Ruben Gallego
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byEd Pastor
Constituency7th district (2015–2023)
3rd district (2023–present)
Member of the
Arizona House of Representatives
In office
January 10, 2011 – March 14, 2014
Serving with Catherine Miranda
Preceded byCloves Campbell Jr.
Succeeded byNorma Muñoz
Constituency16th district (2011–2013)
27th district (2013–2014)
Personal details
Ruben Marinelarena

(1979-11-20) November 20, 1979 (age 44)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
  • (m. 2010; div. 2017)
  • Sydney Barron
    (m. 2021)
Residence(s)Phoenix, Arizona, Washington D.C.[1]
EducationHarvard University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service2000–2006
Rank Corporal
UnitUnited States Marine Corps Reserve
Battles/warsIraq War

Rubén Marinelarena Gallego (/ˈrbən ɡˈɛɡ/ ROO-bən gy-EH-goh; born November 20, 1979) is an American politician who formerly served as a U.S. Marine and now serves as the U.S. representative for Arizona's 3rd 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 first 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] Gallego served and deployed as a USMCR Corporal during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Gallego is a candidate for the United States Senate seat currently held by Democrat-turned-independent Kyrsten Sinema in 2024.

Early life and education

Gallego was born in Chicago,[3] and is a second-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 University, where he became a member of Sigma Chi[7] and earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.[8]


Gallego in 2013

After college, Gallego joined the Marines. After completing training in the School of Infantry (SOI), he deployed to Iraq with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines. The 3/25 lost 46 Marines and one Navy Corpsman between January 2005 and January 2006. Gallego's best friend died during combat operations in Iraq.[5]

Gallego's desire to help fellow combat veterans motivated him to get involved in politics. In 2009, he served as the Chief of Staff for District 7 City Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski before he was elected vice chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. The next year, he was elected to the Arizona State House, representing Arizona District 16.[9]

In 2011, The Arizona Republic named Gallego a distinguished freshman lawmaker.[10][dead link] His first successful bill granted in-state tuition status to veterans residing in Arizona.[5] Gallego supported the repeal of Arizona SB 1070.[citation needed] In 2012, Gallego was elected assistant minority leader.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

U.S. House of Representatives

Gallego during the 114th Congress


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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

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 Republican challengers in 2016, 2020, and 2022. He is the second Colombian American elected to the U.S. House after Republican Scott Perry.[18]

Considered a progressive politician, Gallego, who has been very critical of U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, was encouraged by several left-wing organizations to run against her in the 2024 election.[19] He announced his candidacy on January 23, 2023.[20]

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[21]

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Gallego during a Natural Resources Committee meeting in 2020

In November 2020, the House of Representatives passed Gallego's bill, the Proper and Reimbursed Care for Native Veterans Act, which requires the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense to reimburse healthcare provided for Native veterans, regardless of whether the healthcare was provided by, or referred by, the Indian Health Service or tribes.[24]

In May 2021, the House passed Gallego's bill, the Native VetSuccess at Tribal Colleges and Universities Pilot Program Act, to provide more government funding for the Veteran Technology Education Course, increase veteran housing benefits, and allows the Department of Veterans Affairs to form partnerships with other organizations to reduce veteran homelessness.[25]

In July 2021, it was reported that a corporate lobbying group called the U.S.-Qatar Business Council paid for a $22,000 trip to Qatar for Gallego and his wife, who is a lobbyist for the National Association of Realtors.[26] Commentators noted that Gallego had previously criticized Senator Kyrsten Sinema for allegedly being too close to business lobbyists.[27]

Gallego opposed the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, describing the decision as "rolling back women's rights".[28]

In February 2022, Gallego called for expelling every Russian university student from the United States, prompting commentators to denounce these remarks as bigoted and xenophobic.[29]

On February 9, 2023, Gallego voted against overturning the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022, which would allow noncitizens to vote in local elections in the District of Columbia.[30][31]

Gallego speaking to a U.S. Army officer in 2017
Gallego during the
114th Congress

As of April 2023, Gallego had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[32]

In September 2023, the House passed Gallego's bill, the Native American Child Protection Act, which aims to set up the National Indian Child Resource and Family Services Center to assist and train tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations, and also aims to come up with state-tribe agreements to prevent, investigate and prosecute family violence.[33][34]

Gallego voted to provide Israel with support following the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[35][36]

2024 U.S. Senate campaign

The logo for Gallego's Senate campaign.

On January 22, 2023, Gallego announced his candidacy for the United States Senate in 2024.[37] The seat is currently held by Kyrsten Sinema, an independent who was first elected as a Democrat in 2018, and who has angered some members of the party due to her opposition to filibuster reform and some Democratic legislation. Sinema has not yet announced whether she is seeking reelection. Gallego raised more money than Sinema in the first two quarters of 2023.[38]

In 2022, Gallego bought a home near Capitol Hill using a special mortgage loan program for military veterans. He claimed the District of Columbia home as his primary residence although his campaign maintains that he resides in his Phoenix home. Gallego receives a homeowner rebate in Arizona that lowers the tax burdens for residents who primarily live in the state. Politico noted that Gallego "may have to explain why he declared he was primarily a resident of the nation's capital."[39][40]

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.[41]

In 2010, Gallego married Kate Widland Gallego, who was later elected mayor of Phoenix. They divorced in 2017, just before the birth of their son.[42]

Gallego married Sydney Barron in 2021.[43][44] Barron is a lobbyist for the National Association of Realtors.[45] They have a daughter who was born in July 2023.[46]

