Rubio resigns; senate loses supermajority

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Political analysts are still calculating the implications of the loss of the Democrats’ supermajority in the state Senate when Michael Rubio announced his resignation on Friday.

The Democratic legislator from Shafter, described as a rising star in his party, released a statement that his resignation was effective immediately.

“My wife and I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters, from whom we have learned a great deal,” reads his statement. “Our youngest child, who has special needs, has given me great perspective as to life’s priorities and our eldest has reminded me that the most critical decisions are made at home and not under the Capitol dome.”

Rubio formerly served on the Kern County Board of Super-visors, and was elected to the state Senate in 2010. He abandoned a congressional campaign in 2012, citing family needs for that as well.

State Sen. Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) tweeted that she had come to appreciate and respect Rubio during their time together in the Senate. “He is a tireless worker and was effective at representing the interests of both his district and California. I have nothing but the best wishes for him and his family.”

Gov. Jerry Brown said the resignation took him by surprise. He told the Sacramento Bee that the loss of Rubio could complicate the effort to overhaul the state’s signature environmental law.

“He was a good man,” said Brown. “I was kind of counting on him for this year.”

Subsequent reports noted that Rubio accepted a job as a consultant for Chevron Corp.

A special election for Rubio’s replacement will be voted on in a special election — to be held 126 to 140 days after Brown calls for one. Analysts anticipate the timing to fall in late June — right when legislators will be voting on this year’s budget plan.

Based on voter demographics — 50-percent registered Democrat and 28-percent registered Republican — the election is expected to restore the supermajority.

Story First Published: 2013-02-27