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Cruz M. Bustamante: 1953—: Lieutenant Governor, Politician

Continued To Push For Ethnic Education

In 2002 Bustamante ran for reelection as lieutenant governor of California. "I want to continue working on the things we've started. I want to be able to help people," Bustamante explained to Gregg Jones of the Los Angeles Times in October of 2002. Bustamante won the election against Republican State Senator Bruce McPherson of Santa Cruz. The theme for his 2003 inaugural address was "Celebrating One California." In his inaugural speech he declared, "I plan to roll up my sleeves and work closely with county, state, and federal leaders from both sides of the aisle to strengthen California.… It will be up to all Californians to do their fair share to make our state strong again."

In his second term as lieutenant governor, Bustamante has continued the initiatives he started during his first term. In particular he has promoted the Cal Grant Outreach Program to inform disadvantaged students about funding opportunities for college. He has also remained committed to cultural diversity and understanding. In 2003 he unveiled an educational book aimed at teaching children about the Sikh culture and community and he distributed educational kits about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II to schools and libraries throughout the state. Bustamante has also worked to promote international trade and development, improve health care for all Californians, and respond to the issues of Native Americans.

Bustamante has been a low-profile California politician who has made a name for himself by speaking out on controversial issues, particularly immigration. Since becoming lieutenant governor in 1998 he has worked to expand the scope of the lieutenant governor's office to pursue important initiatives. In the past 120 years only two sitting lieutenant governors in California have been elected to governor. It is likely that Bustamante, in announcing his candidacy in the recall election, will try to be the third person to accomplish this feat in the California gubernatorial elections in late 2003. Bustamante has managed to create a successful political career coming from a very modest upbringing and therefore he sees himself as a role model for other Latinos. He encourages them to believe in themselves and to pursue their dreams. As he told the San Francisco Chronicle, "If a short, overweight, balding guy from Fresno can do it, you [students] can do it too."



The Complete Marquis Who's Who, Marquis Who's Who, 2003.


California Journal Weekly, July 4, 1994.

Jet, March 5, 2001, p. 8.

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, August 7, 2003.

Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2002, p. 6.

Sacramento Bee, January 5, 1999.

San Diego Union-Tribune, July 1, 2001, p. G5.

San Francisco Chronicle, January 5, 1999, p. A11; April 22, 1999, p. A23; February 14, 2001, p. A3.

U.S. News & World Report, March 17, 1997, p. 28.


"California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante: The Making of a Latino Leader," LatinoLink, www.americanpatrol.com/MECHA/makingofbustamante991030.html (May 23, 2003).

"CSEA Endorses Cruz Bustamante for Lt. Governor," The California State Employees Association, www.calcsea.org/politics/20020830-cruz-4-lt-gov.asp (May 23, 2003).

"Election 2002," KTVU News, http://netelection.org/ktvu/Candidates/Lt_Governor/Cruz_Bustamante.asp (May 23, 2003).

Lieutenant Governor of California Official Website, www.ltg.ca.gov (May 23, 2003).

"Statewide Offices — Lieutenant Governor," California Voter Foundation, www.calvoter.org/officers/ltgovernor.html (May 23, 2003).

—Janet P. Stamatel

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Katie Burke (1953–) Biography - Personal to Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944) BiographyCruz M. Bustamante: 1953—: Lieutenant Governor, Politician Biography - Childhood Filled With Work And Values, Moderate Politics Lead To Lieutenant Governorship, Laid Groundwork During First Term