A husband, father, grandfather, practicing optometrist, State Senator and local small business owner

Ed Hernandez (or “Dr. Ed” as he is known to his patients) has spent his life serving the health care needs of the community he came from by bringing quality eye care to predominantly low-income communities in the San Gabriel Valley. 

Dr. Ed grew up in the working class community of La Puente, attended local public schools and graduated from Bassett High School. He worked his way through school, attending both Rio Hondo and Mt. San Antonio Community Colleges before going on to get his B.S. degree from Cal State Fullerton. He then received a scholarship to study Optometry at Indiana University, which is also where he met his wife, Diane.

Upon returning to California, Dr. Ed and his wife set up their first practice in his hometown of La Puente, eventually expanding to other communities. Later, he served as the President of the California Board of Optometry and the California Optometric Association. As a longtime health care provider, Dr. Ed routinely saw the consequences of diseases that went untreated because patients had limited access to regular health care. More than anything else, the need to improve access to health care is what drove him to run for office.

Dr. Ed first ran for the California State Assembly’s 57th District in 2006, which at the time encompassed the area of Northeast Los Angeles County, including the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, Covina, La Puente, West Covina, Irwindale, Industry, and other unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. He won the election and was subsequently re-elected in 2008.

While in the State Assembly, Dr. Ed served on the Assembly Committee on Health, and was Chair of the Select Committee on Health Care Workforce, as well as the Public Employees Retirement and Social Security Committee.

Given the wreckage caused to California’s economy by the Great Recession, Dr. Ed was firmly dedicated to repairing the state’s economy, creating more good middle class jobs, improving schools and helping the state rebound. As such, in 2010, he decided to continue his work in public service by successfully running and winning a seat to represent California’s 24th State Senate’s District. He was re-elected to the State Senate in 2014, and after redistricting, now proudly represents the 22nd Senate District, which encompasses the heart of the San Gabriel Valley.

Widely recognized as a good government advocate and policy leader, Dr. Ed serves as the Vice-Chair of the San Gabriel Valley Legislative Caucus, working on policy solutions to areas impacting the San Gabriel Valley, such as regional water and transportation issues.

One of the primary architects behind the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Ed has long been a champion for expanding access to health care for Californians. As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, he has authored and supported health care policies in California, such as implementing the ACA in the state, expanding Medi-Cal,l and pushing for consumer protections. He most recently took on Big Pharma by passing a groundbreaking law to help combat the skyrocketing and unsustainable prices of prescription medicine in California. He also fought Big Tobacco, as the author of California’s law that raised the smoking age to 21.

While in the legislature, Dr. Ed has been a forward-thinking leader who has championed smart education policies and essential measures that improve Californians’ quality of life. These issues span from Dr. Ed being a vocal proponent of increasing the state’s investments in local neighborhood schools to increasing the use of technology in local classrooms, as well as advocating for trade apprenticeships, pushing for one year of free community college, and advocating to make the state’s colleges and universities more affordable and accessible for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

He’s fought tirelessly for working families, helping to raise California’s statewide minimum wage, and making sure that workers have a voice in the workplace and their rights are protected. At the same time, he’s been a fighter for small businesses, working hard to help them grow by keeping our state economically competitive.

When it comes to environmental protections, Dr. Ed has played a key role in helping to pass some of California’s landmark laws from SB 350 to SB 32, all of which have aimed to combat climate change, reduce pollution, and increase the use of renewable and clean energy, as well as protect our land, air and water. He’s also fought to invest more in public safety and emergency response, ensure equality for all Californians, advance compassionate immigrant rights laws, and enhance our state government’s transparency, effectiveness and inclusiveness.

Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez is running to take this experience, leadership, and vision to all corners of California by serving the great people of our state as their next Lieutenant Governor.
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