“Growing up poor, all I had was the American dream. It kept me going as a kid sleeping on the floor, a student scrubbing toilets, a Marine losing brothers in Iraq. Today, too many Americans see their dream slipping away. I’m running for the U.S. senate to win it back for you.” (X, 1/23/23)
“I’ve been to war. I take the threats posed by our adversaries, by violent extremists, and by terrorist organizations very seriously. It is time for House Republican leadership to do the same.” (X, 11/3/23)
BACKGROUND + EXPERIENCE
Ruben Gallego has been a representative from Arizona’s third district since 2014 + is currently running for Senate from that state.
Born in Chicago, Rep. Gallego is a second-generation American with a Columbian mother + Mexican father. He graduated from Harvard University with a BA in International Relations. After graduation, he joined the Marines + deployed as infantryman in Iraq in a combat unit that lost 47 soldiers in one year.
Rep. Gallego began his career in public service as an activist working on ballot initiatives in Phoenix. He was Chief of Staff for a member of the Phoenix City Council + Vice Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. He was elected to the Arizona State House in 2010 + to the US House of Representatives in 2014.
ON THE ISSUES
As a veteran Rep. Gallego is an advocate for service members + has introduced legislation to improve veterans’ services. As former Chair of the Intelligence + Special Operations Subcommittee, Gallego is a leading congressional expert on national security issues. He is a strong supporter of Ukraine in thwarting Russian aggression.
Rep. Gallego has been a leader in expanding access to education including sponsoring the Teachers LEAD Act to support teachers + improve teacher retention. His advocacy issues include for universal, full-day kindergarten, expanded childcare, increased support for public schools + affordable higher education including for Dreamers.
Rep. Gallego was a strong advocate of the Inflation Reduction Act, the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill + environmental stewardship, particularly for public lands and tribal territories.
An advocate of Medicaid expansion, Rep. Gallego works to improve health care access for families by fighting for lower costs, prescription drug reform + comprehensive health care for all.
Rep. Gallego believes democracy is at an inflection point given efforts to disenfranchise millions of Americans. He supported the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act + the Freedom to Vote Act.
He advocates for sensible, comprehensive immigration reform including border security + legal pathways to citizenship.
POLITICS IN ARIZONA
Arizona has emerged as a critical “purple” battleground state in recent presidential election cycles. Trump narrowly won the state in 2016 + Biden won it in 2020 by just .3%. Of the nine Arizona US House seats, six are currently held by Republicans + three by Democrats, including Rep. Gallego.
The state’s two US Senators are Mark Kelly (D) + Kyrsten Sinema (I). Sinema was elected as a Democrat in 2018. Now an Independent, Sinema voted against several critical Senate bills - and Biden Administration priorities - during her tenure, virtually assuring one or more primary opponents in a 2024 re-election bid. There is a reasonable chance that she will run as an Independent thus triggering a three-way race against Rep. Gallego + former TV personality and 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. An election denier + MAGA extremist, Lake has Trump’s endorsement. She will bring conspiracy-laden bombast to what promises to be a high profile, closely watched + contentious campaign.
Voter registration in Arizona (2023) breaks down like this: 34.7% Republican, 30.5% Democrat, .8% Libertarian + 34% “other.”
COMMITTEES + CAUCUSES
(as current Representative from Arizona’s third district)
• Armed Services Committee (Ranking Member, Intelligence + Special Operations Subcommittee)
• Natural Resources Committee
• Blue Collar Caucus
• Arts Caucus
• Hispanic Caucus
• Equality Caucus
• Progressive Caucus
• Baltic Caucus
• Medicare for All Caucus