Re-elect State Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez to keep AD-80 on the right track.
About the Position
State Assembly Members form part of the California State Legislature, and work alongside the governor to establish laws and a state budget. They hold the power to pass bills that affect public policy, set state spending levels, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the governor’s vetoes. The California State Assembly has 80 districts. Each represents a population of at least 465,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Assembly for a two-year term. Every two years, all 80 seats are subject to election. Members elected before 2012 are restricted to three two-year terms (six years) in the Assembly. Those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years total across both the State Senate and Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 61 seats in the California State Assembly, while Republicans hold 17 seats. One seat is held by an Independent, and one seat is currently vacant.
About the District
California's 80th Assembly District includes parts of San Diego Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. The most recent election results show AD-80 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 and Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.
About the Race
In the primary, Democrat incumbent Representative Lorena Gonzalez led Republican challenger John Vogel by a margin of 54.8 percent. Gonzalez’s campaign has raised $853,194 and has not committed to any campaign finance pledges. Vogel’s campaign has raised $8,957 and also has not committed to any campaign finance pledges.
About the Candidate
Rep. Lorena Gonzalez, a former labor organizer, is from Oceanside, CA. According to campaign materials, Rep. Gonzalez is running for re-election to continue fighting for just labor protections and passing progressive legislation.
Rep. Lorena Gonzalez currently sits on three committees: the Appropriations (chair), Judiciary, and Labor and Employment Committees. Rep. Gonzalez has sponsored 385 bills, on such topics as reducing the use of deadly force by police, sexual harassment prevention in the workplace, and public banking this year, of which over 20 percent have successfully passed. She scores a lifetime 92 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Rep. Gonzalez has supported nearly all progressive bills that made it to a vote. That said, Rep. Gonzalez has not supported allowing the state to contract safe-injection site operators in the Bay Area.
Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Rep. Lorena Gonzalez was the first woman and person of color to serve as CEO and secretary-treasurer for the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO. She also worked as senior advisor to California’s Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, and served on the California State Lands and Coastal Commissions. During her time in the Assembly, she has authored and successfully passed legislation allowing 6.5 million additional Californians to earn paid sick leave, ensuring automatic voter registration, and making California the first state to subsidize diapers for parents in need. She is a longtime supporter of workers’ rights, having authored several bills to fight against the classification of employees as independent contractors.
Rep. Lorena Gonzalez is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district. She is also backed by the California Association of Realtors, the Peace Officers Research Association of America, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs Association, the California State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chevron, Phillips 66, the California Independent Petroleum Association, PG&E, Pfizer, Gilead Sciences, and the California Apartment Association. While we are concerned about the large number of problematic interests present in her financial disclosures, especially law-enforcement organizations both inside and outside her district, Rep. Gonzalez’s voting record and the threat of Republican challenger and strong Trump supporter John Vogel’s potential policies outweighs her lack of campaign finance pledges. According to our analysis, Rep. Lorena Gonzalez is the strongest choice for representative leadership in office.