LONG BEACH, Calif. — Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, was the first organization to endorse Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia for an open Congressional seat Friday, after U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of the 117th Congress. Garcia made history in 2014 when he was elected as Long Beach’s first openly LGBTQ+ mayor, first Latino mayor and youngest mayor in the city’s history. He would be the first openly LGBTQ+ immigrant and the second openly LGBTQ+ Latino elected to Congress — and the first LGBTQ+ Latino elected to Congress from California.
“Mayor Garcia has shown throughout his nearly 13 years in elected office that he has the skill, tenacity and compassion to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people and the diverse communities to which we belong,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “From creating one of the country’s most comprehensive responses to the COVID-19 pandemic to establishing transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage in the City of Long Beach, he has been there for our LGBTQ+ community and for all Californians. We need a leader like him in Congress, and we’re prepared to do everything in our power to ensure he is elected in 2022.”
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Equality California, the largest statewide LGBTQ+ organization in the country,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Now more than ever, we need fierce advocates for equality in Washington, and I am excited to get to work and win this race.”
The primary election will be held June 7, 2022 and the two top finishers will advance to the general election Nov. 8, 2022. Although the California Citizens Redistricting Commission is still finalizing district lines, the Commission’s nearly final congressional lines would make the district majority Latino and include Long Beach, Signal Hill, Lakewood, Bellflower, Downey, Bell Gardens, Bell, Maywood and Huntington Park.
Garcia, who was easily re-elected as mayor in 2018 with nearly 80 percent of the vote, holds a doctorate degree in education from California State University Long Beach, a M.A. from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree also from CSU-Long Beach. He lives in Long Beach with his husband, Matthew Mendez Garcia, who teaches political science at CSU-Long Beach.
For a complete list of Equality California’s 2022 endorsements, visit eqca.org/elections.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org