Jump to content

Cruz Bustamante

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cruz Bustamante
Bustamante in 2006
45th Lieutenant Governor of California
In office
January 4, 1999 – January 8, 2007
GovernorGray Davis
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Preceded byGray Davis
Succeeded byJohn Garamendi
62nd Speaker of the California State Assembly
In office
December 2, 1996 – February 26, 1998
Preceded byCurt Pringle
Succeeded byAntonio Villaraigosa
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 31st district
In office
April 29, 1993 – November 30, 1998
Preceded byBruce Bronzan
Succeeded bySarah Reyes
Personal details
Cruz Miguel Bustamante

(1953-01-04) January 4, 1953 (age 71)
Dinuba, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationFresno City College
California State University, Fresno (BA)

Cruz Miguel Bustamante (born January 4, 1953) is an American politician. He previously served as the 45th Lieutenant Governor of California from 1999 to 2007, serving under governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. A member of the Democratic Party, Bustamante also served in the California State Assembly and served as the Speaker from 1996 to 1998.

Early life and education[edit]

The eldest of six children, Cruz Bustamante was born in Dinuba, California. His family later moved to San Joaquin, California. He attended and graduated from Tranquillity High School in the 1970s, where he excelled in both football and wrestling, and later attended Fresno City College and California State University, Fresno. Bustamante earned his Bachelor of Arts via distance learning from California State University, Fresno in 2003.[1][2]


Bustamante as a member of the Assembly
Bustamante c. 1993

As a resident of Fresno, Bustamante was elected to the California State Assembly in a special election in 1993, and became the Speaker of the Assembly in 1996.[2] He was elected lieutenant governor in 1998, the first Latino elected to statewide office in California in more than 120 years. He was also the highest-ranking elected Latino officeholder in the United States until Bill Richardson became governor of New Mexico in 2003.

2003 recall election[edit]

He was the most prominent Democrat to run in the 2003 California recall election to remove Governor Gray Davis, and placed second to Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, losing by 17 points. (see full election results).

Bustamante had an apparently icy relationship with Governor Davis, a fellow Democrat, during his tenure. They reportedly had not talked in months before the recall election approached. Bustamante's decision to run in the recall election was controversial, as many supporters of Governor Davis had urged prominent Democrats not to run, in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the event. During the recall election, Bustamante ran on a platform slogan of "No on Recall, Yes on Bustamante,"[3][4] indicating he opposed the recall.

2006 insurance commissioner election[edit]

Bustamante was the Democratic nominee for California insurance commissioner in 2006. In his official candidate statement, he said "I want to become an example to others to lead healthier lives by losing weight myself. Obesity in California costs $7.7 billion a year." Bustamante claimed to have shed 43 pounds, to a weight of 235 pounds, by means of diet and exercise.[5]

He easily won the June 6, 2006 Democratic primary, receiving 70.5% of the vote and defeating his challenger, John Kraft. Bustamante received 1,606,913 votes to 674,309 for Kraft. Many political analysts believed that Kraft, who ran a low-key campaign where he took no campaign contributions, received those votes as a protest for Bustamante's behavior during the 2003 recall election.[6] However, Kraft planned to actively campaign for Bustamante in the general election, and donated a significant portion of his fortune as an heir to Kraft Foods to Bustamante's campaign.[7]

Bustamante ran against Republican Steve Poizner in November. Bustamante announced that he would not be returning insurance industry contributions to his campaign, a position criticized by Poizner and campaign ethicists. Bustamante also failed to meet a deadline to submit a campaign statement to voters. According to the Field Poll, on November 3, 2006, Bustamante trailed Poizner by 9%.[8] and lost to Poizner by 12% in the general election.

It was speculated that Bustamante would run for the U.S. House of Representatives in California's 21st congressional district in 2012,[9] but ultimately he did not run.

Personal life[edit]

With his wife Arcelia, Bustamante has three children.

