Gloria Romero (politician)

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Gloria Romero
Romero in 2006
Majority Leader of the California Senate
In office
Preceded byDon Perata
Succeeded byDean Florez
Member of the California State Senate
from the 24th district
In office
March 12, 2001 – November 30, 2010
Preceded byHilda Solis
Succeeded byEdward Hernández
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 49th district
In office
December 7, 1998 – March 12, 2001
Preceded byDiane Martinez
Succeeded byJudy Chu
Personal details
Born (1955-07-10) July 10, 1955 (age 68)
Barstow, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materCalifornia State University, Long Beach
University of California, Riverside
ProfessionProfessor, politician

Gloria J. Romero (born July 10, 1955) is a former California State Senator and the Democratic majority leader of the California State Senate from 2005 until 2008. She was the first woman to ever hold that leadership position.

Early life and career[edit]

Romero grew up in Barstow, one of six children. Her father worked in the railroad yards and her mother, who left school after sixth grade, stayed home and raised the kids. Romero received her associate's degree from Barstow Community College before going on to earn a B.A. and an M.A. from California State University, Long Beach and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Riverside.

She taught as a professor at state universities and served as a trustee and vice president of the board of trustees of Los Angeles Community College District.[citation needed]

Legislative career[edit]

She was elected to the California State Assembly in 1998 and to the Senate in 2001. Romero represented the 24th district, which included East Los Angeles, portions of the city of Los Angeles, as well as a major part of the San Gabriel Valley, including the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, Covina, Duarte, El Monte, City of Industry, Irwindale, La Puente, Monterey Park, Rosemead, West Covina and Whittier.

In 2008, Romero stepped down as Majority Leader and became chairman of the Education Committee.[1] In that position she authored and guided to passage a fiercely contested[2] ‘parent trigger’ law which allows a majority of parents in a "failing school" to vote on a method to restructure the school.[3]

Romero was term-limited in 2010.[1]

Campaign for State Superintendent of Public Instruction[edit]

Following U.S. Representative Hilda Solis's December 2008 selection to become U.S. Secretary of Labor by President-elect Barack Obama (and expected subsequent confirmation), Romero indicated strong interest in running in the special election for California's 32nd congressional district to replace her,[4] but later chose to run for the nonpartisan California State Superintendent of Public Instruction instead.[5] Romero was supported by advocates of charter schools, while her two major opponents were supported by teachers unions and school administrators, respectively.[6][7][8] Eventually, Romero finished third, receiving 17.0% of the vote in a crowded 12-person field.[9]

Post-legislative career and charter school industry support[edit]

Romero led the California chapter of Democrats for Education Reform, a reform wing of the Democratic Party supporting privatization of public schools. In the 2012 election, she supported California's Prop. 32 that would bar workers from donating to their unions' Political Action Committees (PACs) using payroll deductions.[1] She founded Scholarship Prep Charter School, which enrolls TK-8th grade students in low income communities.

In the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election, she endorsed Republican Larry Elder.[10]

As a public university professor in California, she is a member of the California Faculty Association.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Finley, Allysia, "Gloria Romero: The Trials of a Democratic Reformer", Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  2. ^ Libby, Ken, "How to Buy a Candidate: Gloria Romero for CA Superintendent of Public Instruction", SchoolsMatter blog, March 08, 2010. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  3. ^ O'Connor, John, "Q & A: Gloria Romero, Author Of California’s ‘Parent Trigger’ Law", StateImpact (local public media and NPR), February 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  4. ^ Morain, Dan (December 18, 2008). "Obama's pick of Hilda Solis for Labor prompts some to eye her House seat". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 December 2008.
  5. ^ Larrubia, Evelyn (January 8, 2009). "Gloria Romero will not seek congressional seat". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
  6. ^ Dan Smith; Torey Van Oot (June 2, 2010). "The Buzz: Money, endorsements rolling in to replace California schools chief". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  7. ^ Patrick Range McDonald (June 3, 2010). "Gloria Romero's Race to the Top". LA Weekly. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  8. ^ Patrick Range McDonald (June 8, 2010). "Special Interests Spend Heavily on California Superintendent of Public Instruction Race". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  9. ^ "Secretary of State June 8, 2010 Primary Election--Superintendent of Public Education - Statewide Results". Archived from the original on July 14, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  10. ^ "Column: Why this Democrat is backing Larry Elder for governor". Los Angeles Times. Aug 31, 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by California State Senate Majority Leader
Succeeded by
Preceded by California State Senator
24th district

March 12, 2001 - November 30, 2010
Succeeded by
Preceded by California State Assemblymember, 49th district
December 7, 1998 - March 12, 2001
Succeeded by