Roderick Wright

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Roderick Wright
Rod Wright.jpg
California State Senate District 35
In office
Term ends
December 5, 2016
Base salary$90,526/year
Per diem$141.86/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2008
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limits2 terms (8 years)
Prior offices
California State Assembly
Bachelor'sPepperdine University
Place of birthChicago, IL
ProfessionBusiness Owner
Office website
Roderick D. "Rod" Wright is a Democratic member of the California State Senate, representing District 35. He was first elected to the chamber in 2008. He is currently suspended from the chamber pending a criminal investigation.

Senator Wright served in the California State Assembly from 1996 to 2002.


Wright has a B.A. in Urban Studies and City Planning from Pepperdine University.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Wright served on the following committees:

California Committee Assignments, 2013
Budget and Fiscal Review
Energy, Utilities and Communications
Governmental Organization, Chair
Human Services
Joint Rules


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Wright served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Wright served on these committees:


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.[1][2]

On the 2009 Capitol Weekly legislative scorecard, Wright ranked as a 53.[3]



See also: California State Senate elections, 2012

Wright ran in the 2012 election for California State Senate District 35. He and Charlotte Svolos (R) advanced past the blanket primary on June 5, 2012, defeating Paul Butterfield (D). Wright was victorious in the general election on November 6, 2012.[4][5]

California State Senate, District 35, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRoderick "Rod" Wright Incumbent 76.5% 192,483
     Republican Charlotte A. Svolos 23.5% 59,077
Total Votes 251,560
California State Senate, District 35 Blanket Primary, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngCharlotte Svolos 57.4% 40,312
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRod Wright Incumbent 26.8% 18,793
     Democratic Paul Butterfield 15.8% 11,091
Total Votes 70,196


In 2008 Wright was elected to California State Senate, District 25. He finished with 179,654 votes while his opponent Lydia Gutierrez finished with 70,199 votes.[6] Wright raised $570,968 for his campaign fund.

California State Senate, District 25
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Roderick Wright (D) 179,654
Lydia Gutierrez 70,199

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Wright is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Wright raised a total of $2,589,087 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 17, 2013.[7]

Roderick Wright's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 California State Senate, District 35 Won $609,994
2010 California State Senate, District 25 Not up for election $671,101
2008 California State Senate, District 25 Won $570,968
2000 California State Assembly, District 48 Won $468,535
1998 California State Assembly, District 48 Won $268,489
Grand Total Raised $2,589,087


Wright won re-election to the California State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Wright raised a total of $609,994.
California State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Roderick Wright's campaign in 2012
California Association of Realtors$15,600
California Teachers Association$15,600
Longshore & Warehouse Local 13$13,000
Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters$12,800
California State Council of Service Employees$7,800
Total Raised in 2012$609,994
Source:Follow the Money

Senator Wright argues for budget package

2010 (Off-cycle)

California State Senate 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Roderick Wright's campaign in 2010
California State Council Of Laborers$10,000
Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16$7,800
California State Association Of Electrical Workers$7,800
Time Warner$7,800
Total Raised in 2010 $671,101


In 2008 Wright raised $570,968 in campaign donations. His top four donors are listed below.[8]

Donor Amount
California Teachers Association $14,400
California State council of Service Employees $14,400
Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters $14,400
AT&T $13,300


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in California

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of California scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the California State Legislature was in session from December 3, 2012 to September 13, 2013.[9]


In 2012, the California State Legislature was in session from January 4 to August 31.[10]


Residency investigation

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office confirmed in late September 2009 that it was investigating Wright based on the possibility that Wright incorrectly reported his legal address of residence when he sought his state senate seat in 2008.[11]

When Wright registered to vote on March 14, 2007, he listed his address as being a four-plex in Inglewood.

The issue of residency was a campaign issue in the heavily-contested June 2008 primary election. The residency of contender Mervyn Dymally and of Wright was questioned because both of them owned homes in the district, and in more affluent areas outside of the district. At that time, when questioned about where he lived, Wright told a local newspaper, "It wasn't like I switched last week to be eligible. I've owned the house for years. It's a kind of nonissue."[11]

Registration documents are filed under penalty of perjury, which is a felony.

David Demerjian of the Los Angeles District Attorney's public integrity division said he could not discuss details of the ongoing investigation into Wright but did go so far as to say that when the office investigates residency issues, they are generally interested in "whether false documents were filed."[11]

The charges against Wright were thrown out in March 2011 by a California Superior Court judge for being improperly filed, but reinstated by the California 2nd District Court of Appeals in July. Wright once again faces all eight charges -- two counts of perjury, one count of filing a false declaration of candidacy and five counts of voting fraud.[12] He pleaded not guilty to the charges.[13]

A prejury trial against Wright began on January 2, 2014, in Los Angeles. Wright’s lawyer, Kevin Winston McKesson, disputed the charges when contacted by media sources on December 30, 2013. “He’s complied with all the residency requirements as required by law,” McKesson said, adding that Wright has “multiple places that he owns, which the code allows.”[14][15] Wright was convicted on all eight counts on January 28, 2014. His sentencing was set for March 12, 2014.[16]

On March 28, 2014, Wright was suspended from the chamber by a 28-1 vote along with fellow Sens. Ronald S. Calderon (D) and Leland Yee (D).[17]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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  1. Capitol Weekly, "Capitol Weekly's Legislative Scorecard," December 17, 2009
  2. Fox and Hounds Daily, "Random Thoughts on the Political Scene," December 18, 2009
  3. Capitol Weekly, "2009 Capitol Weekly State Legislative Scorecard (Archived)," accessed March 13, 2014
  4. California Secretary of State, "Official primary candidate list," accessed March 13, 2014
  5. California Secretary of State, "Official 2012 Primary election results," accessed March 13, 2014
  6. California Secretary of State, "Official 2008 General election results," accessed March 13, 2014
  7. Follow the Money, "Wright, Roderick (Rod)," accessed September 17, 2013
  8. Follow the Money, "2008 Campaign donations," accessed March 13, 2014
  9. StateScape, "Session schedules," accessed July 15, 2014
  10. StateScape, "Session schedules," accessed July 15, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Los Angeles Times, "If Sen. Wright lives outside his district, it may not matter," September 28, 2009
  12., "Two charges against state senator reinstated," July 12, 2011
  13. Los Angeles Times, "Some California legislators bring arrest records to their campaigns," May 5, 2012
  14. ‘’The Sacramento Bee,’’ “The Buzz: As California lawmakers convene for 2014, trial against Sen. Rod Wright set to begin,” January 2, 2014
  15. ‘’Los Angeles Times,’’ “State Sen. Roderick Wright’s trial to get underway this week,” January 2, 2014
  16., "California Sen. Rod Wright convicted of perjury, voter fraud," January 28, 2014
  17. Associated Press, "California Senate suspends 3 Democratic lawmakers," May 28, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Tom Harman (R)
California State Senate District 35
Succeeded by