SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday appointed Jerome Horton, a business-friendly former Democratic lawmaker, to the state tax board.
The choice is likely to shift the balance of power on the Board of Equalization, which, despite its low public profile, holds broad influence over corporate taxes.
Horton's appointment is a coup for California's business lobby, which has regular dealings with the board.
Horton, who was termed out of the state Assembly in 2006 after six years, will replace Judy Chu, a liberal Monterey Park Democrat who was elected to Congress on Tuesday in a special election. Horton ran against Chu in the 2006 Democratic primary to represent the Los Angeles-area tax district but lost.
Reliably liberal Democrats have formed a solid three-person majority on the five-member tax panel in recent years. But the moderate Horton is expected to change that dynamic.
His appointment must be confirmed by the Legislature.