On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Chuck Washington, Temecula city councilman and mayor pro tem, to fill the vacant 3rd District seat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
Washington, 62, is expected to take his seat on the Board at its Tuesday meeting, March 10, according to Raymond Smith, the county’s public information officer.
Washington will be the sole Democrat on the Board. Prior to the November 2014 election, 44 percent of the District’s voters were registered Republicans. They outnumber the Democrat registration of 28 percent by more than 30,000 voters.
Following the announcement, Board Chair, Marion Ashley, 5th District, made the following comments in the press release. “… it is truly momentous because Chuck is the first African-American to sit on the Board of Supervisors. I’m sure he will do a tremendous job. All the Board members and the county staff will help the new supervisor, in any way possible, to quickly learn about county operations … As expected, the governor made an excellent appointment.”
Washington is in his third term as a Temecula council member and served as mayor twice — 2007 and 2012. He has also served as mayor and council member for the city of Murrieta.
He is a former Delta Airlines pilot and was vice president of commercial relations at 1st Centennial Bank. He has also served in the U.S. Navy as an officer and pilot.
He is married and has an adult daughter.
The 3rd District seat, which includes all of the Hill and west to Temecula, became vacant this fall when voters chose former Supervisor Jeff Stone as the new State Sen. for the 28th District. Washington will fill out the remaining two years of Stone's term as 3rd District Supervisor.
“I have worked both with and along-side Chuck Washington since the mid-1990s,” said Sen. Stone. "I expect great things from him as a county supervisor … The residents of the 3rd District will be well served by Chuck Washington."
The District includes much of Southwest Riverside County including the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, San Jacinto and Hemet.
Stone and Washington served together on the Temecula City Council and also worked together when Washington was a member of the Murrieta City Council.
The Governor has the authority to fill vacant positions on boards of supervisors and no confirmation is necessary. Current 4th District Supervisor John Benoit was a State Senator, representing the desert and Idyllwild, when former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him in 2009 to the county board to succeed Roy Wilson.
J.P. Crumrine can be reached at [email protected].