Ruben Gallego
Ruben Gallego official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 7th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byEd Pastor
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 27th district
In office
January 14, 2013 – March 14, 2014
Serving with Catherine Miranda
Preceded byOlivia Cajero Bedford
Succeeded byNorma Muñoz
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 16th district
In office
January 10, 2011 – January 13, 2013
Serving with Catherine Miranda
Preceded byCloves Campbell Jr.
Succeeded byDoug Coleman
Kelly Townsend
Personal details
Born
Ruben Marinelarena

(1979-11-20) November 20, 1979 (age 42)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
(m. 2010; div. 2017)
Sydney Barron
(m. 2021)
[1]
Children1
EducationHarvard University (AB)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service2000–2006
Rank
USMC-E4.svg
Corporal
UnitUnited States Marine Corps Reserve
Battles/warsIraq War

Rubén Marinelarena Gallego (/ˈrbən ˌɡˈɛɡ/; born November 20, 1979) is an American politician and former U.S. Marine who is the U.S. representative for Arizona's 7th congressional district. A Democrat, he previously served as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, serving as assistant minority leader from 2012 until he resigned to run for Congress. Gallego was elected to Congress in 2014. His district includes most of southern, western, and downtown Phoenix, along with a portion of Glendale. He served as the national chair of Eric Swalwell’s 2020 presidential campaign.[2]

Early life and education

Gallego was born in Chicago[3] and is a first-generation American, with a Colombian mother and a Mexican father.[4]

Along with his three sisters, he was raised by a single mother.[5] The family eventually moved to Evergreen Park, Illinois, and he graduated from Evergreen Park Community High School.[6]

Gallego attended Harvard College, where he became a member of Sigma Chi[7] and earned a B.A. in international relations.[8]

Career

Gallego in 2013
Gallego in 2013

After college, Gallego joined the Marines. After completing infantry training, he deployed to Iraq with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. 3/25 lost 46 Marines and two Navy corpsmen between January 2005 and January 2006. Gallego lost his best friend in combat in Iraq.[5]

His desire to help fellow veterans motivated the formerly apolitical Gallego to get involved in politics. After a stint as chief of staff for District 7 City Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski, he was elected vice chair of the Arizona Democratic Party in 2009. In 2010, he was elected State Representative for Arizona District 16.[9]

In 2011, The Arizona Republic named Gallego a distinguished freshman lawmaker.[10] His first successful bill granted in-state tuition status to veterans residing in Arizona.[5] Gallego supports the repeal of Arizona SB 1070. He considers education Arizona's most important long-term priority.[11] In 2012, Gallego was elected assistant minority leader.[12]

Gallego founded the group Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement with the goal of recalling Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, citing Arpaio's immigration policies and his use of taxpayer money to investigate Barack Obama's citizenship.[13]

Gallego worked for Strategies 360 as Director of Latino and New Media operations. He also worked for Riester, one of Arizona's largest public relations firms.[14]

U.S. House of Representatives

Gallego during the 114th Congress
Gallego during the 114th Congress

Elections

Gallego speaking at a rally for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016
Gallego speaking at a rally for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016

On February 27, 2014, Gallego announced his candidacy for Congress in Arizona's 7th congressional district.[15] Although not required to give up his seat under Arizona's resign-to-run laws (since he was in the final year of his state House term), Gallego resigned from the Arizona House in March 2014.[16]

Mayday PAC, a super PAC seeking to reduce the role of money in politics, announced its endorsement of Gallego because of his evolution on the issue of campaign finance reform.[17] On February 28, 2013, Gallego voted against an amendment that sought to raise campaign finance limits for federal candidates and abolish all limits for state candidates, HB 2523.[18] He has since been a vocal supporter of the Government By the People Act.[19]

Gallego won a five-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic, majority-Latino district—with 48.9% of the vote. He won the general election with 74% of the vote. He has been reelected three times, never dropping below 70% of the vote. He faced only a Green candidate in 2018, and defeated nominal Republican challengers in 2016 and 2020. Considered a progressive politician, Gallego has been encouraged by several left-wing organizations to run for Senate in the 2024 election against incumbent Kyrsten Sinema.[20]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Gallego during a Natural Resources Committee meeting in 2020
Gallego during a Natural Resources Committee meeting in 2020

