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Name: Horton, Jerome
Current Position: Board Chairman

Representing the 4th Equalization District since his appointment by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009, Democrat Jerome Horton was elected by the voters in 2010 and voted chairman in 2011. His district encompasses much of Los Angeles County.

Horton received a degree in business administration from El Camino College and a bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration in finance and accounting from California State University, Dominguez Hills. From 1979 to 2000, he served on the Board of Equalization's staff, working his way from intern up to Board Member Claude Parrish's business tax and legislative adviser.

Horton's career in elected office began with a term on Inglewood's city council from 1996 to 2000. A licensed realtor, he also was part of the Inglewood Redevelopment Agency. From 2000 to 2006,  Horton served as state Assemblyman for the 51st District. He chaired the Governmental Organization Committee—which handles transparency issues, tobacco products and horse racing—as well as subcommittees on horse racing and community college. He was also a member of the California Medical Assistance Commission.

Horton ran for a seat on the Board of Equalization in 2006 and lost to Judy Chu by an 18-point margin, coming in second of four candidates. In the years between his failed campaign and his appointment by the governor, he worked as a consultant through his own company, Horton & Associates.

Judy Chu left the board to go to Congress in 2009. Horton's confirmation to her seat was unanimous. He is the first African American member of the board.

In 2010, a routine audit found that Horton's committees had violated campaign laws. Over $100,000 in unspent contributions to his 2006 campaign were never returned to donors, and mailings concerning an Inglewood school board race were funded by the Horton-led Citizens to Elect Honest Officials but didn't include his name. Further investigation revealed widespread malpractice by Horton's campaign manager, Kinde Durkee, in handling campaign committees for many Democratic officials, including Representatives Loretta Sanchez and Susan Davis and Senator Dianne Feinstein. Durkee paid a $13,000 fine to the Fair Political Practices Commission on behalf of Horton's committees. She faces charges for mail fraud, and the investigation into her actions continues.

Like most members throughout the board's history, Horton receives strong support from some of those with the biggest stake in his rulings, including public utility companies, casinos, the alcoholic beverage industry and Native American nations. Horton's views on tax policy are broadly considered business-friendly. The Los Angeles Times declared his appointment “a major defeat for leftish Democrats.”

In his time as both a lawmaker and taxman, Horton has worked to benefit underserved students, remove red tape for businesses and crack down on the underground economy. After his confirmation, he declared his intention to “empower others” through both youth leadership programs and helping businesses prosper.

The native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, is married to Inglewood City Clerk Yvonne Horton; they have two children, Myeshia and Matthew.


Jerome Horton, Chairman - Fourth District, California State Board of Equalization (BOE website)

Jerome Horton Wins Unanimous Vote for Confirmation to State Board of Equalization (Black Voice News)

Gaming the System (by Malcolm Maclachlan, Capitol Weekly)

Exhibit 1 in Support of Stipulation, Decision and Order: FPPC No. 08/286 (Fair Political Practices Commission) (pdf)

Kinde Durkee: Modest Lifestyle; History of Misappropriation (by Brian Joseph and Tony Saavedra, Orange County Register)

The Wages of Political Cascading (Los Angeles Times editorial)

Full Biography for Jerome Horton (Smartvoter)

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