Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia is the new president of the California State Association of Counties for 2014. He succeeds Del Norte County Supervisor David Finigan,

The association elected Gioia and installed him Nov. 21 at its annual meeting in San Jose, according to a news release. The association describes itself as the voice of California's 58 counties at the state and federal level.

In an acceptance speech, Gioia recommended that county supervisors put an emphasis on prevention.

"We know, and research bears this out, that the more we invest in prevention like health and wellness programs, youth services, and workforce training, to name just a few, the less we will spend down the road on medical care and criminal prosecution and jails," he said. "We either invest now or pay more later."

Gioia, of Richmond, has been a Contra Costa supervisor since 1999 and an officer of the state association for the past two years.

Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa will be the state association's first vice president for 2014; Amador County Supervisor Richard Forster will be second vice president.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760 or tlochner@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at twitter.com/tomlochner