Gallego supports the full legalization of marijuana.[28]

Gallego supports cap and trade legislation, carbon taxes, and increasing funding for renewable, clean energy.[29]

He opposed the building of the Rosemont mine in Arizona, saying it would have a "devastating" environmental impact. He has sponsored efforts to require operators of public water systems to report when lead is found in water.[30]

Gallego supports gun buyback programs.[31]

Gallego supports Obamacare and opposed its attempted repeal.[32]

Gallego speaking to a U.S. Army officer in 2017
Gallego speaking to a U.S. Army officer in 2017

He supported efforts to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell.[33]

Gallego opposes efforts to deport undocumented immigrants while they wait to be eligible for citizenship. He has co-sponsored efforts to require lawyers for children who are at risk of being deported.[34]

Gallego opposes the privatization of Social Security. He also opposes allowing people to put Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts.[35]

As of October 2021, Gallego had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[36]

Electoral history

2010

2010 Arizona House of Representatives Democratic primary, 16th district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego 4,149 26.12
Democratic Catherine Miranda 3,476 21.88
Democratic Cloves Campbell Jr. (incumbent) 3,182 20.03
Democratic Jim Munoz Jr. 2,281 14.36
Democratic Sandra Gonzales 1,955 12.31
Democratic Cristy Lopez 842 5.30
2010 Arizona House of Representatives election, 16th district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Catherine Miranda 19,197 39.46
Democratic Ruben Gallego 18,365 37.75
Republican Michael Gular 8,551 17.58
Green Angel Torres 2,532 5.21

2012

2012 Arizona House of Representatives election, 27th district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Catherine Miranda (incumbent) 19,197 39.46
Democratic Ruben Gallego (incumbent) 18,365 37.75
Republican Daniel Coleman 10,088 14.41
Green Angel Torres 3,702 5.29

2014

2014 U.S. House Democratic primary, Arizona's 7th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego 14,936 48.90
Democratic Mary Rose Wilcox 11,077 36.27
Democratic Randy Camacho 2,330 7.63
Democratic Jarrett Maupin 2,199 7.20
2014 U.S. House election, Arizona's 7th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego 54,235 74.85
Libertarian Joe Cobb 10,715 14.79
Americans Elect Rebecca DeWitt 3,858 5.32
Independent José Peñalosa 3,496 4.83
Write-in 150 0.21

2016

2016 U.S. House election, Arizona's 7th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego (incumbent) 119,465 75.2
Republican Eve Nunez 39,286 24.7
Write-in 60 < 0.01

2018

2018 U.S. House election, Arizona's 7th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego (incumbent) 113,044 85.6
Green Gary Swing 18,706 14.1
Write-in 301 < 0.01

2020

2020 U.S. House election, Arizona's 7th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego (incumbent) 165,452 75.7%
Republican Josh Barnett 50,226 23.3%
Write-in 54 0.0%
Total votes 215,732 100%
Democratic hold

Personal life

On August 7, 2008, Gallego changed his name from Ruben Marinelarena to Ruben Marinelarena Gallego to honor his mother, Elisa Gallego, who raised him and his three siblings on her own after his father abandoned the family in his childhood.[37]

Gallego was married to Kate Widland Gallego (later elected mayor of Phoenix). They divorced in 2017, just before the birth of their child.[38]

Gallego sits on the board of Valley Citizens League and the President's Community Advisory Board for South Mountain Community College.[39]

Gallego served in the Marines Lima Company, the hardest-hit unit of the Iraq War. He wrote They Called Us "Lucky": The Life and Afterlife of the Iraq War's Hardest Hit Unit, published in 2021.[40]

