|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Ed Pastor|
|Constituency||7th district (2015–2023)|
3rd district (2023–present)
|Member of the|
Arizona House of Representatives
January 10, 2011 – March 14, 2014
Serving with Catherine Miranda
|Preceded by||Cloves Campbell Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Norma Muñoz|
|Constituency||16th district (2011–2013)|
27th district (2013–2014)
November 20, 1979
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
|Branch/service||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||2000–2006|
|Unit||United States Marine Corps Reserve|
Rubén Marinelarena Gallego (/ /; born November 20, 1979) is an American politician and former U.S. Marine who is 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. 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.
Gallego was born in Chicago, and is a first-generation American, with a Colombian mother and a Mexican father.
Along with his three sisters, he was raised by a single mother. The family eventually moved to Evergreen Park, Illinois, and he graduated from Evergreen Park Community High School.
Gallego attended Harvard University, where he became a member of Sigma Chi and earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.
After college, Gallego joined the Marines. After completing School of Infantry (SOI) training, 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.
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.
In 2011, The Arizona Republic named Gallego a distinguished freshman lawmaker.[dead link] His first successful bill granted in-state tuition status to veterans residing in Arizona. Gallego supported the repeal of Arizona SB 1070. In 2012, Gallego was elected assistant minority leader.
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.
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.
On February 27, 2014, Gallego announced his candidacy for Congress in Arizona's 7th congressional district. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. He announced his candidacy on January 23, 2023.
For the 118th Congress:
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. Commentators noted that Gallego had previously criticized Senator Kyrsten Sinema for allegedly being too close to business lobbyists.
Gallego opposed the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, describing the decision as "rolling back women's rights".
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.
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.
As of April 2023, Gallego had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.
On January 22, 2023, Gallego announced his candidacy for the United States Senate in 2024. 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.
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."
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.
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.
Gallego married Sydney Barron in 2021. Barron is a lobbyist for the National Association of Realtors. On December 27, 2022, the couple appeared on Good Morning America and announced they were expecting a daughter in July 2023. Their daughter Isla was born on July 8.
Gallego sits on the board of Valley Citizens League and the President's Community Advisory Board for South Mountain Community College.[dead link]
Gallego served in the Marines Third Battalion, Twenty-Fifth Marine Regiment, Lima Company, in the Iraq War. This battalion suffered the most casualties of any battalion. He wrote They Called Us "Lucky": The Life and Afterlife of the Iraq War's Hardest Hit Unit, published in 2021.
|Democratic||Cloves Campbell Jr. (incumbent)||3,182||20.03|
|Democratic||Jim Munoz Jr.||2,281||14.36|
|Democratic||Catherine Miranda (incumbent)||28,683||39.46|
|Democratic||Ruben Gallego (incumbent)||27,522||37.75|
|Democratic||Mary Rose Wilcox||11,077||36.27|
|Americans Elect||Rebecca DeWitt||3,858||5.32|
|Democratic||Ruben Gallego (incumbent)||119,465||75.2|
|Democratic||Ruben Gallego (incumbent)||113,044||85.6|
|Democratic||Ruben Gallego (incumbent)||165,452||75.7%|
|Democratic||Ruben Gallego (incumbent)||108,599||77.0%|
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