Senate Colleagues Holly Mitchell, Robert Hertzberg, Ben Hueso and Tony Mendoza Join Ricardo Lara's Statewide Campaign to be California Consumers' Watchdog
LONG BEACH, CA -- Illustrating the breadth of early support he's generated in his campaign for Insurance Commissioner of California, today State Senator Ricardo Lara earned the backing of a quartet of State Senate colleagues, including Holly Mitchell, Robert Hertzberg, Ben Hueso and Tony Mendoza.
In announcing their endorsements, the four widely respected state lawmakers released the following statements:
"Ricardo Lara is a compassionate progressive who has fought courageously on behalf of poor and working class families. He's been an innovator when it comes to crafting smart laws that protect immigrants' rights and he's proven himself as someone who is willing to fight for all Californians. Ricardo Lara is by far the best choice to be our next California Insurance Commissioner."
-- State Senator Holly Mitchell
"Ricardo Lara is fearless. He's bold. He's relentlessly dedicated to the people he represents. Most importantly, Ricardo Lara is a good friend, someone who knows how to collaborate, solve problems and get things done. I know he'll work his heart out to protect California's consumers as our next State Insurance Commissioner and I'm proud to endorse him."
-- State Senator and Assembly Speaker Emeritus Robert Hertzberg
"The promise of the California Dream is embodied by Ricardo Lara. The son of immigrants, Ricardo's career has been an inspiration to so many across our state. Instead of choosing a path in the private sector, he's instead chosen to give back to his community by dedicating his career to public service. In the legislature, Ricardo has been one of the most progressive, fiercely compassionate and visionary leaders our state has had. He pours his heart and soul into the legislation he carries on behalf of those he represents. This is the kind of leadership we need from our consumer watchdog as California's next Insurance Commissioner. It's why I'm pleased to give Ricardo Lara my wholehearted support."
-- State Senator Ben Hueso, Chair, Latino Legislative Caucus
"I'm pleased to stand with my friend and colleague Ricardo Lara in his campaign for Insurance Commissioner. Ricardo has proven himself as an effective lawmaker and as someone who puts people and local neighborhoods first. He's championed countless laws that have improved peoples' lives, particularly for our most vulnerable communities. That's why we need Ricardoserving as Insurance Commissioner, so that he can fight to protect our state's consumers. I know he'll make the people of our great state proud."
-- State Senator Tony Mendoza
Only days since entering the race for California State Insurance Commissioner, State Senator Ricardo Lara has had the wind at his back, receiving a slew of high-powered endorsements including from:
- State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León
- State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
- State Assembly Speaker Emeritus and State Senator Toni Atkins
- State Assembly Speaker Emeritus and State Senator Robert Hertzberg
- State Senator Holly Mitchell
- State Senator Ben Hueso
- State Senator Tony Mendoza
- Sacramento Mayor and former State Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg
- Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia
- State Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (Ret.)
- California Democratic Party First Vice Chair Alex Rooker
- California Young Democrats' President Eddie Kirby
Just last week, 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 by previously 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