Gay man wins supervisor seat in Calaveras County

  • by Ed Walsh, BAR Contributor
  • Tuesday June 14, 2022
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Martin Huberty will be sworn in as the District 3 Calaveras County supervisor in January. Photo: Courtesy Martin Huberty
Martin Huberty will be sworn in as the District 3 Calaveras County supervisor in January. Photo: Courtesy Martin Huberty

Calaveras County voters have elected a gay man to the Board of Supervisors. Martin Huberty is believed to be the first out candidate to be elected to the board, in a predominately Republican county that voted 61% for Donald Trump in 2020.

Huberty received 55% of the vote, according to unofficial returns. His only opponent in the June 7 election was Lisa Muetterties, who was endorsed by the county's Republican Central Committee. Huberty was way ahead in the early count but waited until late Friday afternoon, June 10, to declare victory.

"I am humbled by your support and honored to represent you as your supervisor," Huberty wrote on his Facebook page. "Thank you is not enough for your confidence in me. I will be a supervisor for all the people of Calaveras, especially District 3. I could never have run this campaign by myself, I had a stellar committee and a group of hard working grassroots volunteers. Thank you to all of you."

Huberty, 60, told the Bay Area Reporter June 13 that he is excited to be able to represent District 3, which includes the tourist popular towns of Murphys and Arnold. Huberty is executive director of the Calaveras Visitors Bureau and CEO of the Calaveras Chamber of Commerce. Tourism is the county's biggest industry, he said, and his district generates most of the tourist dollars. The single biggest attraction in the county is Calaveras Big Trees State Park, just outside of Arnold.

Although Calaveras is a deep red county, Huberty described his district as purple, with more Democrats, independents, and Libertarians than other parts of the county. Huberty told the B.A.R. that he didn't think his orientation was an issue for most voters. Huberty grew up in Sacramento but his family has roots in Calaveras County dating back to the Gold Rush.

Some voters didn't know he was gay until a B.A.R. travel article last month on Calaveras County, he said. Being a gay may have cost him votes, he added, if people assumed that because he was gay he came from a big city and had no solid ties to the community that he was running to represent.

Huberty will be sworn into office in January. He wasn't sure if he would continue to work at the visitors bureau and chamber of commerce while serving on the board, he said.

The biggest issue he will focus on as a supervisor, Huberty said, is the lack of affordable housing. He noted that the tourism industry depends on being able to attract service workers but it can't do that without more housing.

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