Rich Gordon

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Rich Gordon
Gordon headshot.jpg
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 24th district
21st district (2010–2012)
Assumed office
December 6, 2010
Preceded by Ira Ruskin
Member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
from the 3rd district
In office
April 1997 – December 6, 2010
Preceded by Ted Lempert
Succeeded by Don Horsley
Personal details
Born (1948-07-03) July 3, 1948 (age 67)
San Mateo County, California
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Dr. Dennis McShane
Residence Menlo Park, California
Alma mater University of Southern California
Religion United Methodist

Richard S. Gordon (born July 3, 1948) is an American politician from Menlo Park, California who currently serves in the California State Assembly. A Democrat, he formerly served for 13 years on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

Early life and career[edit]

Gordon, a fourth generation Californian, was born and raised in San Mateo County before his family moved to Orange County whilst he was in his teens. He then attended the University of Southern California, working at Disneyland to fund his studies. He graduated from USC in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.[1][2]

On leaving USC, Gordon became a minister in the United Methodist Church, receiving a Masters of Divinity from Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University in 1973. He returned to San Mateo County in 1976, working for the YMCA in Redwood City. He later worked for Youth and Family Assistance.

Political career[edit]

Gordon first ran for public office in 1992, seeking a seat on the San Mateo County Board of Education. He defeated an incumbent to take the seat and was re-elected in 1996.[3]

When Ted Lempert was elected to the Assembly in 1996, a vacancy opened up on Board of Supervisors and Gordon ran for the seat. In the special election held on April 8, 1997, Gordon took 41% of the vote in a seven-candidate field and was elected.[4] He was re-elected in 1998, 2002 and 2006.

State Assembly[edit]

When Assemblyman Ira Ruskin (D-Redwood City) was termed out of the California State Assembly in 2010, Gordon declared his candidacy for the seat. He was one of three Democrats to file for the seat and, in the primary election held on June 8, 2010, he took 39% of the vote. His nearest challenger was almost 2,000 votes behind on 31.5%.[5] He took 60% of the vote in the general election, beating Republican and Libertarian opponents who took 35% and 5% respectively.[6]

After taking office, Gordon served as Chairman of the Assembly's Business & Professions Committee. In June 2012, the Speaker named Gordon Chairman of the Committee on Rules, a position he currently holds (for the 2015 legislative session).[7]


Gordon is openly gay; his partner of 26 years is Dr. Dennis McShane. The couple were married on August 16, 2008 during the brief window of legal same-sex marriages in California that ended with the passage of Proposition 8 in November 2008.[1] He is one of eight members of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, which he chairs.


External links[edit]