It’s a good move for Piepho, who has struggled with staff turnover and could use an experienced leader in her office. Van de Brooke has vast experience in public policy and communications and is highly regarded as smart and politically savvy. She will supervise District 3’s five employees and work out of its Danville office.
“It was the right time and the right job for me,” Van de Brooke said. “I have known Mary for many years and I think the world of her and her abilities.”
Unlike many politicians’ chiefs of staff, Van de Brooke has a political identity of her own. The Orinda resident is an elected trustee on the board of the Contra Costa Community College District who recently created a buzz when she changed her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. (Piepho is a Republican but the supervisor seat is technically nonpartisan.)
Piepho also announced that Tim Hunt, former associate publisher of the Tri-Valley Herald, will work as consultant to her office to improve constituent communication.
Van de Brooke joins Piepho’s staff at a time when the one-term incumbent is facing a stiff re-election challenge from Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-San Ramon. Before she took this new job, Van de Brooke publicly castigated Houston for his decision to run against Piepho, his former aide. (Click here to see my blog entry.)
District 3 includes the Alamo, Brentwood, Danville, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, Oakley, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.
Photo of Van de Brooke taken from Contra Costa Community College web site.