Raul Ruiz (politician)

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For other people of the same name, see Raúl Ruiz (disambiguation).
Raul Ruiz
Raul Ruiz, official portrait, 113th congress.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 36th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Janice Hahn
Personal details
Born (1972-08-25) August 25, 1972 (age 42)[1]
Zacatecas, Mexico
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Monica Rivers
Residence Palm Desert, California[2]
Alma mater University of California,
Los Angeles
(B.A.)
Harvard University
(M.D.; M.P.H.; M.P.P.)
Profession Emergency room physician
Religion Seventh-day Adventist[3]
Website ruiz.house.gov

Raul Ruiz (born August 25, 1972) is an American medical doctor and politician. He is a member of the United States House of Representatives and a member of the Democratic Party.[4] In what was considered a major upset,[5][dead link] Ruiz defeated redistricted, incumbent Republican representative Mary Bono Mack in the November 2012 general election in California's 36th congressional district. Ruiz is running for re-election in 2014, in what is considered one of the most competitive congressional races in the country.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Ruiz was born in Zacatecas, Mexico[7] and raised in Coachella, California.[8] His parents were farmworkers.[9] He graduated from Coachella Valley High School at age 17, and went to UCLA in 1990, graduating magna cum laude before attending Harvard Medical School.[8] He was the first Hispanic to receive three graduate degrees from Harvard University: an M.D. from the Harvard Medical School; an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; and an M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health.[8]

In 1997, while attending Harvard as a medical student, Ruiz participated in an annual Thanksgiving protest in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Ruiz was one of 25 people arrested at the event. The charges were later dropped as part of a deal that also dismissed claims of police brutality.[10]

Two years later, in 1999, Ruiz took part in another Thanksgiving protest at which he read a letter of support for Leonard Peltier, who was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for first degree murder in the shooting of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special agents during a 1975 conflict on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. During the 2012 congressional campaign, the incident was used as an attack by his opponent, Mary Bono Mack. In response, Ruiz' campaign stated that he had not supported Peltier.[10][11]

Medical career[edit]

After graduating from Harvard University, Ruiz spent time working abroad in Mexico, El Salvador, and Serbia, before taking a job as an emergency physician at the Eisenhower Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital in the Coachella Valley. He founded the Coachella Valley Healthcare Initiative in 2010. In 2011, he became senior associate dean at the School of Medicine at University of California, Riverside.[8][12][dead link]

In 2012, he received a Commander's Award for Public Service from the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division for his humanitarian efforts for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2012

Ruiz ran for the United States House of Representatives in 2012 as a first-time candidate in California's 36th congressional district. The district had previously been the 45th, represented by 15-year incumbent Mary Bono Mack. While Ruiz was initially regarded as a long shot to win,[13] he gained traction in the polls in the months before the November election.[citation needed] He was endorsed by Bill Clinton in October 2012.[13] He was elected with 52.9% of the vote, to Bono Mack's 47.1%.[14] Upon taking office in January 2013, Ruiz became the first Democrat to represent the Coachella Valley since John V. Tunney was elected, in 1971.[15][better source needed]

2014

Ruiz is running for re-election in 2014. He is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent members of the House of Representatives. He competed in the blanket primary on June 3, 2014, finishing first with 50% of the vote.[16][17] Ruiz will face Republican nominee and state assemblyman Brian Nestande in the general election, which takes place November 4, 2014.[18]

The Washington Post wrote in late 2012 that Ruiz would be one of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents in the 2014 election season.[19] Ruiz is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[20]

Tenure[edit]

In May 2013, Ruiz voted against repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[21][22] During his 2012 campaign for Congress, Ruiz consistently reaffirmed his support for the Affordable Care Act and made the issue one of the cornerstones of his campaign. As full implementation of the law began in late 2013, its popularity with the public plummeted as many Americans had their policies canceled due to lacking coverage requirements mandated by the law,[23] and the federal health care online exchange had many technical problems that delayed the ability to sign up to new plans.[24]

Ruiz proceeded to vote for two bills in the US House of Representatives that undermined the foundation the Affordable Care Act which he previously supported.[25][not in citation given] Ruiz voted for a bill that would reduce the number Americans purchasing insurance through the new online exchanges.[26][dead link] Ruiz was criticized by his fellow Democrats in Congress for reversing his position for political reasons.[27]

In April 2013, Ruiz voted for CISPA, which would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and technology and manufacturing companies.[28]

Ruiz voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions that take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[29]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal[edit]

Ruiz married Monica Rivers in 2014.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kondracke, Morton (1972-08-25). "Raul Ruiz, D (Calif.-36)". Roll Call. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  2. ^ a b Newkirk, Barrett (2014-05-19). "Congressman Raul Ruiz gets married". The Desert Sun. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  3. ^ The Next America, National Journal, Updated: December 3, 2012.
  4. ^ Nocera, Kate (2012-11-18). "Raul Ruiz win tells story of Election 2012". Politico. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Raul Ruiz unseats Mary Bono Mack in upset Riverside Press-Enterprise, November 7, 2012.
  6. ^ Freking, Kevin (2014-3-3). "Congressional freshmen face tough challenges". Washington Times. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Honore, Marcel (12-9-2012). "A look into Raul Ruiz". The Desert Sun. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Profile Raul Ruiz, first Hispanic to receive 3 degrees from Harvard
  9. ^ "About". Dr. Raul Ruiz for Congress. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  10. ^ a b McGinty, Kate (12 October 2012). "Mary Bono Mack and Raul Ruiz: A fact check on the congressional debate -". MyDesert.com. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Clarke, Chris (16 October 2012). "Coachella Valley Congress Race Turns Nasty". KCET. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Raul Ruiz". The Washington Times. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Terlecky, Megan (23 October 2012). "Fmr Pres. Clinton Endorses Ruiz for Congress". KESQ. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.)". Roll Call. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Bezis, Jason A. "CalPolitiCal: Riverside County - For Obama in 2012, First Democrat Ever to Win Twice". 
  16. ^ "Statement of Vote". Secretary of State's Office. State of California. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Cahn, Emily (4 June 2014). "Primary Results: California House Races (Updated)". Roll Call. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  18. ^ Blumenthal, Paul (2013-07-16). "Vulnerable House Incumbents Raising Big Money For 2014 Races". Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  19. ^ Blake, Aaron (7 December 2012). "House Democrats face long odds in 2014". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members". Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Sam Baker (11 June 2013). "NRCC hits Calif. Dems over ObamaCare rates". The Hill. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 154". House.gov. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  23. ^ Obama apologizes for insurance cancellations due to Obamacare - CNN.com
  24. ^ HealthCare.gov Diagnosis: The Government Broke Every Rule Of Project Management - Forbes
  25. ^ U.S. House votes to delay Obamacare penalty for non-enrollment | Reuters
  26. ^ Desert Sun
  27. ^ Liberals blast Dems who voted to delay ObamaCare mandate | TheHill
  28. ^ "H R 624". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  29. ^ "House Vote 251 - Approves New Abortion Restrictions". New York Times. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Janice Hahn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 36th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Keith Rothfus
R-Pennsylvania
United States Representatives by seniority
411th
Succeeded by
Brad Schneider
D-Illinois