Ron Bonta
Assemblymember Ron Bonta. Image from video

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday the nomination of Alameda County Assemblymember Rob Bonta as California’s next Attorney General.

If confirmed by the Assembly, Bonta would fill the position vacated by Xavier Becerra, who was chosen by President Biden to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Bonta would be the first Filipino American to serve as Attorney General.

“Rob represents what makes California great — our desire to take on righteous fights and reverse systematic injustices,” said Newsom. “Growing up with parents steeped in social justice movements, Rob has become a national leader in the fight to repair our justice system and defend the rights of every Californian.”

Bonta was first elected to the Assembly in 2012, representing the cities of Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro. He became the first Filipino American state legislator in California’s history.

“I became a lawyer because I saw the law as the best way to make a positive difference for the most people, and it would be an honor of a lifetime to serve as the attorney for the people of this great state,” said Bonta.

Newsom made the announcement at the historic International Hotel in San Francisco, a site where Asian and Pacific Islander Californians famously rallied in 1977 to save homes of elderly residents and preserve their community. The protests helped fuel a rise in AAPI political activism.

Bonta’s mother, Cynthia, who helped organize the protest at the International Hotel, was on hand to witness the Governor making his selection.

The son of an immigrant mother and American father, Bonta was born in the Philippines while his parents were serving as missionaries. He grew up outside of Bakersfield, graduated from Yale University, attended Oxford University and earned a law degree at Yale.

He served nine years as a deputy city attorney in San Francisco before running for state office. Bonta and his wife, Mia, live in the East Bay with three children and their dog Lego.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.