“Women of the year” married to men of Legislature

Three wives of legislators, two candidates for the Assembly, one
mother-in-law, one mother and one domestic partner were among those chosen
by legislators to be honored among as California’s “women of the year.”

Each year, every California legislator is asked to pick one woman for the
women-of-the-year award.Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Northridge, selected
his wife, Deborah, for the woman-of-the-year award in his district, with her
brief biography saying she “has provided tremendous support for him in his
efforts of public service.”

“She is most deserving of this honor not just for this year but for every
year,” the biography concluded.

Assemblyman Jay La Suer, R-La Mesa, also nominated his wife, Lynn, for the

“Lynn La Suer is an energetic member of numerous organizations, including
serving on the Board of Directors of Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Rescue Task
Force. Rescue Task Force provides immediate aid to people suffering from
natural disasters and war. They were the first U.S. aid in Kosovo,
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sri Lanka,” reads her biography.

Democrats got into the significant-other selections, too.

Assemblyman Ed Chavez, D-La Puente, chose his wife, Renee, as the woman of
the year for his district. Renee Chavez is the mayor of La Puente and a
candidate to succeed her husband for his seat in the 57th Assembly District.

Sharon Stricker was the choice of Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, D-Los
Angeles, for top woman in the 45th Assembly District. Sharon is identified
as “Executive Director for the Los Angeles Center for Educational Research
Stars Afterschool Programs.”

She is also Goldberg’s domestic partner. The two were married in San
Francisco in 2004.

What do those four mate-selecting legislators have in common? They are all
termed-out of office this year.

Bev Hansen, a former assemblywoman who helped launch the year-of-the-woman
program with former Assemblywoman Sally Tanner 20 years ago, says that she
used a county-wide nomination process and a special committee to select her
“woman of the year.” But Hansen says she is pleased with the ongoing success
of the program, especially with the increased participation from first lady
Maria Shriver.

“I want everyone to make selections of outstanding women–and if that’s a
wife or a partner of a legislator that’s OK with me,” said Hansen, who is
now a partner of the lobbying firm of Lang, Hansen, O’Malley and Miller.
Other legislators’ choices were also all in the family.

Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, chose her mother, Nancy Speier, a
50-year teaching veteran in the San Mateo Union High School District
adult-education program.

“During that time, she has taught thousands how to reupholster furniture,
and her classes were always fully enrolled,” her bio reads.

Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Montebello, picked her mother in-law, Delfina
Briones. Delfina is the mother of Escutia’s husband and Democratic
consultant, Leo Briones.

“Ms. Briones

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