Current Monterey County Supervisor and former Watsonville Mayor Luis Alejo announced Monday his decision not to run for State Senate. Instead, Alejo has decided to focus on the pressing needs facing Monterey County.
“Over the last year, I have really grown into my new job as a county supervisor representing the City of Salinas,” Alejo said Monday. “Even though I have worked in other levels of government, this is the best job I have ever had and where I know I can continue to effectively solve problems and serve my constituents.”
Alejo opened an exploratory committee in September 2017 to evaluate whether or not to run for State Senate in District 12, which is expected to be an open race as current State Senator Anthony Cannella terms out.
After his first year of initiatives and accomplishments as a new county supervisor, Alejo was elected to serve as the new chairman of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors on January 9. He was also elected to serve as president of the Latino Caucus of California Counties last November.
Over the last year, Alejo led numerous county initiatives, including expanding the $2 million Esperanza Care healthcare program for the uninsured, authoring several resolutions defending immigrant and LGBTQ rights, establishing the temporary homeless shelter and finding a site for a permanent shelter, proposing several new parks in Salinas and pushing for the first veterans housing project in Salinas. Alejo also created the first ever District 1 Citizens Advisory Committee and regularly holds district meetings and mobile office hours in East Salinas and at the Salinas Farmers Market/Mercado Popular in North Salinas.
“During my first year, I have led on some very important initiatives that I want to follow through on, including our permanent homeless shelter, our new Groundwater Sustainability Agency, the Interlake Tunnel Project, a veterans housing project, protecting our beautiful coastline and the Salinas Regional Soccer Complex, among others,” Alejo said.
Alejo previously worked as a staff attorney for the Monterey County Superior Court. He also served as mayor of his hometown of Watsonville and as a state assemblyman of the California 30th Congressional District. During his tenure in state assembly, he rose to top leadership roles in the legislature as the chair of the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee and of the powerful California Latino Legislative Caucus. He authored 18 resolutions and 78 bills, including the landmark Assembly Bill 60 that allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain a valid driver’s license in California. He was ranked 2013 Most Effective Democratic Assemblymember by the Around the Capitol Nooner and 2015 Legislator of the Year by the League of California Cities.
“As the new chair of the board of supervisors, I want to fully focus on dealing with our county budget challenges, and continue to solve problems and deliver results on other goals for local families,” Alejo said. “Although I have received tremendous support for a senate run, my heart is in staying in local government at this time and continue being an effective champion for our families as a county supervisor.”