Former Lieutenant Governor of California, Candidate for Congress
Senator Abel Maldonado was first elected to represent the 15th Senate District in 2004 after serving six years in the State Assembly. Prior to his election to the Assembly, he served as the Mayor and a council member Santa Maria.
Senator Maldonado entered politics after encountering bureaucratic red tape while trying to expand his business. Running on a platform of reform and change, Senator Maldonado won that campaign and later went on to be one of the youngest mayors in Santa Maria’s history.
Throughout his Assembly and Senate career, Senator Maldonado has continued to advocate for governmental reform and accountability. Never forgetting whose money government spends, Senator Maldonado has fought for fiscal responsibility and government responsibility.
In the Assembly, he championed legislation reforming California’s antiquated and broken workers’ compensation system. Working alongside Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Maldonado helped to bring down workers’ compensation rates that were driving business out of the state.
Also while in the Assembly, Maldonado began his career-long commitment to fiscal restraint by refusing to take a salary increase during fiscal deficits. Senator Maldonado’s commitment to this principle led him to author and campaign for Proposition 1F on the May 2009 Special Election ballot. This new constitutional amendment, which was passed overwhelmingly by the voters, prohibits legislators from receiving a pay raise if there is a budget deficit.
After being elected to the Senate, Maldonado continued to advocate for reform and accountability at every level. Senator Maldonado spearheaded a campaign for greater oversight of the University of California (UC) system after learning of gross fiscal mismanagement. His constant pressure and insistence on accountability eventually led to the UC system ending its executive compensation abuses.
As late-night budget sessions became the norm for the State Legislature, Senator Maldonado demanded more transparency in the process. Frustrated that members were voting on legislation without public input, Senator Maldonado introduced Senate Constitutional Amendment 20, which requires all budget documents to be made available online for at least forty-eight hours prior to a vote.
Along with his commitment to reform and accountability, Senator Maldonado has never forgotten to advocate for his district. As a product of the public school system himself, Senator Maldonado has worked to improve our state schools, especially by increasing emphasis on Career Technical Education.
And as a father of four, Senator Maldonado will never forget that government’s first responsibility is the protection of its residents. He has introduced legislation to enact stronger penalties for sexually violent predators, allow for closed-circuit television testimony so children do not have to face their abusers in court, and prevent gang members from entering onto school grounds.
As the senator who represents one-third of California’s coastline, Maldonado is also an ardent supporter of environmental issues. He has consistently voted in opposition to offshore oil drilling and when budget shortfalls threatened to shut down the state parks, Senator Maldonado led the rallying cry to keep them open.
Senator Maldonado is the highest ranking Hispanic Republican in the State of California. The son of migrant farm workers, Senator Maldonado remains committed to the values he learned while working alongside his father in Santa Maria’s strawberry fields: personal accountability, fiscal responsibility, integrity and a strong work ethic.
Senator Abel Maldonado still lives in his hometown of Santa Maria with his wife Laura and their four children.