Progressive Stalwarts Senate President Pro-Tem Kevin de León and State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon Back Senator Ricardo Larafor California State Insurance Commissioner
LONG BEACH, CA -- Just 24 hours after formally entering the race for California State Insurance Commissioner, today State Senator Ricardo Lara landed two powerhouse endorsements, from California State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
Support from this duo of nationally recognized progressive champions de León and Rendon, who have advanced forward-thinking and groundbreaking laws to combat climate change, protect immigrants' rights, raise California's minimum wage to $15 per hour and more, injects an instant jolt of momentum into Lara's statewide bid.
The two state legislative leaders announced their backing of Lara by releasing the following statements:
"Ricardo Lara embodies the bold, progressive and visionary leadership that we need in our next State Insurance Commissioner. He's dedicated his career to lifting up poor and disadvantaged communities, and he's fought courageously for tough environmental protection laws, immigrant rights policies, equality for all Californians, increased access to healthcare for all, particularly among all children, and for livable wages that help working people reach the middle class.Ricardo's experience, skill-sets and capabilities are unrivaled in this race, and his profound commitment to social and economic justice causes reflect precisely what we need in our statewide leaders. I'm proud to endorse my longtime friend and colleague, Senator Ricardo Lara, for California State Insurance Commissioner."
-- State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León
"With so much uncertainty coming from Washington, D.C., it's absolutely vital that we have a proven leader serving as our next State Insurance Commissioner. That's why I'm thrilled to endorse Senator Ricardo Lara. He has built up a dynamic reputation as a change-maker, a fighter, a coalition-builder and as someone who knows how to create movements that lead to positive and meaningful reforms that improve peoples' lives. Ricardo Lara is highly qualified and well-prepared to serve our state's consumers. He's the best choice for the job."
-- State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
Just yesterday, Senator Lara, who recently co-introduced Californians for a Healthy California Act (SB 562), which amounts to single-payer healthcare for the state, announced that he is running to serve as California's State Insurance Commissioner - a statewide elected office dedicated to protecting consumers, enforcing all insurance regulations, and safeguarding Californians' economic and health security.
Dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as the "Point man in the push for immigrant rights," Senator Lara, who also previously served as Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus and currently serves as Vice Chair of the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus, announced his candidacy yesterday by releasing the following statement:
"Our nation is in full blown crisis mode right now. We have a man in the White House with no popular mandate, who is methodically working to strip Americans of their healthcare, their economic security and their civil liberties.
"I'm running to be California's next State Insurance Commissioner because I believe at my core that California needs a strong defender, and a counterpuncher, who will stand up to fight our bullying President, Donald Trump, and his increasingly reckless federal government on issues from healthcare access to economic security and more. If millions of Californians begin losing their health insurance because of actions taken by Donald Trump, I will be there to fight him tooth and nail at every pass.
"As California's Insurance Commissioner, I'll work tirelessly to represent the great people of California, not the corporations, the billionaire class, the pharmaceutical or the insurance companies. I plan to work with anybody who is willing to come to the table, but my allegiance will always be first and foremost to the consumers, the patients, our working families, and our most vulnerable communities in our Golden State."
As a State Senator, Ricardo Lara has already been a leader on numerous issues that the office of the Insurance Commissioner interacts with. As stated above, he recently co-introduced a single-payer healthcare system for the state, and also spearheaded the groundbreaking law that provided health care for 170,000 immigrant children, and has played a strong, dynamic role in shaping, implementing and expanding Covered California.
In 2016, Senator Lara engineered the successful statewide campaign to allow for multi-lingual education in California's schools. He was also one of the key leaders behind a landmark effort to grant driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants in California. This legislation is more important than ever, now that Donald Trump has instructed border patrol agents that they may deport undocumented immigrants for the "crime" of driving without a license.
Senator Lara was born and raised in East Los Angeles and attended schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He graduated from San Diego State University with a double major in Journalism and Spanish. He worked as a legislative staffer for years, including working for State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and for then-Assemblymember and now State Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Léon. In 2010, Senator Lara was elected to the California State Assembly, and in 2012, he was elected to the California State Senate, where he made history as the first openly gay person of color in the State Senate.
His 33rd Senate District is expansive, encompassing nearly one million people, roughly 70% of which is Latino. The district is located in the heart of the South Bay and stretches from Long Beach to Lynwood, and from Huntington Park to Lakewood and Los Angeles.
Significantly, if elected, Senator Lara would be the first openly gay statewide elected official in California. Today, Senator Lara serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the California State Senate, considered to be perhaps the most influential committee in the California State Senate.
Paid for by Ricardo Lara for Insurance Commissioner 2018