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Don Knabe

Member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
from District 4
Assumed office 
Preceded by Deane Dana

Born October 15, 1943
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Julie Gillbreath
Children Curt, Matt
Residence Cerritos, California
Religion Reformed Church

Donald R. Knabe (born October 15, 1943, in Illinois) is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, serving the Fourth District. Knabe is the current Chairman for the 2010 session. He recently was reelected on the June 3, 2008 election.

Education and Early Political Career

Knabe attended Graceland University and graduated with a degree in business administration. After enlisting in the U.S. Navy, Knabe and his new wife, the former Julie Gillbreath, settled in Cerritos, California. The Knabes owned a small business, and Knabe entered politics in 1978 as one of several candidates for the GOP nomination to replace Del Clawson as Congressman from the 33rd District (Downey-Norwalk-Whittier). Knabe lost to Wayne Grisham, but carried his home area, and in 1980 was elected to the Cerritos City Council on the basis of growth issues. Knabe took a job with Supervisor Deane Dana's office in 1982, soon advancing to Chief of Staff.

In 1987, Knabe considered running as a Republican for the state Senate in a special election. However, he backed down in favor of Wayne Grisham (whose Congressional seat had been redistricted and was now a state Assemblyman). Grisham lost the special election to Democratic Norwalk City Councilman Cecil Green by a larger-than expected margin, and Republicans immediately concluded that the younger, more energetic Knabe should have been the nominee. Knabe retired from the City Council in 1988 to run for the state Senate. After a hard-fought and expensive campaign, Green defeated Knabe by 51% to 49%.

The Knabes have two sons, Curt and Matt, both graduates of Pepperdine University. Don Knabe is a member of the Reformed Church of America and attends Emmanuel Reformed Church in Paramount, California.

Supervisor, 4th District, Los Angeles County

Don Knabe ascended to the position of his boss, Deane Dana, in 1996 when Dana retired from public life.

A moderate Republican, Knabe is most noted for instituting a safe haven law or baby hatch in 2002, where mothers can leave their baby at a fire station, lifeguard headquarters, or hospital within 72 hours of their birth. The program was instituted after several publicized cases of child abandonment and infanticide. The program was quickly adopted statewide. As of 1/28/08 65 babies alone, in Los Angeles County, have been safely surrendered.

Don Knabe is also known for his efforts to preserve clean beaches and coastline.

The Fourth District of Los Angeles County is a crescent-shaped district that covers such important places as much of Los Angeles County's coastline, LAX, the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, Catalina Island, the entire South Bay, portions of the City of Los Angeles, some of Marina del Rey, and portions of the first suburban Chinatown in America (Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, La Habra Heights, Diamond Bar).

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Deane Dana
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
4th District

Succeeded by


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