Michael D. Antonovich

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Michael Antonovich
Michael D. Antonovich - Annual Meeting of the New Champions Dalian 2009.jpg
Michael Antonovich
Member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Assumed office
December 1, 1980
Preceded by Baxter Ward
Constituency 5th District
Personal details
Born (1939-08-12) August 12, 1939 (age 75)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Christine Hsu
Children Michael Jr., Mary Christine
Residence Los Angeles
Alma mater California State University, Los Angeles
Website antonovich.lacounty.gov

Michael Dennis Antonovich (born August 12, 1939) is a politician and the most senior-serving member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He represents the Fifth District, which covers northern Los Angeles County, including the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, and parts of the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys.[1]

Education and early career[edit]

Antonovich was born in Los Angeles, California, and attended Thomas Alva Edison Junior High, where one of his classmates was Henry Waxman.[2] He graduated from John Marshall High School and enlisted in the United States Army Reserve in 1957. A member of Sigma Nu fraternity, Antonovich graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 1963 with a bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in 1966.[3] Antonovich taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District[4] and later at Pepperdine University.[3]

Political career[edit]

In 1969, Antonovich was elected to the newly formed Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees.[2]

In 1972, he was elected to the California State Assembly and for three terms represented Glendale, Burbank, Sunland, Tujunga, Atwater, Griffith Park, Lakeview Terrace and Sun Valley. He served as a Republican Whip in the Assembly from 1976 to 1978.[5]

Antonovich ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of California in 1978 against Mike Curb. He argued against détente with the Soviet Union and for withdrawal from the United Nations. Mike Curb defeated him in the primary and in the general election, he declined to specifically endorse Curb, but instead endorsed the entire Republican ticket. Curb defeated incumbent Mervyn Dymally in the general election.[2]

In 1984 he was elected chairman of the California Republican Party[5] and served for two years.[6]

He served as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in 1983, 1987 and 1991 and as the so-called "Mayor of Los Angeles County" in 1983, 1987, 1991, 2001 and 2006.[5]

He ran for U.S. Senate in 1986 in a three way primary. Antonovich received the endorsement of television evangelist Pat Robertson.[7] He and Bruce Herschensohn were unsuccessful, and Ed Zschau went on to lose to the incumbent, Alan Cranston.[2] He lost the San Fernando Valley to Herschensohn.[8]

In the 2003 election to recall Gray Davis, Mr. Antonovich supported Arnold Schwarzenegger.[6]

With the adoption of term limits, he could be the second longest serving supervisor ever in Los Angeles County, after Kenneth Hahn. He was re-elected in 2012 and can serve until 2016, when term limits will force him to leave office.[9]

Responding to a report that Los Angeles County spent $52 million in welfare benefits to the US-born children of illegal immigrants, Antonovich expressed concern with his spokesman Tony Bell telling the Los Angeles Times: "The supervisor is very concerned. He believes we have an economic catastrophe on our hands."[10]

Antonovich advocated for the construction of a new courthouse to serve the Antelope Valley portion of his district. (At the time, Los Angeles County was responsible for courthouses.)[2] He also supported for the reopening of the Olive View Hospital, which was destroyed in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake which the county had previously not planned to rebuild.[2]

From 2007 to 2013, Antonovich received $1,862,796.59 in campaign contributions, reported by Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk records. [1]


Vicious Dog Legislation[edit]

Following the May 9, 2013 mauling death of Pamela Devitt in the Antelope Valley, Antonovich authored an ordinance to require tough penalties for irresponsible pet owners who allow their dogs to roam and attack people, other pets or livestock. The ordinance was not breed specific. <http://file.lacounty.gov/bos/supdocs/79357.pdf>

Chemerinsky Appointment[edit]

Antonovich objected to the appointment of Duke University professor Erwin Chemerinsky to be dean of the new law school at University of California, Irvine, and lobbied against it.[11] The university rescinded the appointment,[12] then later restored it.[11][13]

Seal of Los Angeles County[edit]

