Cruz Bustamante

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Latino Lt. Governor of California.
California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante
California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante

Cruz Miguel Bustamante (born January 4, 1953). He is the current Lieutenant Governor of California, a member of the Democratic Party, and a candidate for Insurance Commissioner of California.



  • Cruz Bustamante was born January 4, 1953 in Dinuba, California.
  • The eldest of the six children raised by Cruz and Dominga Bustamante in the small Central Valley town of San Joaquin, California.
  • Bustamante resides in Oak Grove, California with his wife Arcelia and is the father of three daughters.


California State Assembly

  • He was elected to the California State Assembly in a special election in 1993.
  • He became the Speaker of the California Assembly in 1996.
  • He has served as the Lieutenant Governor since 1999.
  • He was the first Latino elected to statewide office in California in more than 120 years.
  • He was the highest-ranking elected Latino officeholder in the United States until Bill Richardson became Governor of New Mexico in 2003.

Recall Election

He was the most prominent Democrat to run in the 2003 California recall election to remove Governor Gray Davis, and placed second to Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, losing by approximately 1.3 million votes.

Bustamante had an apparently icy relationship with Governor Davis, a fellow Democrat, during his tenure. They reportedly had not talked in months before the recall election approached. Bustamante's decision to run in the recall election was controversial, as many supporters of Governor Davis had urged prominent Democrats not to run, in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the event. During the recall election, Bustamante ran on a platform slogan of "No on Recall, Yes on Bustamante,"[1][2] indicating he opposed the recall. Bustamante is currently the Democratic candidate for California Insurance Commissioner. [3]

Bustamante is a moderate Democrat, and in the 2004 presidential primary served as California campaign chair for U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman's campaign. In contrast, other statewide elected officials generally endorsed John Kerry or Howard Dean.

Insurance Commissioner Election

In Bustamante's official candidate statement, he says "I want to become an example to others to lead healthier lives by losing weight myself. Obesity in California costs $7.7 billion a year." Bustamante claims to have recently shed 43 pounds to 235 pounds by means of diet and exercise. His campaign Web site features recipes that include "Cruz's Healthy Breakfast Frittata" and also includes tips on fitness.

Bustamante easily won the June 6, 2006 Democratic primary, receiving 70.5% of the vote and defeating his challenger, John Kraft. Bustamante will run against Republican Steve Poizner in November. In the June Primary Bustamante received 1,606,913 Democratic votes, Kraft 674,309 democratic votes, and Poizner 1,472,729 Republican votes. Many political analysts believe that Kraft, who ran a low-key campaign where he took no campaign contributions, received those votes as a protest for Bustamante's behavior during the 2003 recall election. [4] The key issue will be if Poizner can be effective in swaying the 674,309 Kraft Democratic voters into believing that John Garamendi did not provide effective change in the Worker's Compensation crisis which is driving businesses out of California. However, Kraft plans to actively campaign for Bustamante, and is donating a significant portion of his fortune as a heir to Kraft Foods to Bustamante. [5]

Electoral history

  • 2006 Insurance Commissioner Primary
    • Cruz Bustamante (D), 70.5%
    • John Kraft (D) 29.5%
  • 2002 Election for Lieutenant Governor
  • 1998 Election for Lieutenant Governor


  • "Office of the Lt. Governor - About Cruz Bustamante". Retrieved Nov. 8, 2005.

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