Ruben Barrales

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Ruben Barrales (born 1962) is the former Deputy Assistant to President George W. Bush, and was also the Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.[1][2][3] He then served as the CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. He is currently the President and CEO of GROW Elect, a political action committee that recruits, endorses, trains, and funds Latino Republican candidates for public office.[4] He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Public Policy Institute of California. Barrales has also run as a candidate for the state government post of California State Controller.

Barrales identifies as a Mexican American and is recognized as the first Latino person to serve on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.[5] Barrales has also appeared in the Hispanic Business Magazine’s “100 Most Influential Hispanics” list on three occasions within the last ten years[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Barrales is the son of Mexican immigrants from Mexico City, Mexico, and was raised in Redwood City, California.[5] His father owned a roofing company.[7] His father was paralyzed from a fall from a roof during a roofing job during Ruben's youth.

He attended Nativity Catholic School in Menlo Park, California and graduated from Junípero Serra High School (San Mateo, California) in 1980. He graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a BA in political science in administrative studies.

He is married and has two kids, Ryan and Rachel.

Political career[edit]

Barrales was first registered as a Democrat before he ran for San Mateo County Supervisor. In 1992, he was elected San Mateo County Supervisor, and became the first elected Latino Supervisor in the county. He was re-elected in 1996.

As a county Supervisor, he helped lower crime in East Palo Alto by collaborating with Sheriff Don Horsley and other cities to form the Gang Suppression Task Force. This was needed in East Palo Alto, a city that the Federal Bureau of Investigation considered the homicide capital of the United States in 1992, after 42 killings took place that year.[7][8] He also supported the citizens of Redwood City in bringing the Shot Spotter[9] to Redwood City to reduce random gun fire. Redwood City was instrumental in the development of the Gunshot Location System,[10] which was possible through funding by San Mateo County and the major portion by the City of Redwood City.

In 1998, Barrales was the Republican candidate for California State Controller, though he failed to unseat Kathleen Connell. He received 2,652,115 votes (33%) to Connell's 4,874,097 votes (61%). Although he lost, the run for California State Controller gained him national attention. In 2001, he was appointed as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovermental Affairs in the White House by President George W. Bush.[11]

Private sector[edit]

After one and a half terms on the county board of supervisors he moved to the private sector, becoming President and CEO of Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network in San Jose, California.[12]

Following his stint in the White House he became President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce in December 2006.[3]


  • Barrales is listed among the 100 most influential Hispanics/Latinos in the United States.[13]
  • Barrales served as a member of the Speaker's Commission on the California Initiative Process.
  • Barrales served as Advisor for the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Barrales served as Vice-Chairman of the California Commission on Local Governance for the 21st Century.
  • Barrales served as a member of the California Speaker's Commission on State and Local Government Finance.
  • Barrales was recently featured in San Diego Magazine[14] for his contributions to the strength of the Latino community in San Diego.

Community service[edit]

He was a founding member of Garfield Charter School,[15] in the Redwood City Elementary School District.[16] Garfield Charter School was one of the first charter schools in California. He was instrumental in getting Garfield's Charter and secured funding for the first years.

He also served as Director of the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center.[17]


  1. ^ [1] President Bush to Nominate Barrales as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of OGA
  2. ^ The Foreign Policy Of George W. Bush: Values, Strategy And Loyalty, by Alexander Moens,2004, ISBN 978-0-7546-4274-9, ISBN 978-0-7546-4274-9
  3. ^ a b BACK HOME, IN A WAY, FOR EX-SUPE, 12/17/06, San Jose Mercury News
  4. ^ "homepage". GROW Elect. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "RUBEN BARRALES" (Web page). Public Policy Institute of California. 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Hispanic Heritage Awards 2009: Ruben Barrales". KPBS Public Broadcasting. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Promise of Globalization, by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge, 2003, ISBN 978-0-8129-6680-0
  8. ^ East Palo Alto
  9. ^ ShotSpotter - The World Leader in Gunshot Detection and Location Systems
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 3, 2006. Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  11. ^ Christopher Conte (May 2001). "Ruben Barrales: Beyond Cheerleading". Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Chasing the Red, White, and Blue: A Journey in Tocqueville's Footsteps Through Contemporary America, by David Cohen, Publisher: Picador;2001 ISBN 978-0-312-26154-2, ISBN 978-0-312-26154-2
  13. ^ Mark Baldassare, California in the New Millennium, The Changing Social and Political Landscape, UC Berkeley Press, @2000 The Regents of the University of California, ISBN 978-0-520-23421-5
  14. ^ Soy Latino - San Diego Magazine - June 2008 - San Diego, California
  15. ^ Archived July 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^
  17. ^ PCRC - Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center

External links[edit]