See also

References

  1. ^ @RubenGallego (June 6, 2021). "It's official!! @SydneyBarron5 and I are married!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Kling, Matt (April 15, 2019). "Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego Joins Eric Swalwell's Presidential Campaign". KJZZ (FM). Archived from the original on April 16, 2019.
  3. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 3, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  4. ^ "Ruben Gallego Is Sworn In As Representative From Arizona's 7th Congressional District". Congressman Ruben Gallego. January 7, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Lopatin, Shari (September 2011). "Marine Turned Politician". Phoenix Magazine. Archived from the original on November 22, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  6. ^ Miglieri, Anthony (March 19, 2015). "Former E.P. Student Sworn in as Arizona Congressman" (PDF). Mustang Monitor. Vol. 60, no. 3. Evergreen Park Community High School. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Avi-Yonah, Shera S. (June 10, 2019). "Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Introduces Legislation That Could Endanger Harvard's Sanctions". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  8. ^ "Ruben Gallego". Ballotpedia. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  9. ^ "Ambition, Life Experience Driving State Representative". South Mountain District News. May 31, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  10. ^ Pitzl, Mary Jo (May 21, 2011). "Arizona House and Senate distinguished freshmen". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  11. ^ "Candidate Q and A: Ruben Gallego". AZCentral.com. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  12. ^ "Democrats select leaders in Arizona House, Senate". My Fox Memphis. November 13, 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  13. ^ Celock, John (September 25, 2012). "Joe Arpaio Opponents Form Super PAC To Unseat Arizona Sheriff". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  14. ^ "Ruben Gallego". Strategies 360. Archived from the original on July 9, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  15. ^ "Ruben Gallego, Arizona State Rep., Announces Bid For Congress". Huffington Post. February 27, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  16. ^ "Rep. Gallego resigns from Arizona House". Arizona Capitol Times. March 14, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  17. ^ Sullivan, Sean (August 11, 2014). "A leading 'anti-super PAC' just backed three more candidates for Congress". Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  18. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  19. ^ "Ruben Gallego - Gallego For Arizona". Archived from the original on November 18, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  20. ^ Carrasquillo, Adrian (September 30, 2021). "Draft Ruben Gallego effort launches as progressives seek to oust Kyrsten Sinema". Newsweek. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  21. ^ "Meet Our Members". House Armed Services Committee. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  22. ^ "Tactical Air and Land Forces". House Armed Services Committee. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  23. ^ "Smith, Gallego Announce New Subcommittee for the 117th Congress" (Press release). Armed Services.house.gov. February 3, 2021. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  24. ^ "About Our Members | The House Committee on Natural Resources". naturalresources.house.gov. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  25. ^ "Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States | The House Committee on Natural Resources". naturalresources.house.gov. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  26. ^ "National Parks, Forests, And Public Lands | The House Committee on Natural Resources". naturalresources.house.gov. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  27. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  28. ^ Gallego, Ruben. "Rep. Ruben Gallego Statement on Changes to DOJ Marijuana Enforcement Policies". Votesmart.com. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  29. ^ "Ruben Gallego on Energy & Oil". On the Issues. Archived from the original on October 26, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  30. ^ "Ruben Gallego on Environment". On the Issues. Archived from the original on October 26, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  31. ^ "Ruben Gallego on Gun Control". On the Issues. Archived from the original on June 12, 2019.
  32. ^ "Ruben Gallego on Health Care". On the Issues. Archived from the original on October 26, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  33. ^ "Ruben Gallego on Homeland Security". On the Issues. Archived from the original on October 26, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  34. ^ "Ruben Gallego on Immigration". On the Issues. Archived from the original on October 26, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  35. ^ "Ruben Gallego on Social Security". On the Issues. Archived from the original on October 26, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  36. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (October 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  37. ^ "This Arizona candidate changed his name. His opponent wasn't happy about it". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  38. ^ Gardiner, Dustin (December 21, 2016). "Phoenix Vice Mayor Kate Gallego and Rep. Ruben Gallego to divorce". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  39. ^ "Representative Ruben Gallego". Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  40. ^ "They Called Us Lucky". HarperCollins.
Arizona House of Representatives Preceded byCloves Campbell Jr. Member of the Arizona House of Representativesfrom the 16th district 2011–2013 Succeeded byDoug Coleman Kelly Townsend Arizona House of Representatives Preceded byOlivia Cajero Bedford Member of the Arizona House of Representativesfrom the 27th district 2013–2014 Succeeded byNorma Muñoz U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byEd Pastor Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Arizona's 7th congressional district 2015–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byTom Emmer United States representatives by seniority 213th Succeeded byGarret Graves