LOS ANGELES – Kathryn Barger will be replacing her boss, Michael Antonovich, as the 5th District representative on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Barger easily outpaced businessman Darrell Park in Tuesday’s race to succeed the termed-out supervisor.
Barger, chief deputy supervisor to Antonovich, promoted her 28 years of experience with county issues, which she said has provided her “with a unique, on-the-ground understanding of the supervisor’s job.”
The 5th District includes the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys and a portion of the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys and foothills. The area is widely viewed as more conservative than the balance of Los Angeles County, but includes communities with diverse concerns, from Porter Ranch to Palmdale.
Antonovich, who has held the seat for 36 years, threw his support behind Barger.
“Kathryn Barger is a strong leader with the experience, qualifications, and good judgment to solve complex county issues,” Antonovich said, assuring voters Barger wouldn’t require “on-the-job training.”
Antonovich was joined in his endorsement by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl, Knabe and Hilda Solis, as well as former supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina.
Barger also had the backing of unions representing sheriff’s deputies, county firefighters and district attorneys, as well as the Service Employees International Union Local 721, which represents most county employees.
Barger named job creation as a priority and also said she’d like to do more to improve services for children and families.
She reminded voters that the race is a non-partisan one.
“I personally believe that people are tired of partisan politics,” Barger said. “They want to know, what are you going to do to make sure that you are representing us.”
Barger had a host of supporters from both ends of the political spectrum, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris, former Govs. George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson and Reps. Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, and Steve Knight, R-Palmdale.
Barger raised more than 10 times as much money as Park, with about $1.6 million in individual contributions and another $1.6 million in funding from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
While campaigns for supervisor and the workings of county government have largely failed to gain the close attention of voters, the board controls a nearly $30 billion budget, larger than that of a majority of states.
In providing services to more than 10 million residents in 88 cities and unincorporated areas, the board is able to hold sway on major issues ranging from criminal justice reform to the legality of marijuana dispensaries and environmental regulation.