- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
- U.N. rights chief: Flight MH17 downing possible war crime
Juan C. Vargas
Birthdate: March 7, 1961
Birth Place: National City, CA, United States
Residence: San Diego, CA
Religion: Roman Catholic
District: District 51
Undergraduate: University of San Diego
Graduate: Fordham University
Graduate: Harvard University
Juan Vargas, the third of 10 children of Mexican immigrants, grew up in National City, Calif. He currently resides in San Diego. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from University of San Diego in 1983, a master's degree in humanities from Fordham University in 1987 and a law degree from Harvard University in 1991.
He studied to become a Jesuit priest.
He served on the San Diego City Council from 1993 to 2000 and in the California Assembly from 2000 to 2006. He was vice president of external affairs for Safeco Insurance from 2006 to 2009 and was elected to the California Senate in 2010.
Vargas and his wife, Adrienne, have two daughters.
Juan Vargas, who lost three races for Congress to U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, announced his fourth bid just one day after his longtime Democratic adversary said in 2011 that he was running for San Diego mayor and would not seek an 11th term.
In his announcement, Vargas pledged to work to preserve Medicare and Social Security benefits. Democrats enjoy a 50-22 advantage over Republicans in the 51st Congressional District's voter registration. Vargas spent some of his campaign funds for the June 2012 primary on mailers to promote Republican Michael Crimmins, who finished second and edged out former Democratic state lawmaker Denise Ducheny for the right to face Vargas in the November 2012 election.
After three years as an insurance executive, Vargas returned to public office by trouncing Republican Brian Hendry in a November 2010 election to the California Senate. He had squeaked by former Democratic Assemblywoman Mary Salas in the June 2010 primary by only two-tenths of a percentage point.
In March 2012, the California Fair Political Practices Commission fined Vargas supporters $6,000 for campaign finance violations in the hotly contested 2010 primary, saying an independent expenditure committee failed to disclose who it was backing.
In the state Senate, Vargas authored unsuccessful bills that would have forced Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other big-box chains to conduct economic impact studies before building stores and that would have exempted San Diego fireworks shows from environmental reviews. The governor vetoed the Wal-Mart legislation in 2011, and the fireworks legislation died in committee in July 2012.
He authored a bill to create a voluntary certification program for pet groomers, inviting criticism that he was advocating excessive regulation. He strongly criticized San Diego-based Sempra Energy's plans to build a wind farm in Mexico to supply California consumers, endearing him to organized labor.
Safeco Insurance named Vargas vice president of external affairs in 2006, drawing criticism for the "revolving door" of termed-out legislators going to work for industries they have regulated. He had headed the Assembly Insurance Committee for the previous four years.
Source: Associated Press
113th Congress on Twitter
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