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Rob Bonta

Re-elect State Assemblymember Rob Bonta to keep AD-18 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 18th Assembly District includes a third of Alameda County. Democrats typically hold this district. Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Rob Bonta has held this office since being elected in 2012. The most recent election results show 85.9 percent of AD-18 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 88.3 percent voted for Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

About the Race

In the primary, Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Rob Bonta led Republican challenger Steve Slauson by a margin of 78.6 percent. Bonta’s campaign has raised $1,041,780 and is funded by police money, fossil fuel money, and corporate PACs. Bonta pledged to refuse fossil fuel money, but has accepted a $1,500 contribution from Sempra Energy. Slauson has not electronically filed campaign contributions for this election cycle with the Secretary of State’s office. Slauson also faced off against Assemblymember Bonta in 2018’s general election and lost in a landslide.

About the Candidate

Assemblymember Bonta, a civil rights attorney, is from Alameda, CA. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, he served as a deputy city attorney for both the City and County of San Francisco, as an elected member of the Alameda Health Care District Board of Directors, as board president for the Social Service Human Relations board, as board president for Alternatives in Action, and as chair of the Economic Development Commission. He is a longtime activist in the ongoing fight for racial, economic, and social justice. According to campaign materials, Assemblymember Bonta is running for re-election to continue working for better schools, safer streets, and more prosperous communities.

Assemblymember Bonta’s priorities for AD-18 this year include social justice as related to jails, and ICE, taxation, and discrimination. He currently sits on four committees: Appropriations, Communications and Conveyance, Governmental Organization, and Health. Assemblymember Bonta has sponsored 54 bills about discrimination, labor, taxation, health, and education this year, of which 12 have been successfully chaptered. He scores a lifetime score of 98 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Assemblymember Bonta has supported the most progressive bills that made it to a vote. That said, he has also supported a problematic bill (AB 1366), which would eliminate critical oversight of telecom companies.

Assemblymember Bonta is endorsed by several progressive groups, such as California Teachers Association, Equality California, and the California League of Conservation Voters. He is also endorsed by the Peace Officers Research Association of California, California Association of Highway Patrolmen, Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, and California Statewide Law Enforcement Association. However, the threat of Republican challenger Slauson’s potential policies greatly outweighs Assemblymember Bonta’s lack of campaign finance pledges and overwhelming support from police organizations. According to our analysis, Assemblymember Bonta is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

Rob Bonta

Rob Bonta was born in the Philippines and has lived in California since childhood. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2013, when he became the first Filipino to serve in the California legislature. According to campaign materials he is running for re-election to improve schools, increase local safety, and build economic prosperity in the region.

In the State Assembly, Bonta has worked to restore local funding to East Bay public schools, co-authored legislation on cannabis regulation, and helped to establish worker protections and minimum wage increases. He currently serves as the Assistant Majority Leader in the Assembly, and sits on four committees. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, Bonta was the Deputy Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, where he worked on a variety of cases aimed at consumer and civil rights protections. Bonta started his career in public service as a member of the Alameda Health Care District Board of Directors, served as the board president for the Social Service Human Relations Board, and was eventually elected to City Council where he served as the Vice Mayor of the City of Alameda. In these local roles, Bonta impacted policy around business retention, hospital financing, and youth development programs.

Bonta is being challenged by Stephen Slauson (R). He scores a lifetime 98 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting record. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Bonta has consistently shown great courage by advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.

According to our analysis, Rob Bonta is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.