The ACLU threatened to sue the county unless it removed the image of a cross from its seal. Over Antonovich's objections, the seal was changed.[14]

Hispanic supervisor district[edit]

In August 1988, the ACLU of Southern California, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the U.S. Department of Justice brought a lawsuit, Garza v. County of Los Angeles, charging supervisor districts in Los Angeles County were drawn to disenfranchise Latinos in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act. Efforts to settle failed, as did a proposal to expand the number of districts from five to seven. U.S. District Judge David V. Kenyon ordered the county to redraw district boundaries to make the election of a Hispanic supervisor likely, threatening to do so himself if the elected officials failed.[15][16][17][18][19]

United States Attorney General Dick Thornburgh praised the ruling "as a victory against discrimination in the most important role citizens play in our democracy: the right to vote in free and fair elections in districts drawn without bias". Antonovich opposed the ruling calling it "a reckless joy ride of judicial activism" and supported an appeal that eventually failed.[16][20]

After the redistricting, Supervisor Peter F. Schabarum retired and Gloria Molina was elected to replace him.

Antelope Valley code enforcement[edit]

Antonovich has been a proponent of increased usage of Nuisance Abatement Teams, which have been enforcing code violations in the rural Antelope Valley area of Los Angeles County.[21]

Memberships & honors[edit]

  • Pacific Council on International Policy,[22] a non-partisan organization co-chaired by John Bryson and Warren Christopher.[23]
  • South Coast Air Quality Management District, Governing Board Member, Los Angeles County Representative[5]
  • The U.S. - Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange Program, 2nd U.S. delegation in 1973 (as California State Assemblyman). "An annual bilateral exchange program in which young leaders from Japan and the United States take part in an intensive two-week study tour designed to expose them to the politics and policy-making process of the other country and to enhance their understanding of U.S.-Japan relations."[24][25]
  • Michael D. Antonovich Regional Park[26]
  • Michael D. Antonovich Open Space[2]


Antonovich is of Croatian descent.[2]

On February 15, 1998, he married Christine Hu Huiling, a Mandarin-speaking actress from Dalian, China, before 900 guests; Red Buttons and Pat Boone were lay lectors.[27] Hu has two children with Antonovich: a son, Michael Jr., born in 1999, and a daughter, Mary Christine, born in 2000.


