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Juan Vargas

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Juan Vargas
Juan Vargas.jpg
U.S. House, California, District 51
In office
January 3, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 2
PredecessorBob Filner (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$1,061,806
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
California State Assembly
California State Senate District 40
December 6, 2010-January 2, 2013
Bachelor'sUniversity of San Diego, 1983
Master'sFordham University
J.D.Harvard Law School
Date of birthMarch 7, 1961
Place of birthNational City, CA
Net worth$1,553,505
Office website
Juan Vargas (b. March 7, 1961 in National City, California) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House representing the 51st Congressional District of California. He was first elected in 2012, when he defeated Michael Crimmins (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[1]

Vargas is a former Democratic member of the California State Senate, representing District 40 from 2010 until his resignation on January 2, 2013.[2] Prior to his election to the California State Senate, Vargas served in the California State Assembly from 2001 to 2006. He was also a member of the San Diego City Council.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Vargas is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Vargas earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of San Diego in 1983. He went on to receive his MA in Humanities from Fordham University. He then earned his JD from Harvard Law School.

Vargas works for Luce, Forward, Hamilton and Scripps as an Associate Attorney.


Below is an abbreviated outline of Vargas's academic, professional and political career:[3]

  • 1983: Graduated from University of San Diego with B.A.
  • 1987: Graduated from Fordham University with M.A.
  • 1991: Graduated from Harvard University with J.D.
  • 1993-2000: Member of the San Diego City Council
  • 2000-2006: California State Assembly
  • 2010-2012: California State Senate
  • 2013-Present: U.S Representative from California

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Vargas serves on the following committees:[4]

California State Senate


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

  • Subcommittee on Sustainable School Facilities



See also: California's 51st congressional district elections, 2014

Vargas is set to run for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. If he runs, he will compete in the blanket primary on June 3, 2013. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: California's 51st congressional district elections, 2012

Vargas won the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing California's 51st District.[1] He and Michael Crimmins (R) advanced past the blanket primary on June 5, 2012, defeating Denise Moreno Ducheny (D), Daniel Ramirez (D), John Brooks (D), Xanthi Gionis (R), and Bernard Portley (R). Vargas went on to defeat Crimmins in the November 6, 2012, general election.[5][6][7]

Vargas's campaign spent between $40,000 and $50,000 to promote his Republican primary and preferred general election opponent Michael Crimmins in the primary election. The goal of this venture was to help a Republican advance to the general election so that Vargas could easily win in the general election, since the 51st District is heavily Democratic.

U.S. House, California District 51 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJuan Vargas 71.5% 113,934
     Republican Michael Crimmins 28.5% 45,464
Total Votes 159,398
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

U.S. House, California District 51 Open Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJuan Vargas (D) 46% 30,143
Green check mark transparent.pngMichael Crimmins (R) 19.9% 13,016
Denise Moreno Ducheny (D) 15.4% 10,107
Xanthi Gionis (R) 6.8% 4,487
John Brooks (D) 5% 3,290
Daniel C. Ramirez (D) 4.3% 2,794
Bernard Portley (R) 2.5% 1,667
Total Votes 65,504


See also: California State Senate elections, 2010

Vargas ran for election in the 2010 election for California State Senate District 40. Vargas defeated Mary Salas in the June 8 Democratic primary and defeated Brian Hendry (R) in the general election, which took place on November 2, 2010.[8][9]

California State Senate, District 40, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJuan Vargas 59.4% 101,767
     Republican Brian Hendry 40.6% 69,417
Total Votes 171,184

Campaign themes

Vargas' website listed the following issues:

  • Good paying jobs for trained workers
  • Solar and green power economic growth
  • Educational opportunity for all children
  • In-home supportive healthcare services for the aged and infirmed
  • Fixing the budget mess created by the politicians currently in Sacramento[10]

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Vargas is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Vargas raised a total of $1,061,806 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 22, 2013.[11]

Juan Vargas's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (California, District 51) Won $1,061,806
Grand Total Raised $1,061,806


Candidates for Congress are required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Vargas's reports.[12]

Juan Vargas (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[13]April 15, 2013$51,187.75$86,602.88$(98,461.35)$39,329.28
July Quarterly[14]July 15, 2013$39,329.28$103,345.36$(73,544.00)$69,130.64
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Vargas's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Vargas won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Vargas's campaign committee raised a total of $1,061,806 and spent $1,010,618.[15] This is less than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[16]

Cost per vote

Vargas spent $8.87 per vote received in 2012.


In 2010, Vargas raised $942,563 in contributions. [17]

His four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
Vargas, Juan $65,000
Afscme California $15,600
California Association Of Realtors $15,600
California Dental Association $15,600


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Vargas is a "moderate Democratic follower" as of June 4, 2013.[18]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[19]

Vargas most often votes with:

Vargas least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Vargas missed 2 of 89 roll call votes from January 2013 to March 2013. This amounts to 2.2%, which is equal to the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[20]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Vargas's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $977,011 and $2,130,000. That averages to $1,553,505, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Representatives in 2011 of $5,107,874.[21]

Voting with party


The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Vargas has voted with the Democratic Party 96.2% of the time. This ranked 64th among the 201 House Democrats as of June 2013.[22]


Vargas and his wife, Adrienne, have two children.

Recent news

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Political offices
Preceded by
Bob Filner
U.S. House, California, District 51
January 3, 2013-Present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Denise Moreno Ducheny
California State Senate District 40
2010–January 2, 2013
Succeeded by
Ben Hueso (D)