Ruben Gallego

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ruben Gallego
Ruben Gallego official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 7th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byEd Pastor
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 16th district
In office
January 10, 2011 – March 14, 2014
Preceded byCloves Campbell
Succeeded byNorma Muñoz
Personal details
Ruben Marinelarena Gallego

(1979-11-20) November 20, 1979 (age 39)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Kate Widland
(m. 2010; div. 2017)
EducationHarvard University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service2000–2006
RankUSMC-E4.svg Corporal
UnitUnited States Marine Corps Reserve
Battles/warsIraq War

Ruben Marinelarena Gallego /ˈrbən ˌɡˈɛɡ/ (born November 20, 1979) is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 7th congressional district. A Democrat, he previously served as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, serving as assistant minority leader in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2012 until his resignation to run for Congress. Gallego was elected to Congress in the 2014 midterm congressional elections. His district includes most of southern, western, and downtown Phoenix, along with a portion of Glendale. He served as the National Chair of Eric Swalwell’s 2020 Presidential Campaign.

Early life[edit]

Gallego was born in Chicago[1] and is a first generation American with a Colombian mother and a Mexican father.[2]

Along with his three sisters, he was raised by a single mother.[3] The family eventually moved to Evergreen Park, Illinois, and he graduated from Evergreen Park Community High School.[4]

Gallego attended Harvard College, where he was a member of Sigma Chi.[5]

On August 7, 2008, Ruben Marinelarena changed his name to Ruben Marinelarena Gallego to honor his mother, Elisa Gallego, who raised him and his three siblings on her own after his father abandoned the family in his childhood.[6] Gallego was married to Kate Widland Gallego (who is now the mayor of Phoenix). They divorced in 2017, just prior to the birth of their first and only child.

Gallego currently sits on the boards of Valley Citizens League, and the President’s Community Advisory Board for South Mountain Community College.[7]


After college, Gallego joined the Marines. After completing infantry training, he deployed to Iraq with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. 3/25 would lose 46 Marines and two Navy corpsmen between January 2005 and January 2006, according to the Marine Corps official website.[3]

Gallego lost his best friend in combat in Iraq.[3] His desire to help fellow veterans motivated the formerly apolitical Gallego to get involved with politics.[8]

In 2011, he was named as a distinguished freshman lawmaker by The Arizona Republic.[9] Gallego's first successful bill granted in-state tuition status to veterans residing in Arizona.[3] Gallego supports the repeal of Arizona SB 1070. He considers education to be the most important long-term priority for Arizona.[10] In 2012, Gallego was elected assistant minority leader.[11]

He founded the group Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement, with the goal of recalling Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Gallego cited Arpaio's immigration policies and his use of taxpayer money to investigate Barack Obama's citizenship as reasons for recalling Arpaio.[12]

Gallego worked for Strategies 360 as Director of Latino and New Media operations. He also worked for Riester, one of the largest public relations firms in Arizona, and for Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski.[13]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Gallego during the 114th Congress

2014 election[edit]

Gallego introducing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in Phoenix.

On February 27, 2014, Gallego announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in Arizona's 7th congressional district.[14] Gallego resigned from the Arizona House in March 2014.[15] He was not required to give up his seat under Arizona's resign-to-run laws, since he was in the final year of his state house term.

Mayday PAC, a super PAC seeking to reduce the role of money in politics, announced its endorsement of Gallego because of his impressive evolution on the issue of campaign finance reform.[16] On February 28, 2013 Gallego voted against an amendment that sought to raise campaign finance limits for federal candidates and abolish all limits for state candidates, HB 2523.[17] He has since been a vocal supporter of the Government By the People Act.[18]

Gallego won a five-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic, majority-Latino district—with 48.9 percent of the vote. He breezed to victory in November with 74 percent of the vote.

Committee assignments, 116th Congress[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

In a letter to the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Gallego stated "I support full legalization of marijuana. As a member of the Arizona legislature, I introduced a bill that would have legalized marijuana possession and regulated and taxed marijuana in our state in a manner similar to alcohol. I wholly support these types of measures."[24]

Gallego is a noted environmentalist, being one of the initiators of the call against Trump administration’s proposed rollback of protections for the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska.[25]

He is a long-time supporter of LGBT causes.

