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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 22nd, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 46 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 46

Abel Maldonado isn't running for governor anymore

BY AMY ASMAN

Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado announced Jan. 16 at a press conference in his hometown of Santa Maria that he is no longer running for governor of California.

Flanked by his wife and children on one side and his political mentors on the other, Maldonado told reporters outside City Hall, “now is the time for me to take a step back” from holding a public office.

“But I’m going to continue to help [the public] as a private citizen,” he said.

After 20 years in the political arena, Maldonado said he’s ending his career not because he lacks the experience to lead, but because he wants to spend more time with his family.

“It’s time for me to stay home. It’s time for me to be a full-time dad,” Maldonado said, eliciting happy tears from his wife, Laura, and four children. “It’s time for me to be a full-time husband.”

He said, as a politician always on the go, he’s missed a lot of his children’s basketball games, rodeos, and FFA events—something he’s planning to make up for in the near future. Maldonado also mentioned he plans to help his daughter, Erika, a graduate of Cal Poly in SLO, launch her own winery.

He went on to call his wife “the rock of the family,” and said, “Laura controls my schedule to attend events in Santa Maria.”

It’s been no secret that the gubernatorial hopeful’s campaign has struggled, especially when it came to funding. Data from the California Secretary of State’s office showed Maldonado’s campaign outspent its earnings in the first six months of 2013, and more than a third of the money (approximately $185,000) was spent solely on campaign consultants. Maldonado also dealt with some very public tax issues linked to his family’s business, Agro-Jal.

Maldonado is perhaps best known for his championing an initiative that created open primaries in California. More recently, he campaigned for the repeal of Assembly Bill 109, the prison realignment act, which aims to solve overcrowding problems at the state’s prisons by releasing low-level offenders to county jails.

“[AB 109] needs to be overturned by the people of California,” Maldonado said when asked about the law. “It just needs support, and, hopefully, we’re going to do that in the future.”

He didn’t say whether he plans to continue to support the repeal campaign, financially or otherwise.