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Brenda Davis becomes first African American woman on California Horse Racing Board

Santa Anita Park
(Amanda Lee Myers / Associated Press)

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that Brenda Davis has been appointed to the California Horse Racing Board. She fills the spot formerly held by Fred Maas, who chose not to be reappointed.

Davis becomes the first African-American woman named to the board and the second African American. Nathaniel Colley, a leader of the civil rights movement, was chairman of the board in the 1980s.

Davis, 65, is an attorney in Sacramento and has headed the Brenda Davis Law Group since 2007. Her practice deals primarily with environmental and natural resource issues with a component devoted to agriculture. She was the managing counsel of the California Farm Bureau from 1999 to 2007.

Groom Ryan Glatt was fined $100 for failing to wear a face covering properly. Glatt was warned three weeks prior to properly wear his face covering.

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She joins Dennis Alfieri as the only Republicans on the seven-member board. Chairman Dr. Greg Ferraro has no party affiliation and the other four members are Democrats.

In addition, Commissioner Wendy Mitchell, 49, was reappointed by Newsom.

Davis and Mitchell will have to go through state Senate confirmation hearings but can sit on the board until that time. Mitchell and Vice Chairman Oscar Gonzales were confirmed Aug. 5, almost 11 months after they were named to the board. Because Mitchell was completing an unfinished term, she will have to go through the hearings again.

Board members are paid $100 a month.


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