Electoral history[edit]

Arizona House of Representatives 16th District Democratic Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego 4,149 26.12
Democratic Catherine Miranda 3,476 21.88
Democratic Cloves Campbell 3,182 20.03
Democratic Jim Munoz, Jr. 2,281 14.36
Democratic Sandra Gonzales 1,955 12.31
Democratic Cristy Lopez 842 5.30
Arizona House of Representatives 16th District Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Catherine Miranda 19,197 39.46
Democratic Ruben Gallego 18,365 37.75
Republican Michael Gular 8,551 17.58
Green Angel Torres 2,532 5.21
Arizona House of Representatives 27th District Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Catherine Miranda (inc.) 28,683 40.98
Democratic Ruben Gallego (inc.) 27,522 39.32
Republican Daniel Coleman 10,088 14.41
Green Angel Torres 3,702 5.29
Arizona's 7th Congressional District Democratic Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego 14,936 48.90
Democratic Mary Rose Wilcox 11,077 36.27
Democratic Randy Camacho 2,330 7.63
Democratic Jarrett Maupin 2,199 7.20
Arizona's 7th Congressional District Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego 54,235 74.85
Libertarian Joe Cobb 10,715 14.79
Americans Elect Rebecca DeWitt 3,858 5.32
Independent José Peñalosa 3,496 4.83
Republican/Write-in Gary Dunn 129 0.18
Democratic/Write-in Gustavo Ortega 17 0.02
Independent/Write-in Samuel Esquivel 4 0.01
Arizona's 7th Congressional District Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego (Inc.) 119,465 75.2
Republican Eve Nunez 39,286 24.7
N/A Write-in 60 0
Arizona's 7th Congressional District Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego (Inc.) 113,044 85.6
Green Gary Swing 18,706 14.1
N/A Write-in 301 0

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  2. ^ "Ruben Gallego Is Sworn In As Representative From Arizona's 7th Congressional District". Congressman Ruben Gallego. January 7, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Lopatin, Shari (September 2011). "Marine Turned Politician". Phoenix Magazine. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  4. ^ Miglieri, Anthony (March 19, 2015). "Former E.P. Student Sworn in as Arizona Congressman" (PDF). Mustang Monitor. 60 (3). Evergreen Park Community High School. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  5. ^ Avi-Yonah, Shera S. (June 10, 2019). "Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Introduces Legislation That Could Endanger Harvard's Sanctions". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  6. ^ "This Arizona candidate changed his name. His opponent wasn't happy about it". Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Representative Ruben Gallego". Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  8. ^ "Ambition, Life Experience Driving State Representative". South Mountain District News. May 31, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  9. ^ Pitzl, Mary Jo (May 21, 2011). "Arizona House and Senate distinguished freshmen". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  10. ^ "Candidate Q and A: Ruben Gallego". Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  11. ^ "Democrats select leaders in Arizona House, Senate". My Fox Memphis. November 13, 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  12. ^ Celock, John (September 25, 2012). "Joe Arpaio Opponents Form Super PAC To Unseat Arizona Sheriff". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Ruben Gallego". Strategies 360. Archived from the original on July 9, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  14. ^ "Ruben Gallego, Arizona State Rep., Announces Bid For Congress". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  15. ^ "Rep. Gallego resigns from Arizona House". Arizona Capitol Times. March 14, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  16. ^ Sullivan, Sean (August 11, 2014). "A leading 'anti-super PAC' just backed three more candidates for Congress". Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  17. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  18. ^ "Ruben Gallego - Gallego For Arizona". Archived from the original on November 18, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  19. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  20. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  21. ^ "Members". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  22. ^ "Congressman Ruben Gallego Joins the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus as Vice-Chair for the 114th Congress". Congressman Ruben Gallego. February 24, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  23. ^ "Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  24. ^ Gallego, Ruben. "Rep. Ruben Gallego Statement on Changes to DOJ Marijuana Enforcement Policies". Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  25. ^ "House Democrats to President Trump: Don't Kill Protections for America's Largest National Forest". Congressman Ruben Gallego. October 11, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ed Pastor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 7th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Tom Emmer
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Garret Graves