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The San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council last night chose Lorena Gonzalez to replace outgoing secretary/treasurer and CEO Jerry Butkiewicz. Gonzalez, the Labor Council’s political director and former City Council candidate, will be the first woman to lead the council when she takes over Jan. 2.

The Labor Council serves as the umbrella organization for 119 local unions.

Lorena Gonzalez

In October, Butkiewicz announced his retirement from the labor council after a tenure in which he raised local labor’s presence in both political and business circles. He has since accepted a position at Sempra.

Before an unsuccessful run at the District 2 City Council seat in 2005, Gonzalez served as an aide to then-Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante.

This is from a statement released by the Labor Council:

“I am humbled by the support I have received from our local unions,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a privilege to be entrusted with the opportunity to work as hard for our members as they do for the families they support.”

Labor Council President Mickey Kasparian echoed the sentiments of the organization’s membership.

“No one is more qualified to take over for Jerry than Lorena,” said Kasparian.  “Under her leadership, San Diego’s labor movement will continue to grow and thrive.”

“If we didn’t have someone like Lorena to step right in and continue to strengthen the foundation that has been laid, I wouldn’t feel so comfortable retiring,” said Butkiewicz.  “This is a great and historic day for San Diego’s working families.”

For more, read my colleague Evan McLaughlin‘s Q&A with Butkiewicz.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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