Military Wiki
Ruben Gallego
Member of the United States House of Representatives

Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Ed Pastor
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
In office
January 10, 2011 – March 14, 2014
Preceded by Cloves Campbell
Succeeded by Norma Muñoz
Personal details
Born Ruben Marinelarena
November 20, 1979(1979-11-20) (age 43)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kate Gallego (m. 2010, div. 2017)[1]
Website House website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps Reserves
Years of service 2000–2006
Rank USMC-E4.svg Corporal
Battles/wars Iraq War

Ruben Marinelarena Gallego /ˈrbən ˌɡˈɛɡ/ (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.

Personal life and education

Gallego was born in Chicago[2] and is a first generation American of Colombian and Mexican descent.[3] Along with his three sisters, he was raised by a single mother.[4] On August 7, 2008, Ruben Marinelarena changed his name to Ruben Marinelarena Gallego to honor his single mother.[5] Gallego was married to Kate Gallego, a member of the Phoenix City Council, before their 2017 divorce.[6] He graduated from Harvard University in 2004 and is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.[7][8]

Gallego currently sits on the boards of Valley Citizens League, the Children’s Museum, and the President’s Community Advisory Board for South Mountain Community College.[9]


After graduating from Harvard University, 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.[4]

Gallego lost his best friend in combat in Iraq.[4] His desire to help fellow veterans motivated the formerly apolitical Gallego to get involved with politics.[10]

In 2011, he was named as a distinguished freshman lawmaker by The Arizona Republic.[11] Gallego's first successful bill granted in-state tuition status to veterans residing in Arizona.[4] Gallego supports the repeal of Arizona SB 1070. He considers education to be the most important long-term priority for Arizona.[7] In 2012, Gallego was elected assistant minority leader.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

U.S. House of Representatives

Gallego's freshman portrait

2014 election

Gallego introducing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in Phoenix.

On February 27, 2014, Gallego announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in Arizona's 7th congressional district.[15] Gallego resigned from the Arizona House in March 2014.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] He has since been a vocal supporter of the Government By the People Act.[19]

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.

He is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[20]

Committee assignments, 115th Congress

Electoral history

Arizona House of Representatives 16th District Democratic Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego 4,149 26.12
Democratic Catherine Miranda 3,476 21.88
Democratic Cloves Campbell 3,182 20.03
Democratic Jim Munoz, Jr. 2,281 14.36
Democratic Sandra Gonzales 1,955 12.31
Democratic Cristy Lopez 842 5.30
Arizona House of Representatives 16th District Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Catherine Miranda 19,197 39.46
Democratic Ruben Gallego 18,365 37.75
Republican Michael Gular 8,551 17.58
Green Angel Torres 2,532 5.21
Arizona House of Representatives 27th District Democratic Primary Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego (inc.) 4,996 56.71
Democratic Catherine Miranda (inc.) 4,800 54.48
Democratic Reginald Bolding 3,334 37.84
Arizona House of Representatives 27th District Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Catherine Miranda (inc.) 28,683 40.98
Democratic Ruben Gallego (inc.) 27,522 39.32
Republican Daniel Coleman 10,088 14.41
Green Angel Torres 3,702 5.29
Arizona's 7th Congressional District Democratic Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego 14,936 48.90
Democratic Mary Rose Wilcox 11,077 36.27
Democratic Randy Camacho 2,330 7.63
Democratic Jarrett Maupin 2,199 7.20
Arizona's 7th Congressional District Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ruben Gallego 54,235 74.85
Libertarian Joe Cobb 10,715 14.79
Americans Elect Rebecca DeWitt 3,858 5.32
Independent José Peñalosa 3,496 4.83
Republican/Write-in Gary Dunn 129 0.18
Democratic/Write-in Gustavo Ortega 17 0.02
Independent/Write-in Samuel Esquivel 4 0.01


  2. "Guide to the New Congress". Roll Call. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  3. "Ruben Gallego Is Sworn In As Representative From Arizona's 7th Congressional District". Congressman Ruben Gallego. 7 January 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Lopatin, Shari (September 2011). "Marine Turned Politician". Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  5. "This Arizona candidate changed his name. His opponent wasn’t happy about it.". Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  6. "Contact Councilwoman Kate Gallego". City of Phoenix. Retrieved February 27, 2014. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Candidate Q and A: Ruben Gallego". Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  8. "Congressional Luncheon". Washington Alumni Chapter, Sigma Chi Fraternity. 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  9. "Representative Ruben Gallego". Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  10. "Ambition, Life Experience Driving State Representative". May 31, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  11. Pitzl, Mary Jo (May 21, 2011). "Arizona House and Senate distinguished freshmen". Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  12. "Democrats select leaders in Arizona House, Senate". November 13, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  13. Celock, John (September 25, 2012). "Joe Arpaio Opponents Form Super PAC To Unseat Arizona Sheriff". Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  14. "Ruben Gallego". Strategies 360. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  15. "Ruben Gallego, Arizona State Rep., Announces Bid For Congress". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  16. "Rep. Gallego resigns from Arizona House". Arizona Capitol Times. March 14, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  17. Sullivan, Sean (August 11, 2014). "A leading ‘anti-super PAC’ just backed three more candidates for Congress". Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  18. "The Voter's Self Defense System". Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  19. "Ruben Gallego - Gallego For Arizona". Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  20. "Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus.,71. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  21. "Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces". 
  22. "Committee Information". 
  23. "Subcommittee on Federal Lands". 
  24. "Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations". 
  25. "Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs". 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ed Pastor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 7th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Tom Emmer
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Garret Graves

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