LOS ANGELES — Former Eagle Rock Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez was sworn in July 11 as a member of the House of Representatives, one month after he defeated public interest attorney and fellow Democrat Robert Lee Ahn in a special election for the 34th Congressional District seat.
The special election was prompted by the appointment of then-Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, as state attorney general, succeeding Kamala Harris, who was elected to the U.S. Senate last November. Becerra endorsed Gomez, who said ran “to fight” President Donald Trump.
“My approach to policy, politics and government is shaped by experiences of my family and of my community,” Gomez said after taking the oath of office, which was administered by House Speaker Paul Ryan. “As the son of immigrants who believes in this country and everything it promises, I have a profound commitment to protecting the rights of other immigrant families, no matter where they are from or the god they worship.”
He also said he supports “universal health care,” recalling that he spent a week in the hospital as a child and it “almost bankrupted my family.”
“And lastly, to the people of California’s 34th district, I know why you sent me to Congress — to fight for our families, our state and our values. And I will do it every single day. I won’t let you down.”
Gomez was recently criticized by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, for delaying his swearing-in ceremony for weeks. Gomez cited family conflicts for the delay in the ceremony, although some Republicans suggested he was intentionally stalling so he could support Democratic measures pending in the state Legislature.
Gomez was born and raised in Southern California. He graduated from UCLA, then earned a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard University.
Gomez was the political director of the United Nurses Association of California and worked with several other unions, and also worked in the offices of then-Councilman Mike Feuer and then-Rep. Hilda Solis. He was elected to the Assembly in 2012, and re-elected in 2014 and 2016.