Amanda Renteria

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Amanda Renteria
Amanda Andrea Renteria

(1974-11-15) November 15, 1974 (age 44)
EducationStanford University (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
Political partyDemocratic

Amanda Andrea Renteria (born November 15, 1974) is an American political aide who has worked for United States Senators Dianne Feinstein and Debbie Stabenow. A member of the Democratic Party, Renteria is the first Latina Chief of Staff in the history of the U.S. Senate. She was the Democratic nominee for the United States House of Representatives from California's 21st congressional district in 2014, but lost to incumbent Republican David Valadao. In February 2018 she announced her candidacy for Governor of California.

Personal life and education[edit]

Renteria's father emigrated from Mexico in the 1960s, settling in Woodlake, California; her mother was born in the United States.[1] Renteria is the second of three daughters. She double-majored in economics and political science at Stanford University, writing her senior thesis on women in politics.[2] She played basketball and softball for the Stanford Cardinal. Renteria also earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.[3] Renteria lives in Sanger, California, with her husband Patrick Brannelly, a business owner and teacher at Fresno State’s MBA program, and two children.[1][4]


After college, Renteria became a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs. She decided to move to the public sector to "make a difference," working for one year as a math teacher at her former high school in Woodlake and helping San Jose with a neighborhood revitalization initiative, before going to Harvard Business School.[1][2]

Renteria became a member of Senator Dianne Feinstein's staff in 2006. She later took a job with Senator and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow as a legislative aid on financial issues. She was promoted to legislative director, and became Stabenow's chief of staff in 2008.[2] Renteria was the first Latina chief of staff in Senate history.[citation needed][5]

In 2013, Renteria was considered for the role of chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, but withdrew her name from consideration.[6] According to Reuters, “Washington policy-watchers widely assumed that Renteria would get the job, but last-minute questions about her perceived lack of experience got in the way.”[7] Politico noted that “financial reform advocates reacted with shock to reports that the White House was considering her for the position.”[8]

In August 2013, Renteria moved back to California, where she briefly worked as a substitute teacher before announcing her congressional candidacy.[4]

2014 congressional candidacy[edit]

Renteria ran for Congress in California's 21st congressional district. On announcing her candidacy, she stated, "I'm running because I grew up here, and I believe the Valley needs a strong voice in Washington. We have to have folks who know how to work across the aisle, and who know how to be effective."[4] Republican David Valadao holds the seat. In the June 3 primary, Renteria received 11,682 votes and about 25.6% overall, ahead of fellow Democrat John Hernandez, but fell nearly 40% behind Valadao, thus becoming the Democratic nominee.[9] At the time of the primary, Cook Political Report considered the seat to be “likely Republican.”[10]

On July 20, 2014, both Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and representative Nancy Pelosi held a fundraiser to support Renteria's candidacy.[11] President Barack Obama also appeared at a fundraiser with Renteria, calling her one of “two outstanding candidates and part of what it is that we’re just trying to build here and across the country." According to the Fresno Bee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reserved $1 million for ads in September in her district.[12] On October 7 Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a fundraiser for Renteria.[13][14]

On the Affordable Care Act, The Hill reported Renteria as saying that “something needed to be done at the time and that she opposes repealing the law now.”[15]

In October 2014, Roll Call reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced plans to cut campaign ads in the final two weeks of the campaign, "a signal the party does not see a path to victory for these candidates or races."[16]

In the November 4 general election, Renteria lost to Valadao by an almost 58 to 42 margin.[17]

2016 Clinton campaign[edit]

Leaked emails of John Podesta show that the Hillary Clinton campaign was looking for a "Hispanic woman" for the position of political director of her 2016 presidential campaign.[18] Following the loss to Valadao, Renteria was hired to fill that position.[19]

2018 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

On February 20, 2018, Renteria announced her candidacy in the 2018 California gubernatorial election.[20] Renteria finished seventh out of 27 candidates on the ballot in California's unique "top-two primary"; she received 86,287 votes, for 1.3% of the vote. Renteria finished behind Democratic candidates Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (who advanced to the runoff with 33.5% of the vote), former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (13.2%), State Treasurer John Chiang (9.5%) and former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin (3.3). She also finished behind Republicans John H. Cox (who advanced to the runoff against Newsom with 25.7% of the vote) and State Assemblyman Travis Allen (9.5%).

