Brea, CA – The Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) announced their endorsement of Joe Kerr for Orange County Supervisor today. The backing of the OCEA represents the first major organizational endorsement to be awarded in the open-seat race for the Fourth Supervisorial District.
In announcing their support, OCEA General Manager Jennifer Muir Beuthin released the following statement:
Joe Kerr is a smart, tough, and tested leader who has dedicated much of his life to keeping Orange County’s families safe. We know that he will make a great Supervisor, one who is committed to ensuring every Orange County resident has access to safe neighborhoods, adequate housing, good economic opportunities, and a high quality of life. The Orange County Employees Association is proud to announce our early endorsement of Joe’s campaign for Supervisor.
Founded in 1937, OCEA is the largest independent public-employee labor union in Orange County. They represent around 18,000 employees who work in county government and various cities and special districts.
Joe Kerr is a second-generation professional firefighter who served as a Fire Captain with the Orange County Fire Authority and Orange County Fire Department for over 25 years. He was the first President of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, the former Vice President of the California Professional Firefighters, and a former Vice President of the Orange County Central Labor Council (AFL-CIO).
Joe was awarded Fireman of the Year by the Cypress Fire Department in 1979, Overachiever of the Year by the Orange County Firemen’s Association in 1984, and Fire Captain of the Year by the Orange County Fire Department in 1986. In 1981, he was given a Certificate of Merit from the Orange County Board of Supervisors for his role while responding to the Air California jetliner crash at John Wayne Airport. Joe was also presented with the Courage Under Fire Award in 1999 for rescuing and reviving a non-breathing occupant who was trapped in a residential structure fire. In 2012 after retiring, Joe received numerous awards and recognitions for helping save the life of a baby who was drowning and had stopped breathing in a swimming pool.
Joe’s history of community service includes having served as an advisor to the Board of the Orange County Foundation for Oncology, Children and Families (OCF-OCF).
Joe grew up in La Habra and Cypress. He and his wife, China, are the proud parents of a 13-year-old son.