Well-known Elk Grove-based political operative appointed by Gov. Newson

A Wednesday appointments announcement from Calif. Gov. Gavin Newson included a well-known Elk Grove political operative.

Included in Newsom's appointments was Pablo Espinoza as the Deputy Director of Communications at the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Before accepting this appointment, Espinoza was employed by the California Assembly Democratic caucus since 2007, where he held positions including Deputy Director of the Assembly Speaker's Office and Special Projects Media Consultant at the Assembly Speaker's Democratic Office of Communications and Outreach.

As an Elk Grove political operative, Espinoza conducted his wife Nancy Chaires-Espinoza's 2014 Elk Grove City Council campaign. Ms. Chaires-Espinoza is a member of the Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Trustees. 

More recently, he was part of Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen's 2020 campaign that unseated incumbent Mayor Steve Ly, and in 2022, Espinoza orchestrated Elk Grove District 2 City Councilmember Rod Brewer's campaign.

Interestingly, Mr. Espinoza will be the communication director for one of the state agencies at odds with Elk Grove and his political clients, Mayor Singh-Allen and City Couniclmember Brewer. Along with Newsom and California Attorney General Rob Bonta, the Department of Housing and Community Development has filed a lawsuit against Elk Grove for what it says were violations of state fair housing laws when the city council rejected the Oak Rose supportive housing project in July 2022.  

Given the ongoing litigation between Elk Grove and his new employer and the potential for a conflict of interest, it is not known if Espinoza will continue serving Singh-Allen and Brewer as a political operative. 

Espinoza, a Democrat, will earn $155,280 annually. The position does not require Senate confirmation.

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