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Tuesday November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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United States

United States SenateCandidate for Senator

Photo of Kevin de León

Kevin de León

California Senator
5,093,942 votes (45.8%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Move comprehensive immigration reform
  • Pass Medicare for All
  • Move a national clean energy plan



Profession:California Senator
CA State Senator, People of California (2010–current)
California Senate President pro Tempore, California State Senate — Elected position (2010–current)
Assemblymember, California State Assembly — Elected position (2008–2010)


Pitzer College Bachelor's, Political Science (2003)


Senator de León is the son of a single immigrant mother who supported her family in the San Diego barrio of Logan Heights working as a housekeeper and other pick-up jobs. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college.


He attended U.C. Santa Barbara and graduated from Pitzer College at the Claremont Colleges with honors. He is a Rodel Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California. He has one daughter.


Before entering into politics, Kevin served the public as a community organizer, taught English as a Second Language and U.S. Citizenship, and advocated for public schools.


Working for both the National Education Association and the California Teachers Association, Kevin fought for additional funding for schools in low-income neighborhoods, more school construction, and health insurance for children. He fought against schemes to take funds from public schools through taxpayer-funded vouchers and academic censorship in public schools.


Senator de León was elected by his colleagues to lead the Senate in 2014, making him the first Latino to hold that position in over a century. Prior to that, Kevin served four years in the Assembly before his election to the Senate in 2010.


President pro Tempore of the California State Senate


Kevin de León has led the 40-member Senate body to historic accomplishments that will improve the lives of Californians and the state’s environment and economy for decades to come.


He has ushered a bold agenda to increase economic opportunity for all Californians with a focus on maintaining California’s global leadership role in fighting climate change and building a clean-energy economy, rebuilding our state’s infrastructure, public education, work-place and health-care, equity for women, immigrants and low-wage workers and public safety.


Through his ambitious approach to policymaking, Senator de León has authored groundbreaking legislation on a variety of issues that have become national models. The progress that has been made on critical issues confronting California and the nation stands in stark contrast to the gridlock in the U.S. Congress.


In many ways, Senator de León embodies the promise of America. From a childhood of poverty to community activism, to the upper echelon of the California Legislature, his respect and commitment to working families and the betterment of all Californians has never diminished.


To learn more about Kevin visit:

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (5)

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Kevin de León:

By most accounts, the transportation infrastructure in the United States is in serious disrepair. Nearly one fourth of U.S. bridges are deficient or obsolete. The average bridge has been in use longer than its originally prescribed lifespan (typically 50 years). Poor road conditions contribute to a third of all traffic fatalities. As roads and bridges across the country continue to age and deteriorate, governments at all levels are struggling to pay for maintenance and upkeep -- not to mention investments in much-needed upgrades and new projects. We need both short term and long term strategies to meet our infrastructure needs. Public funds and revenue streams in the form of charges, such as tolls, paid by end users need to be extended and leveraged. We need to view regular deferred maintenance and key investment as normal and no longer wait until disaster or failure. The scale of infrastructure required makes attracting private investment (including pension funds) an important consideration. I am open to any practical options to address the crisis facing our infrastructure so long as state laws and labor laws are respected and incorporated. 


What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages secure affordable health care?
Answer from Kevin de León:

I believe healthcare is a human right, not an exclusive privilege of the wealthy. But premiums are skyrocketing by double digits with each passing year, leaving too many Americans agonizing over how to pay for coverage while still meeting their basic needs. It is incumbent on those who oppose Medicare for All to also explain how working families will be able to pay for the status quo. A recent study funded by opponents of single payer, showed that adopting the Medicare-for-All plan could save Americans up to $2 trillion over the next decade. 

The reality is, a Medicare-for-All system is the only way to get healthcare costs under control.  Switching to this system will save billions in administrative cost, give us the power to finally hold the drug companies accountable, and squeeze other savings out of the system. Americans are already paying for the cost of a single-payer system, but see none of the benefits in return.  In California I led the fight for Medicare-for-All, and in Washington I will do the same. Getting it done won’t be easy, but taking on special interests never is. 


Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the Senate.
Answer from Kevin de León:

Nothing has ever stopped me before from fighting for comprehensive, humane immigration reforms; so being in the Senate minority certainly won’t either.  Washington, D.C. has been out of step with California on the immigration issue for many years.  California has changed and our representatives in Washington DC must reflect that change. 

A reformed immigration system should be clear, concise and simplified. A potential immigrant should get a decision on immigration applications within a short period of time. Reform should treat every person with dignity, fix the family visa backlog and bring millions of hardworking people into the formal economy. We need to end the three- and 10- year bars. We need to defend and make permanent the Obama executive actions—known as DACA and DAPA. We must end family detention and close private immigration detention centers. We need to promote naturalization, increase access to language programs to encourage English proficiency, and increase outreach and education to help more people navigate the process. 

What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of Californians and the federal water project infrastructure in California?
Answer from Kevin de León:

Climate change is having major impacts on California, with periods of intense drought and explosive wildfires followed by extremely wet seasons. Those shifts will require a comprehensive pivot in water management policy to ensure safe, adequate distribution and sufficient flood protection. While Washington has failed to act aggressively to address a growing climate crisis, here in California we’ve focused on leading the way for the rest of the world.  If elected, one of the first concrete steps I will take is seeking assignment to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: it’s time we take California’s climate leadership to Washington, D.C. 



According to a "Civility In America” survey, 75% of Americans believe that the U.S. has a major civility problem. If you are elected what will do to address this?
Answer from Kevin de León:

I'm fighting for a better life for everyone in this state – I don't care who you supported in 2016.  Whether you are a liberal or a conservative, you do deserve to make a living wage, to put a roof over your child’s head, clothes on their backs and food on the table. You deserve Medicare-for-All, not just Medicare-for-Some. You deserve a better quality of life.  You deserve a dignified and secure retirement. The corruption that has pervaded our nation’s Capital for so long cannot continue. It hurts the majority of Californians and Americans, because most of us can’t afford to vote with our wallets.

The real work for the people of California starts in town halls, not in the halls of power. That’s why I’ll commit to regular town halls and public forums – providing ample opportunities for hard-working Californians to discuss and debate the issues that matter most.  If elected, I will spend my time at home engaging with the people of this great state so I can represent their interests more accurately in Washington, D.C.


Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $2,388,163

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

Emerson Collective and employees
Cordoba Corporation and employees
State of California and employees
Employees of Fahr LLC
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Employees of Venbio Partners Llc

More information about contributions

By State:

California 88.16%
District of Columbia 3.74%
Massachusetts 2.44%
Hawaii 0.99%
Other 4.67%

By Size:

Large contributions (91.58%)
Small contributions (8.42%)

By Type:

From organizations (14.67%)
From individuals (85.33%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Videos (1)

— May 9, 2018 Kevin de León for Senate

Kevin is running for the U.S. Senate in California because you deserve a seat at the table. Learn more at

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