Schabarum represented the 49th district in the California State Assembly from 1967 to 1972. He was appointed to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in March 1972 by Gov. Ronald Reagan following the death of incumbent Frank G. Bonelli and elected to the position three months later in a hotly contested special election that pitted him against his former roommate and colleague Assemblyman William Campbell. Schabarum was re-elected in 1974, 1978, 1982 and 1986. He did not seek re-election in 1990, but served three extra months until Feb. 28, 1991 to allow a special election to be held following a court ruling that redrew the boundaries of his district to create a majority-Latino district, later occupied by Gloria Molina.
A conservative Republican, Schabarum was noted for being anti-union, supportive of outsourcing, and decentralization of County government. In addition, he was the leading backer of California's Proposition 140 on the 1990 Ballot, which imposed term limits on the California Legislature.
Peter F. Schabarum Regional Park in Rowland Heights, California, and Schabarum Trail, near Walnut, California, both in his former supervisorial district, are named for him. The park offers horseback riding, playgrounds, picnic areas, and trails in the surrounding hills.
- Player Bio: Pete Schabarum at The University of California Official Athletic Site
- Pete Schabarum at Pro-Football-Reference.com
- Schabarum Regional Park, at L. A. County Parks & Rec
- Schabarum Trail: Amar Road to picnic area, at Nobody Hikes in L.A.