|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Arizona's 7th district
January 3, 2015
|Member of the Arizona House of Representatives|
from the 16th district
January 10, 2011 - March 14, 2014
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
(m. 2010; div. 2017)
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
|Branch/service||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||2000-2006|
|Unit||United States Marine Corps Reserve|
Ruben Marinelarena Gallego (born November 20, 1979) is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 7th congressional district. A Democrat, he previously served as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, serving as assistant minority leader in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2012 until his resignation to run for Congress. Gallego was elected to Congress in the 2014 midterm congressional elections. His district includes most of southern, western, and downtown Phoenix, along with a portion of Glendale. He served as the National Chair of Eric Swalwell's 2020 Presidential Campaign.
On August 7, 2008, Ruben Marinelarena changed his name to Ruben Marinelarena Gallego to honor his mother, Elisa Gallego, who raised him and his three siblings on her own after his father abandoned the family in his childhood. Gallego was married to Kate Widland Gallego (who is now the mayor of Phoenix). They divorced in 2017, just prior to the birth of their first and only child.
After college, Gallego joined the Marines. After completing infantry training, he deployed to Iraq with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. 3/25 would lose 46 Marines and two Navy corpsmen between January 2005 and January 2006, according to the Marine Corps official website.
In 2011, he was named as a distinguished freshman lawmaker by The Arizona Republic. Gallego's first successful bill granted in-state tuition status to veterans residing in Arizona. Gallego supports the repeal of Arizona SB 1070. He considers education to be the most important long-term priority for Arizona. In 2012, Gallego was elected assistant minority leader.
He founded the group Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement, with the goal of recalling Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Gallego cited Arpaio's immigration policies and his use of taxpayer money to investigate Barack Obama's citizenship as reasons for recalling Arpaio.
Gallego worked for Strategies 360 as Director of Latino and New Media operations. He also worked for Riester, one of the largest public relations firms in Arizona, and for Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski.
On February 27, 2014, Gallego announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in Arizona's 7th congressional district. Gallego resigned from the Arizona House in March 2014. He was not required to give up his seat under Arizona's resign-to-run laws, since he was in the final year of his state house term.
Mayday PAC, a super PAC seeking to reduce the role of money in politics, announced its endorsement of Gallego because of his impressive evolution on the issue of campaign finance reform. On February 28, 2013 Gallego voted against an amendment that sought to raise campaign finance limits for federal candidates and abolish all limits for state candidates, HB 2523. He has since been a vocal supporter of the Government By the People Act.
Gallego won a five-way Democratic primary--the real contest in this heavily Democratic, majority-Latino district--with 48.9 percent of the vote. He breezed to victory in November with 74 percent of the vote.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2018)
In a letter to the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Gallego stated "I support full legalization of marijuana. As a member of the Arizona legislature, I introduced a bill that would have legalized marijuana possession and regulated and taxed marijuana in our state in a manner similar to alcohol. I wholly support these types of measures."
|Arizona House of Representatives 16th District Democratic Primary Election, 2010|
|Democratic||Jim Munoz, Jr.||2,281||14.36|
|Arizona House of Representatives 16th District Election, 2010|
|Arizona House of Representatives 27th District Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Catherine Miranda (inc.)||28,683||40.98|
|Democratic||Ruben Gallego (inc.)||27,522||39.32|
|Arizona's 7th Congressional District Democratic Primary Election, 2014|
|Democratic||Mary Rose Wilcox||11,077||36.27|
|Arizona's 7th Congressional District Election, 2014|
|Americans Elect||Rebecca DeWitt||3,858||5.32|
|Arizona's 7th Congressional District Election, 2016|
|Democratic||Ruben Gallego (Inc.)||119,465||75.2|
|Arizona's 7th Congressional District Election, 2018|
|Democratic||Ruben Gallego (Inc.)||113,044||85.6|