Jimmy Gomez wins special election

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State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez won the special election to represent California District 34 in the U.S. Congress. He will take the seat vacated by Xavier Becerra when he became California’s Attorney General. His opponent in the race, Robert Lee Ahn, a local attorney, conceded about three hours after the polls had closed.

Gomez, who was a community activist, has a very progressive record while serving in the California Assembly. Bills he sponsored that have been signed into law include AB908 which expanded California’s Paid Family Leave Program (PFL) that increased wage replacement payments from 55 to 60 or 70 percent, depending on income level. The bill is intended to make sure every individual who pays into the program can afford to use it.

AB 1671 (2015-16) Planned Parenthood/Confidential Communications. It is intended to protect the privacy of doctors and other healthcare providers by making it a crime to disclose or distribute confidential electronic communications that were recorded illegally without the consent of the parties involved.

AB 1685 increases maximum penalties for violations such as the recent Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal. The penalties hadn’t changed since the 1970s. The bill would bring California’s penalties in line with those of the federal government.

You can read a complete list of Gomez’s legislative accomplishments here.

Jimmy Gomez will be another progressive in Congress as the hearings on the Russia investigations — including possible collusion between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign and transition team ,and possible obstruction of justice by President Trump and his staff — begin to heat up.

After the polls closed, but before his opponent conceded, Gomez telegraphed his intentions when he told his cheering supporters, “Today, our community said yes to California values, our progressive values. All of you here that helped me on this campaign, we are the resistance.”

The Congressman-Elect received a ringing endorsement from California’s new Attorney General Becerra. “Jimmy Gomez will be an outstanding representative for the people I served in Congress. We have worked closely together since he became our Assemblyman. President Obama cited his Paid Family Leave bill as a national model. He’s been at the forefront against climate change and domestic violence, to increase the minimum wage and to make higher education affordable. We need a champion like Jimmy Gomez.”

Mayor Eric Garrett said, “We need leaders like Jimmy Gomez who will stand up and fight for our beliefs and move our country forward with innovative, progressive ideas. Jimmy has done just that in the State Assembly, leading landmark expansions of Paid Family Leave, funding domestic violence prevention, and expanding access and funding for higher education.”

A special election has not yet been scheduled to fill the seat in the Assembly held by Gomez.

Top photo of Jimmy Gomez from his campaign website.