  1. ^ "District Information". Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g GREENE, ROBERT (2002-12-31). "County Supervisor Puts a Priority On Justice". Metropolitan News-Enterprise (Los Angeles, California). Retrieved 2008-01-15. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Michael D. Antonovich Biographical Information" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  4. ^ "Mr. Michael D. Antonovich". Pacific Council on International Policy. Archived from the original on 2007-09-23. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Michael Antonovich Biography". South Coast Air Quality Management District. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  6. ^ a b Gizzi, John (2003-09-26). "Politics 2003, Week of September 29". Human Events (Washington, D.C.: Eagle Publishing). Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  7. ^ TV evangelist endorses Mike Antonovich. Lodi News-Sentinel. 20 May 1986.
  8. ^ Simon, Richard (June 5, 1986). "Valley Candidates Took a Drubbing at Home in GOP Senate Voting" (Fee). Los Angeles Times Archives -Metro; 2; Zones Desk (Valley Edition). p. 8. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  9. ^ "Measure B: Term Limits: Board of Supervisors - Los Angeles County, CA". Smart Voter. League of Women Voters of California Education Fund. 2002-04-20. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  10. ^ Watanabe, Teresa (September 5, 2010). "L.A. County welfare to children of illegal immigrants grows". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 5, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b FISHER, MARLA JO (2007-09-17). "UCI rehires law dean". The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, California: Freedom Communications, Inc.). Retrieved 2008-01-14. ...fracas over the hiring, firing and rehiring of law professor Erwin Chemerinsky... 
  12. ^ FLACCUS, GILLIAN (2007-09-14). "GOP politician sent email asking how to stop naming of dean". San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California: Associated Press). Retrieved 2008-01-14. ...like appointing al-Qaida in charge of homeland security... [dead link]
  13. ^ Therolf, Garrett; Dolan, Maura (2007-09-15). "UCI reportedly working on deal to rehire Chemerinsky" (fee required). Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California). p. A.1. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  14. ^ Kennedy, J. Michael (May 25, 2004). "County Seal Has a Cross the ACLU Can't Bear". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-03-11. Supervisor Mike Antonovich, thinks the ACLU has too much time on its hands. 
  15. ^ Schultz, Jeffrey D (2000). Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics. The American political landscape series. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press. p. 530. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  16. ^ a b REINHOLD, ROBERT (1990-06-05). "LOS ANGELES BOARD IS SAID TO EXERCISE ANTI-HISPANIC BIAS". The New York Times (New York, New York: The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-01-15. violate the Voting Rights Act by packing Latinos into a single supervisorial district 
  17. ^ "Hispanic District in Los Angeles". Associated Press in The New York Times (New York, New York: The New York Times Company). 1990-06-28. Retrieved 2008-01-15. no Hispanic candidate has been elected to the board since 1875 
  18. ^ "American Notes CALIFORNIA". TIME (New York, New York: Time Inc.). 1990-06-18. Retrieved 2008-01-15. Federal Judge David V. Kenyon ruled last week that, in a 1981 redistricting plan, the five-member board had deliberately diluted the voting power of the county's 3 million Hispanic residents to protect their own incumbencies. 
  19. ^ MYDANS, SETH (1989-07-10). "LOS ANGELES CASES SEEK HISPANIC GAIN". The New York Times (New York, New York: The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-01-15. nationwide struggle to enhance Hispanic power 
  20. ^ SCHROEDER, Circuit Judge (1990-11-02). "GARZA v. COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - 918 F.2d 763". Retrieved 2008-01-15. The judgment of the district court on liability and its decision as to remedy are AFFIRMED. [dead link]
  21. ^ "L.A. County's Private Property War". LA Weekly. 2011-06-23. 
  22. ^ "Members - Pacific Council on International Policy". Pacific Council on International Policy. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  23. ^ "Mission & Governance - Pacific Council on International Policy". Pacific Council on International Policy. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2008-01-15. ...confront these global transformations through giving more effective voice to West Coast perspectives on them... 
  24. ^ "U.S.-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange Program, 1st-14th Delegations". Japan Center for International Exchange. 1996. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  25. ^ "Political Exchange Programs (PEP)". Japan Center for International Exchange. 1996. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  26. ^ "Michael D. Antonovich Regional Park at Joughin Ranch". Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 2,326 acres (9.41 km2) Michael D. Antonovich Regional Park at Joughin Ranch is located on the southern slopes of the Santa Susana Mountains between Chatsworth and Simi Valley. The park offers stunning vistas, rolling hills, oak and walnut woodland, water sources, and an abundance of wildlife. Throughout the park, majestic views of the San Fernando Valley; the Santa Monica, Totopa, and Santa Susana Mountains; and the Simi Hills abound. Part of a key watershed area for the Los Angeles River, the Antonovich Park encompasses the Headwaters of Devil, Ybarra, and Browns Canyons. These canyons contain extensive oak and walnut woodland and riparian corridors with year-round surface water. 
  27. ^ "SUPERVISOR ANTONOVICH TO WED HU SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1998". Archived from the original on 2006-09-30. Retrieved 2008-01-14. A RECEPTION WILL FOLLOW THE CEREMONY AT THE BURBANK HILTON HOTEL... 

External links[edit]

California Assembly
Preceded by
Carlos Moorhead
California State Assemblyman
43rd District

Succeeded by
Howard Berman
Preceded by
Jim Keysor
California State Assemblyman
41st District

Succeeded by
Pat Nolan
Political offices
Preceded by
Baxter Ward
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
5th District

Party political offices
Preceded by
Ed Reinecke
Chair of the California Republican Party
Succeeded by
Bob Naylor