Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia) as a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge on Monday, making Chau the first sitting lawmaker since 1980 to be appointed to a judgeship in the state.
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Assemblyman Chau, a Southwestern University School of Law educated lawyer who served as a Montebello Unified School District Trustee from 2000 to 2012, when he was first elected to the Assembly, was scheduled to be termed out of office in 2024 if reelected again next year. However, the retirement of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry earlier this year led to Governor Newsom looking at different candidate avenues other than the normal straight-from-lawyer route that Governors usually take.
In a statement on Monday, Chau thanked Newsom, and added that “I will miss my legislative Colleagues. Representing the 49th district has been a true honor and privilege.”
Chau’s appointment now leaves the 49th Assembly district, which covers the San Gabriel Valley area outside of Los Angeles, open to a special election next year. The term will go to near the end of the year where the winner of the November general election race will be sworn-in.
As a Democratic-majority district with a 54% Asian majority population, the race is expected to bring out a wide variety of candidates. Several candidates had already filed to run after Chau left, including Los Angeles Community College District Trustee Mike Fong and San Gabriel city Councilman Jason Pu. Fong in particular already had an endorsement by Chau, as well as Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA).
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