Gallego wrote They Called Us "Lucky": The Life and Afterlife of the Iraq War's Hardest Hit Unit, published in 2021, about his service in the Marines Third Battalion, Twenty-Fifth Marine Regiment, Lima Company, during the Iraq War.[47]

Electoral history


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 Arizona House of Representatives election, 27th district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Catherine Miranda (incumbent) 28,683 40.98
Democratic Ruben Gallego (incumbent) 27,522 39.32
Republican Daniel Coleman 10,088 14.41
Green Angel Torres 3,702 5.29


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 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 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 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


2022 U.S. House election, Arizona's 3rd congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego (incumbent) 108,599 77.0%
Republican Jeff Zink 32,475 23.0%
Total votes 141,074 100%
Democratic hold

See also


  1. ^ "Democratic Senate hopeful claims primary residence in Arizona — and D.C."
  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. ^ Kavaler, Tara (November 30, 2021). "5 takeaways from Rep. Ruben Gallego's new book 'They Called Us 'Lucky". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  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. ^ "EP Alumni Quarterly / Home". Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  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. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. 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. ^ "Democrats select leaders in Arizona House, Senate". My Fox Memphis. Associated Press. November 13, 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  12. ^ Celock, John (September 25, 2012). "Joe Arpaio Opponents Form Super PAC To Unseat Arizona Sheriff". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Ruben Gallego". Strategies 360. Archived from the original on July 9, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  14. ^ "Ruben Gallego, Arizona State Rep., Announces Bid For Congress". Huffington Post. February 27, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  15. ^ "Rep. Gallego resigns from Arizona House". Arizona Capitol Times. March 14, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  16. ^ Sullivan, Sean (August 11, 2014). "A leading 'anti-super PAC' just backed three more candidates for Congress". Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  17. ^ "HB 2593 - Amends Campaign Finance Limits - Key Vote". Archived from the original on August 27, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  18. ^ "Long before embracing Trump's false election claims, Rep. Scott Perry promoted groundless theories". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  19. ^ Carrasquillo, Adrian (September 30, 2021). "Draft Ruben Gallego effort launches as progressives seek to oust Kyrsten Sinema". Newsweek. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  20. ^ Joan E Greve (January 23, 2023). "Ruben Gallego to run for Arizona Senate seat held by Kyrsten Sinema". The Guardian. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  21. ^ "Ruben Gallego". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved April 22, 2023.
  22. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  23. ^ "About Us".
  24. ^ Jennings, Chris (January 2021). "Series of U.S. House votes aim to help Native American veterans" (PDF). Biskinik. Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  25. ^ Goldenberg, Karli (June 2, 2021). "Bill Would Provide Better Education Benefits to Native American Veterans". Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  26. ^ "Photos show shirtless Democratic congressmen and their wives riding camels on a Qatar trip paid for by a special interest group". Business Insider.
  27. ^ "Ruben Gallego slammed Sinema for relationship with lobbyists, but he's married to one". February 24, 2023.
  28. ^ Gallego, Ruben (June 24, 2022). "The right-wing majority on the Court, hellbent on rolling back women's rights, chose to take our country backwards and endanger the lives of American women by ripping away the right to choose. This decision strikes against the heart of our values and will cost American lives". Twitter. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  29. ^ "Xenophobia Is the Wrong Response to Russia". February 28, 2022.
  30. ^ "House votes to overturn D.C.'s illegal immigrant voting plan". The Washington Times.
  31. ^ "H.J.Res. 24: Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia … -- House Vote #118 -- Feb 9, 2023".
  32. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (October 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  33. ^ Randazzo, Ryan (September 19, 2023). "House passes Rep. Ruben Gallego's Native American Child Protection Act". Arizona Republic. Archived from the original on September 21, 2023. Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  34. ^ "Native American Child Protect Act passes U.S. House". KNAU. September 19, 2023. Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  35. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (October 25, 2023). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  36. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (October 25, 2023). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved October 30, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  37. ^ "Rep. Ruben Gallego jumps into Arizona Senate race". Roll Call. January 23, 2023. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  38. ^ Mutnick, Ally. "Sinema outraised by Gallego again, further clouding her future". Politico. Retrieved July 31, 2023.
  39. ^ Lippman, Daniel (June 5, 2023). "Democratic Senate hopeful claims primary residence in Arizona — and D.C." POLITICO. Retrieved June 20, 2023.
  40. ^ Hansen, Ronald; Reagor, Catherine (June 6, 2023). "Rep. Ruben Gallego faces questions over terms of D.C. home purchase". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 20, 2023.
  41. ^ "This Arizona candidate changed his name. His opponent wasn't happy about it". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  42. ^ Gardiner, Dustin (December 21, 2016). "Phoenix Vice Mayor Kate Gallego and Rep. Ruben Gallego to divorce". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  43. ^ "One lawmaker gets engaged, another married around Valentine's Day". February 18, 2020.
  44. ^ "Schumer's jam-packed June". Politico. June 7, 2021.
  45. ^ "5 takeaways from Rep. Ruben Gallego's new book 'They Called Us 'Lucky".
  46. ^ Kavaler, Tara (July 7, 2023). "Meet Isla Jean Gallego: Rep. Ruben Gallego announces birth of daughter". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved August 14, 2023.
  47. ^ "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 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 2015–2023 Succeeded byRaúl Grijalva Preceded byRaúl Grijalva Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Arizona's 3rd congressional district 2023–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byTom Emmer United States representatives by seniority 167th Succeeded byGarret Graves