Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
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California State SenateCandidate for District 40

Photo of Joseph C. Rocha

Joseph C. Rocha

Marine Captain/Attorney
149,948 votes (46.9%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Helping Families Get Ahead - I will focus on delivering on basic needs that help lift people into the middle class, such as increasing access to affordable childcare, advancing paid sick leave, and expanding access to first-time homebuyer loans.
  • Protecting Choice - I will stand up and continue to focus on protecting choice. As the constitutional right to abortion is threatened, California must expand protections and become a beacon of choice to other states.
  • Veterans - I am familiar with the issues facing our veterans. We need to do our part as a state to provide transitional support for those exiting the military and more access to housing to ensure no veteran is sleeping on the streets.



Profession:Marine Corps Captain/Attorney
Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps (2014–2021)
Bomb Dog Handler (Master-At-Arms), United States Navy (2004–2007)


University of San Francisco JD (2016)
University of San Diego BA (2011)
San Diego City College AA (2009)


Joseph’s grandparents immigrated to California from Mexico to labor in tomato fields and canneries in the 1960s. Through hard work and determination, they climbed into the middle class to build opportunities for their family. Joseph’s mother struggled with addiction, so he spent most of his childhood living with his father, who raised a family of five in Riverside on a truck driver’s salary. But when Joseph came out as gay at 17, he had to move out. Though his early years were marked by hardship, trauma, and housing insecurity, Joseph excelled in school, participated in the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Conference, and worked part-time as a dishwasher.

Joseph joined the Navy on his eighteenth birthday, quickly advancing to become a bomb dog handler, tracking down explosives in the Persian Gulf. After he was discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he became an advocate for repeal, swearing he would re-enlist and keep fighting to protect his country, as soon as it would let him.

While he fought for repeal, Joseph graduated from San Diego City College, and then the University of San Diego, and the University of San Francisco School of Law. Following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Joseph kept his word, rising to the rank of a Marine Corps Captain and prosecutor, continuing to fight for justice.

Now, Joseph is running for State Senate out of the same sense of duty and service that has guided him his entire life. Joseph will fight for the hardworking people who have too often been left behind by career politicians who only look out for themselves.


Joseph lives in Escondido with his dog Daytwa.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $1,528,777

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

California Democratic Party
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
California Nurses Association
SEIU California
SEIU United Healthcare Workers West
State Building & Construction Trades Council of California

More information about contributions

By State:

California 97.35%
District of Columbia 0.77%
North Carolina 0.33%
Washington 0.21%
Other 1.34%

By Size:

Large contributions (97.44%)
Small contributions (2.56%)

By Type:

From organizations (88.16%)
From individuals (11.84%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Videos (1)

— May 2, 2022 Rocha for Senate 2022

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