On Friday, May 12, V. Manny Perez was sworn in as the new Riverside County 4th District supervisor. Administering the oath of office is Clerk of the Board of Supervisors Kecia Harper-Ihem.
Photo courtesy Riverside County

Brown makes appointment to replace Benoit

When it meets on May 23, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors will have five members. Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed former Assemblyman V. Manny Perez, 44, as the county’s 4th District supervisor, who took the oath of office Friday, May 12.

In the county’s press release, Perez said, “I am humbled and excited. We have a lot of work to do together as a district. I will be reaching out to all communities in the form of listening tours to better understand the concerns of my constituents. This morning was my first official briefing on the budget and I will be following up with staff next week on next steps …”

He is the second Democrat appointed to the board. In 2015, after former Supervisor Jeff Stone was elected to the state Senate, Brown appointed Democrat Chuck Washington to finish his term.

Washington was elected to a full four-year term last year.

After learning of Perez’s appointment, Stone said in a press release, “As a former Riverside County supervisor myself, I wish Manny Perez the best of luck in his new position and look forward to working with him to improve the quality of life for the residents of Riverside County.”

Perez replaces former Supervisor John Benoit who died in December. The term will expire in 2018, and challengers to Perez, if he decides to run for a full term, are already beginning to appear.

He joins the board just in time for the fiscal year 2017-18 budget decisions.

As an assemblyman from 2008 to 2014, Perez represented the 80th District, which encompasses eastern Riverside County (Cathedral City to Blythe) and all of Imperial County.

With his Assembly term ending in 2014, Perez challenged Benoit for the supervisor’s seat, but Benoit was easily re-elected with 57 percent of the vote.

Perez grew up in the Coachella Valley. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside, and a Master of Education degree in administrative planning and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Perez was a high school teacher before being elected to the Coachella Valley Unified School District in 2004, which launched his political career.