dan Glickman, who died in June of that year.
On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown, who served as San Francisco’s mayor and then California’s governor, issued a statement applauding Chiampo’s appointment.
“I am pleased to welcome him to the Board of Supervisors and thank the Senate for allowing this appointment. I hope his experience on the state legislative side will allow him to contribute significant insight and leadership to our state,” the governor said in a statement.
Although the governor’s statement, issued by his office, said he is not endorsing or opposing the supervisor’s actions, the decision was made in the aftermath of the public furor surrounding their lawsuit that alleged the county violated the Fair Political Practices Act. That case had dragged out since 2004, and when U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled the city wasn’t allowed to interfere with the plaintiffs’ campaign activities, the lawsuit against the county was dismissed in December.