Electoral history[edit]

Public offices
Office Type Location Elected Term began Term ended
State Assemblyman Legislature Sacramento 1993 May 3, 1993 December 5, 1994
State Assemblyman Legislature Sacramento 1994 December 5, 1994 December 2, 1996
Speaker of the Assembly Legislature Sacramento 1996 December 2, 1996 December 7, 1998
Lieutenant Governor Executive Sacramento 1998 January 4, 1999 January 6, 2003
Lieutenant Governor Executive Sacramento 2002 January 6, 2003 January 8, 2007
California State Assembly service
Session Majority Governor Committees District
1993–1994 Democratic Pete Wilson 31
1995–1996 Republican Pete Wilson 31
1997–1998 Democratic Pete Wilson 31
California Lieutenant Governor general election, 1998
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cruz Bustamante 4,290,473 52.7
Republican Tim Leslie 3,161,031 38.8
Green Sara Amir 247,897 3.0
Libertarian Thomas M. Tryon 167,523 2.1
Peace and Freedom Jaime Luis Gomez 109,888 1.3
American Independent George M. McCoy 92,349 1.1
Reform James G. Mangia 74,180 0.9
Total votes 8,143,341
Majority 1,129,442 13.9
Democratic hold
California Lieutenant Governor general election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Cruz Bustamante (incumbent) 3,658,942 49.4 −3.3
Republican Bruce McPherson 3,094,392 41.8 +3.0
Green Donna Warren 307,254 4.1 +1.1
Libertarian Pat Wright 107,127 1.4 −0.7
American Independent James King 93,026 1.3 +0.2
Reform Paul Jerry Hanosh 82,053 1.1 +0.2
Natural Law Kalee Przybylak 68,366 0.9 +0.9
Total votes 7,411,160
Majority 564,550 7.6 −6.3
Democratic hold Swing −6.3
California recall election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger 4,206,284 48.6
Democratic Cruz Bustamante 2,724,874 31.5
Republican Tom McClintock 1,161,287 13.5
Green Peter Miguel Camejo 242,247 2.8
California Insurance Commissioner primary election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cruz Bustamante 1,651,858 70.4
Democratic John Kraft 693,662 29.6
Total votes 2,345,520
Majority 958,196 40.8
California Insurance Commissioner general election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve Poizner 4,233,986 50.8
Democratic Cruz Bustamante 3,204,536 38.5
Libertarian Dale Ogden 305,772 3.7
Green Larry Cafiero 270,218 3.2
Peace and Freedom Tom Condit 187,618 2.3
American Independent Jay Earl Burden 127,267 1.5
Total votes 8,329,397
Majority 1,029,450 12.3
Republican gain from Democratic

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante". digital.library.ucla.edu. Archived from the original on June 10, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Zarembo, Alan (August 30, 2003). "Slow but Steady Approach Has Served Bustamante Well". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  3. ^ "Special Election - Candidate Statement". Vote2003.ss.ca.gov. October 7, 2003. Archived from the original on June 11, 2007. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  4. ^ Fouhy, Beht (August 22, 2003). "State Democrats in Congress say no to recall, yes to Bustamante". Napa Valley Register. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  5. ^ Oldham, Jennifer. "Bustamante Hopes to Win Insurance Post by Losing". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Feist, Paul (June 7, 2006). "Politics Blog : Election results not good news for Bustamante". SFGate. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  7. ^ Capitol Weekly: The Newspaper of California State Government and Politics Archived June 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field; November 3, 2006; "Lt. Governor's race deadlocked" Archived March 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine; ''Field Research Corporation; url accessed November 4, 2006,
  9. ^ Ellis, John (February 21, 2012). "Dinuba native Bustamante eyes 21st District congressional bid". The Fresno Bee. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2012.

External links[edit]

California Assembly
Preceded by Member of the California Assembly
from the 31st district

Succeeded by
Sarah Reyes
Preceded by Speaker of the California Assembly
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of California
1998, 2002
Succeeded by
Democratic nominee for Governor of California
Succeeded by
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Insurance Commissioner of California
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of California
Succeeded by