Trustees in the Sacramento City Unified School District appointed Jay Hansen to the school board Thursday night at Serna Center.
Hansen will complete the final two years of board member Ellyn Bell's term as the representative of Area 1, which represents Land Park, downtown, midtown and Curtis Park.
Bell, the most senior trustee on the board, is resigning in order to move out of the area for her job.
After a 45-minute discussion, the six candidates - Gwynnae Byrd, Hansen, Bina Lefkovitz, Anna Molander, David Ross and Kathryn Tobias - were narrowed down to three - Hansen, Molander and Ross.
Hansen was appointed in a 5-1 vote, in which newly elected board member Christina Pritchett dissented.
Hansen is the chief strategy officer for the California Medical Association. He was formerly the legislative and political director for the State Building and Construction Trades Council. He helped found the Sacramento Stonewall Club.
"I know how valuable it is to have a great school district," Hansen said after he was sworn into office by Bell.
Hansen said it was nerve-racking listening to the board debate over the appointment at Thursday's meeting.
"There are remarkable candidates that stepped forward," Hansen said.
Had the board decided against making an appointment Thursday, the Sacramento County Office of Education would have ordered a special election at the school district's expense, as required by state Education Code. The county Elections Department has estimated a special election would have cost between $137,000 and $274,000.