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|Democratic Party candidate for|
U.S. House of Representatives from California's 39th district
November 6, 2018
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Republican Party (until 2008)|
|Alma mater||George Washington University (BA)|
Regis University (MBA)
Brown University (MA)
Gilbert Cisneros is an American philanthropist and politician from the state of California. A member of the Democratic Party, he is running in the 2018 election for the United States House of Representatives to represent California's 39th congressional district.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Cisneros's mother worked in a cafeteria, while his father served in the Vietnam War and suffered from exposure to Agent Orange. Cisneros served in the United States Navy as a supply officer for 11 years. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science from George Washington University (GWU) and his Master of Business Administration from Regis University. He worked as a shipping and manufacturing manager for Frito-Lay, until he was laid off in 2010.
Weeks after he was laid off, Cisneros won a Mega Millions jackpot worth $266 million. He and his wife became philanthropists, establishing endowments for scholarships to be given to Latino students at GWU and the University of Southern California. They also founded Generation First Degree Pico Rivera, with the goal of ensuring every Latino household in Pico Rivera has at least one college graduate, and the Gilbert and Jacki Cisneros Foundation with an initial investment of $20 million to provide mentorship in education. After setting up the foundation, Cisneros earned a Master of Arts from Brown University in Urban Education Policy.
Congressional Campaign[edit | edit source]
In 2017, he declared his candidacy against Ed Royce in the 2018 election for the United States House of Representatives to represent California's 39th congressional district. He specifically cited Royce's vote to repeal the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare", as part of the reason that he chose to run.
Since Royce had been seen as vulnerable, the campaign to unseat him attracted 17 challengers by July of 2017. On January 8, 2018, Ed Royce declared that he would not run for re-election, and the newly open seat led many others to declare their candidacy. Ultimately, the nonpartisan blanket primary election for the 39th district in 2018 had 17 candidates: 6 Democrats, 7 Republicans, and 4 others. In addition, there were 5 other candidates who had withdrawn their campaigns before the primary. The large number of candidates from both parties led to fears that Democrats could be locked out of the general election. This election attracted national attention as the "weirdest race in the country" after the California Democratic Party and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee brokered a truce on negative campaigning between Gil Cisneros and Andy Thorburn, who had each spent $6 million on their respective campaigns.
Fears of a lockout by either party were not realized when Cisneros advanced to the November runoff election, finishing second in the June primary election to Republican Young Kim, with 19.35% of the vote. This election has been listed as a "Toss-up" by the Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Cisneros and his wife, Jacki, have two children, who are twins. They own a home in Pico Rivera, and lived in Newport Beach until they moved to Yorba Linda. Before Cisneros won the lottery, Jacki worked for KNBC in Los Angeles.
References[edit | edit source]
- "Former Navy Vet, Lottery Winner Joins Race To Unseat GOP Congressman « CBS Los Angeles". Losangeles.cbslocal.com. July 17, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- "Republicans-turned-Democrats challenging O.C. GOP Congress members". Orange County Register. July 19, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- L.S. Hall (June 24, 2015). "Lucky and Focused: A Lottery Winner Uses His Millions to Boost Hispanic Students — Inside Philanthropy". Insidephilanthropy.com. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- "TV news employee in LA has $266M winning ticket". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- Christine Mai-Duc. "Navy veteran/lottery winner to challenge Orange County Rep. Ed Royce for Congress". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- David Callahan. "The Big Money Behind a New College Fund for Immigrant "DREAMers" — Inside Philanthropy". Insidephilanthropy.com. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- "Lottery Winner to Challenge Royce in California". Rollcall.com. July 17, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- Wildermuth, John. "Lottery millionaire wins again: National Democrats help him in Orange County race". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- Wire, Christine Mai-Duc, Sarah D. "California Republican Rep. Ed Royce won't seek reelection, creating bigger opening for Democrats". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
- "California's 39th Congressional District election, 2018 - Ballotpedia". Retrieved 2018-07-01.
- "'This is the weirdest race in the country'". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
- Robertson, Derek (June 6, 2018). "'This is basically a home run for Democrats'". Politico. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- "Gil Cisneros". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- "She won $266 million; chatted on 'Oprah'". Orange County Register. May 24, 2011. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
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