Who will succeed Paul Teixeira?
June 29, 2013
By KAREN VELIE
As San Luis Obispo County residents mourn the sudden death of 4th District County Supervisor Paul Teixeira, speculation has already begun as to whom might be appointed to replace him.
The names of several people including former Grover Beach Mayor Peter Keith, Oceano Community Services District Board Member Matt Guerrero and Arroyo Grande Councilperson Caren Ray are being mentioned prominently as possible candidates for the seat.
Teixeira died late Wednesday from a heart attack. His death creates a vacancy on the five-member board, which according to California Government Code 25060 will be filled by an appointment from Gov. Jerry Brown, a process that is expected to take several months.
Keith, a former Grover Beach mayor who lives in Huasna, said he plans to submit documents to Brown asking for the appointment. Keith said if he is appointed, he will remain in office until the term ends in 2014, but would not run for reelection.
“I would vote in the best interest of the citizens of District 4 and not what is best for me as a future candidate,” Keith said. “I am not going to run again.
“I am a very moderate Republican. I am delighted that Prop 8 has been struck down. I am a social liberal and a middle of the road conservative. Partisan politics is not a part of my makeup. I do not vote predicated on how my colleagues are voting.”
Guerrero said he is considering asking the governor for the appointment after several of his supporters recommended he vie for the seat. Guerrero is known as a moderate Democrat. He serves as the president of the Oceano Community Services District Board and the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District Board.
“I am trying to figure out what to do,” Guerrero responded when asked if he plans to submit a letter of intent. “There are a lot of moving parts. I would be stalling a career in the middle of it.”
Meanwhile, many local Democrats seem interested in a possible candidacy by Ray, who was originally appointed to the Arroyo Grande City Council in 2010 to replace Ed Arnold after he was forced to resign. Ray declined to comment on whether she is seeking the appointment.
“The only thing I am thinking about right now is Paul’s family and their grief,” Ray said “I lost my mother when she was 54, so I can honestly relate to their loss and my heart truly goes out to them. His death hit me unexpectedly hard yesterday because I know firsthand what it feels like to have your parent gone before their time.”
Marianne Buckmeyer, best known for her work with the environmental group Save the Mesa, is also being mentioned as a possible contender.
While the board is considered nonpartisan, the empty seat created by Teixeira’s passing creates a temporary split on the board between the two conservative supervisors — Debbie Arnold and Frank Mecham – and the two liberal supervisors – Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson.
In the past few years, governor appointments for supervisor have taken between two and four-and-a-half months. In Madera County, following the 2012 election of a sitting county supervisor to the Assembly, it took more than four months before an appointment was announced.
A visitation for Teixeira is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, 298 S. Thompson Ave. in Nipomo, followed by a rosary at 7 p.m.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the same church, followed by a private graveside service at Santa Maria Cemetery. Teixeira supporters are planning a memorial celebration at the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo, tentatively scheduled to begin sometime between 12:30 and 1 p.m.