SGV Senate Seat Money Hunt

It costs, on average, $1.1 million to win a seat in the California Senate, according to As of the reporting period ending in 2017 for the San Gabriel Valley race to replace Sen. Ed Hernandez, Mike Eng has $1.156 million; Susan Rubio $306,000; everyone else either has dropped out (Vicky Martinez) or not reported any contributions (Monica Garcia, Michael Adams, Ruben Sierra). The only other money in the race is in a fund controlled by disgraced Roger Hernandez. I hear he’s chasing the cannabis train, but who knows.

UPDATE: This is cash on hand. The candidates have spent some of the money they have raised.

Latinos, Misconduct and a San Gabriel Valley Senate Race

It’s early in the 2018 political season, but not too early to ask if the tumultuous climate at the state Capitol and energized Latinos in an age of Trump will decide who may win the San Gabriel Valley Senate seat to replace Ed Hernandez. Hernandez is term-limited out and running for lieutenant governor.

Without an incumbent, these races are usually about local issues, endorsements, who has the most campaign money and who knocks on the most doors. But this season will be different.

California Latino and Latino voters should be motivated to vote in numbers that reflect their majority. And the eruption of sexual misconduct allegations in the Legislature, and across the country, could create a “Year of the Woman” movement in California politics, but also may turn voters off disgusted by the misdeeds.

Some candidates are already considered frontrunners for the 22nd Senate District seat that includes Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Rosemead, El Monte, South El Monte, Baldwin Park, Irwindale, Industry, La Puente, West Covina, Azusa, Covina, Temple City, Arcadia and surrounding neighborhoods.

Former Assemblyman Mike Eng, term-limited out in 2012, has long been viewed as the odds-on favorite to win. Married to Congresswoman Judy Chu, Eng, a former Monterey Park councilman and recently an LA Community College District trustee, has long-standing ties with local and state officials and raised more than $1 million in campaign money.

Among his many endorsements are high-profile names that include Sen. Hernandez, current Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, former state Senate leader Kevin de León, now running for U.S. Senate, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Supervisor Hilda Solis.

Solis is especially important because of her connection to the SGV Latino community. This is a critical base for Eng, a Chinese-American in a district with a small Asian population, who will need crossover votes to win in majority Latino district.

Susan RubioBaldwin City Councilwoman Susan Rubio may prove to be the most formidable candidate in an unprecedented era for woman in politics and an energized Latino base. The strong candidacies of Ed Hernandez and Antonio Villaraigosa, running for governor, may also help.

An elementary school teacher, Rubio was first elected in 2005 as Baldwin Park city clerk. Since 2009, she has served on the council. She has $135,000 in her campaign fund and her endorsements include Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the state’s Democratic Legislative Women’s Caucus and numerous state Senate and local officials.

But she has also emerged as the state Legislature is engulfed in accusations of blatant sexual harassment and abuse. Elected officials have been forced to resign with others expected, and women leaders have condemned the “pervasive” culture of misconduct.

Unfortunately, Rubio has experience confronting similar behavior. In 2016, Rubio, in highly publicized court documents, said that her then-husband, former Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, had been violently abusing her. She obtained a restraining order and later divorced him. He later lost a congressional bid.

In addition, if she needs any advice on how to beat a party favorite, she just has to call up her sister, Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, who beat a candidate with major endorsements in the 2016 primary.

The tumult in the Capitol has nothing to do with Eng but he may be hurt if voters demand more female political representation.

In addition, while Eng has the state experience, financial strength and endorsements, winning in a majority Latino district in this election may be a challenge. Yet he can look at another candidate’s history for guidance as well – his wife’s.

Chu beat a Latino candidate in a similar district to win a seat to congress in 2009, albeit a special election. That district closely matched the 22nd.

As I said, it’s early. Also in the race are Baldwin Park City Councilwoman Monica Garcia, El Monte Councilwoman Victoria Martinez, union organizer Ruben Sierra and Michael Adams. The landscape could change.

Published in the Pasadena Star News

San Gabriel Valley Senate Seat Up for Grabs

The prevailing wisdom is that former Assemblyman Mike Eng, husband of party favorite Congresswoman Judy Chu, is the frontrunner and the party anointed successor to Ed Hernandez for state Senate District 22 seat.

But while Eng still has a large money advantage, other strong candidates, especially Baldwin City Councilwoman Susan Rubio, have announced.

Rubio, the ex-wife of former (and disgraced) Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, has ridden the rising tide of women fighting back against sexual harassment and also reined in endorsements.That, and an overwhelming Latino voter advantage, could help her in the 2018 election. Also helping is that her sister, Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, has a track record of beating the prevailing wisdom.

2010 Census Demographics for SD22





Citizen Voting-Age Population




Total Population




Campaign Finance and Declared Candidates 


Nothing Reported


Eng, Michael



Trustee, LA Community College District

Garcia, Raquel “Monica

Nothing Reported


Councilwoman, Baldwin Park

Hernandez, Roger

$128,731 (Assembly/Senate)


Not Running…

Martinez, Victoria



Councilwoman,     El Monte

Rubio, Susan



Councilwoman, Baldwin Park


Nothing Reported


Union organizer