New Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin was sworn into office Tuesday before a packed audience on hand for the ceremonial start of the new Board of Supervisors term.
Gorin, 60, received a standing ovation initiated by supporters after her oath was administered by state Sen. Noreen Evans, the Santa Rosa Democrat and close friend and political ally.
The new 1st District supervisor thanked supporters who backed her in the November election, where she prevailed in a close, hard-fought race over fellow Santa Rosa City Council member John Sawyer.
"I'm overwhelmed," Gorin said. "Thank you for being here."
She used the occasion to extend a peace offering to former Supervisor Valerie Brown, her predecessor representing Sonoma, Sonoma Valley and eastern Santa Rosa. The two women represent different political camps, with Gorin seen as the more liberal figure, while Brown supported Sawyer in the election.
Still, Gorin credited Brown, saying her leadership gave the county a prominent role on issues including health care, transportation and environmental sustainability.
She also drew a laugh from the audience by finding obvious common ground with the former supervisor: Both women stand more than six feet.
"Really difficult shoes for me to fill," Gorin said, "although the chair we didn't have to adjust so much."
Supervisor Shirlee Zane and Supervisor Efren Carrillo also took ceremonial oaths to mark the beginning of their second terms.
Zane, 53, had her oath administered by Carroll Estes, founder and former director of UCSF's Institute for Health and Aging.
Zane was emotional in brief comments recounting what she called a difficult four years, marked by the recession, county job losses and budget cuts, and for her personally, the death of her husband Peter Kingston, who took his own life in early 2011. She also hailed her belief in county government.
"I'm your servant," she said. "I learn something new from you every day."
Carrillo, 31, was sworn in by his father, Efren Carrillo Sr., a native of Mexico who had practiced the oath over the "entire holiday season," his son said.
"I think he hit it," Carrillo said.
Carrillo also backed Gorin's rival in the election but extended an olive branch to the new supervisor in his comments.
"Supervisor Gorin, welcome," he said. "It's exciting to see you here."
The ceremonies concluded with Supervisor David Rabbitt taking over the rotating chairperson's seat from Zane, who held the position in 2012.
Supervisor Mike McGuire was installed as the vice chairman.
You can reach Staff Writer Brett Wilkison at 521-5295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.