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Joe Coto

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Joe Coto
Joe Coto.jpg
Candidate for
California State Senate District 15
Prior offices
California State Assembly
Campaign website
The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors

Joe Coto was a 2012 Democratic candidate for District 15 of the California State Senate. He previously served in the California State Assembly, representing District 23 from 2004 to 2010 and on the Oakland City Council.


Coto's professional experience includes working as the Superintendent of East Side Union High School District and Superintendent/Teacher in the Oakland Unified School District.

He is a member of the Board of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, President of the Latino Democratic Forum, Board Member of the Lucille Packard Children's Hospital and Chair of the Mexican Plaza Cultural Arts Center.[1]

Committee assignments

Coto served on the following committees:


Coto's sponsored legislation includes:

  • AB 122 - Tribal gaming: compact ratification
  • AB 465 - Schools: parent involvement
  • AB 1299 - State taxes: vote requirement

For details and a full listing of sponsored bills, see the House site.



See also: California State Senate elections, 2012

Coto ran in the 2012 election for California State Senate District 15. He and incumbent James Beall Jr. advanced past the blanket primary on June 5, 2012, unopposed. He was then defeated in the general election on November 6, 2012.[2][3]

California State Senate, District , General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJim Beall 56.7% 160,451
     Democratic Joe Coto 43.3% 122,345
Total Votes 282,796


Coto was ineligible to run for re-election in 2010 due to the term limits of the California State Assembly.


In 2008, Coto was re-elected to the California State Assembly District 23. Coto (D) finished with 81,523 votes while his opponent Mark Petrosso (R) finished with 24,876 votes.[4] Coto raised $1,046,311 for his campaign fund.[5]

California State Assembly District 23
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Joe Coto (D) 81,523
Mark Patrosso (R) 24,876

Campaign donors


Below are Coto's top 5 campaign contributors in the 2008 election:[6]

Contributor 2008 total
California Teachers Association $14,400
California State Council of Service Employees $14,400
Building & Construction Trades Council of CA $12,500
California State Council of Laborers $10,800
Farmers Insurance Group $10,800



Coto received endorsements from:[7]

  • Californians Allied for Patient Protection
  • California Latino Legislative Caucus
  • California League of Conservation Voters
  • COPE (Open)
  • DAWN
  • East San Jose Democrats
  • La Raza Roundtable de California
  • San Jose Fire Fighters IAFF Local 230
  • San Jose Silicon Valley ChamberPAC
  • Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club
  • Silicon Valley Latino Democratic Forum
  • Silicon Valley Young Democrats
  • Faculty Association of Community Colleges
  • Friends of the Filipino American Community PAC
  • The Villages Republican Club
  • Former Lt. Gov. Mervyn Dymally
  • Board of Equalization Jerome Horton

Legislative scorecard

Capitol Weekly, California's major weekly periodical covering the state legislature, publishes an annual legislative scorecard to pin down the political or ideological leanings of every member of the legislature based on how they voted on an assortment of bills in the most recent legislative session. The 2009 scores were based on votes on 19 bills, but did not include how legislators voted on the Proposition 1A (2009). On the scorecard, "100" is a perfect liberal score and "0" is a perfect conservative score.[8][9]

On the 2009 Capitol Weekly legislative scorecard, Coto ranked as an 89.[10]

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Political offices
Preceded by
California State Assembly District 23
Succeeded by
Nora Campos