Electoral history[edit]

California's 21st congressional district, 2014 (Primary):

  • David Valadao (incumbent) – 28,773 (63.0%)
  • Amanda Renteria – 11,682 (25.6%)
  • John Hernandez – 5,232 (11.5%)

California's 21st congressional district, 2014:

  • David Valadao (incumbent) – 45,907 (57.8%)
  • Amanda Renteria – 33,470 (42.2%)

California gubernatorial election, 2018[edit]


Despite the fact that 100% of precincts have reported this does not include mail-in ballots. It is estimated that as many as a million votes remain to be counted. All counties must submit their vote totals to the California Secretary of State by July 6, 2018.

Nonpartisan blanket primary results[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gavin Newsom 2,179,989 33.5
Republican John H. Cox 1,669,775 25.7
Democratic Antonio Villaraigosa 856,333 13.2
Republican Travis Allen 619,239 9.5
Democratic John Chiang 616,789 9.5
Democratic Delaine Eastin 216,159 3.3
Democratic Amanda Renteria 86,287 1.3
Republican Robert C. Newman II 41,744 0.6
Democratic Michael Shellenberger 28,579 0.4
Republican Peter Y. Liu 25,351 0.4
Republican Yvonne Girard 20,375 0.3
Peace and Freedom Gloria La Riva 16,959 0.3
Democratic J. Bribiesca 15,692 0.2
Green Josh Jones 14,623 0.2
Libertarian Zoltan Istvan 13,360 0.2
Democratic Albert Caesar Mezzetti 10,850 0.2
Democratic Robert Davidson Griffis 9,999 0.2
Libertarian Nickolas Wildstar 10,560 0.2
Democratic Akinyemi Agbede 8,434 0.1
Democratic Thomas Jefferson Cares 8,115 0.1
Green Christopher N. Carlson 6,555 0.1
No party preference Hakan "Hawk" Mikado 4,867 0.1
Democratic Klement Tinaj 4,749 0.1
No party preference Johnny Wattenburg 4,524 0.1
No party preference Desmond Silveira 4,179 0.1
No party preference Jeffrey Edward Taylor 3,598 0.1
No party preference Shubham Goel 3,513 0.1
No party preference Armando M. Arreola (write-in) - -
Green Veronika Fimbres (write-in) - -
Republican K. Pearce (write-in) - -
No party preference Arman Soltani (write-in) - -
No party preference Peter Crawford Valentino (write-in)
Total votes 5,629,326 100.00%


  1. ^ a b c Gamboa, Suzanne (April 4, 2014). "Amanda Renteria Hopes Local Ties Help Vault Her to U.S. House". NBC News. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Brady, Jessica (October 16, 2008). "Renteria Doesn't Blend In". Roll Call. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  3. ^ Gonzales, Nathan L. (18 September 2013). "Democrats Ready to Land Recruit in Elusive California District". Roll Call. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Doyle, Michael (September 29, 2013). "Congressional hopeful Amanda Renteria wants to give Valley 'a strong voice'". The Fresno Bee. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  5. ^ "Clinton Natl Political Director Amanda Renteria is a Latina "First"". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  6. ^ Miedema, Douwe (July 8, 2013). "Renteria withdraws candidacy for U.S. CFTC chair". Reuters. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  7. ^ Miedema, Douwe (September 25, 2013). "U.S. CFTC lacks successor to chief as new duties loom". Reuters. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  8. ^ Orol, Ronald (June 13, 2013). "Nomination of Senate aide to replace Gensler far from certain: report". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 18, 2014. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  10. ^ "2014 House Race Ratings for August 8, 2014". Cook Political Report. August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  11. ^ Wagner, John (July 3, 2014). "O'Malley plans fundraiser this month with Pelosi to help five congressional candidates". Washington Post. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  12. ^ Ellis, John (July 23, 2014). "Obama recognizes 21st CD hopeful Renteria at Bay Area fundraiser". Fresno Bee. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  13. ^ Joseph, Cameron (July 24, 2014). "Overnight Campaign: One step forward, two steps back for GOP". The Hill. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  14. ^ staff, "Rally, tickets part of VPs visit to Bakersfield".
  15. ^ Joseph, Cameron (July 29, 2014). "First Latina Senate chief of staff banks on Hispanic turnout to oust Valadao". The Hill. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  16. ^ Livingston, Abby (October 6, 2014). "DCCC Cuts Airtime in 8 TV Markets". Roll Call. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  17. ^ "U.S. House of Representatives District 21 – Districtwide Results". California General Election Results November 4, 2014. California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on December 14, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Glueck, Katie (April 12, 2015). "The power players behind Hillary Clinton's campaign: A guide to some of the most influential players in her 2016 presidential bid". Politico. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  20. ^ Cadelago, Christopher (February 14, 2018). "Top Clinton aide to run for California governor". Sacramento Bee.
  21. ^ "Governor - Statewide Results". California Secretary of State. Retrieved June 11, 2018.

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