SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the appointment of Senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) as Lieutenant Governor. â€œSenator Maldonado has proven he has the strength and courage it takes to reach across the partisan divide and put the interests of Californians first and he is absolutely the most qualified person to take on the role of Lieutenant Governor,â€ said Governor Schwarzenegger. â€œSenator Maldonado shares my commitment to creating a transparent, accountable government that works for the people. He will be a true partner in solving the critical issues facing our state and building a stronger future for California.â€
Since 2004, Maldonado has served in the California State Senate, representing the 15th District, where he has proven his commitment to reforming state government and expanding opportunities for all Californians. He was a vocal supporter of the redistricting initiative and the author of the open primary initiative. Maldonado served in the California State Assembly, representing the 33rd District from 1998 to 2004, where he fought for important legislation, such as increasing the minimum wage in California. His commitment to public service began at an early age when he served as Santa Mariaâ€™s youngest and first Hispanic mayor from 1996 to 1998 and city council member from 1994 to 1996.
â€œLike the Governor, I learned the values of hard work, dedication and personal responsibility at a young age and place a high priority on reforming Californiaâ€™s broken government so that it is more responsive to and reflective of Californiaâ€™s diverse population,â€ said Senator Maldonado. â€œIâ€™m honored to take on the position of Lieutenant Governor and I look forward to working with the Governor to tackle important issues facing California and to ensure all Californians have the opportunity to realize their own American Dream.â€
Maldonado, 42, of Santa Maria, attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where he completed coursework in crop science. This position requires Senate and Assembly confirmation and the compensation is $159,134. Maldonado is a Republican.
Maldonado fills the vacancy created by the resignation of John Garamendi who was recently elected to U.S. House of Representatives. The Lieutenant Governor serves as acting Governor in the Governorâ€™s absence from the state and serves on the University of California Board of Regents, the California State University Board of Trustees and the California State Lands Commission. Additionally, the Lieutenant Governor serves as president of the California State Senate.