Nov. 7, 2012 – 12:19 p.m.

113th Congress: Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif. (35th District)

After serving in the California legislature for more than a decade, Gloria Negrete McLeod claimed a surprise victory in the newly drawn 35th District, ousting fellow Democrat Joe Baca. A long-time resident of the district, McLeod will represent a largely Democratic, middle class, Hispanic region. She’ll likely be a reliable Democratic vote.

With regional airports, railways and highways crisscrossing the district, transportation solvency, security and infrastructure are key issues for McLeod. She has been active in efforts to improve California’s water supply while in the legislature. Representing a region that has seen extreme population growth, she will likely carry that service forward in the House. An assignment to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee could be a nice fit for her.

She served as president of the board of Chaffey Community College, a local school where she was also an instructional aide, so it comes as no surprise that access to education is a legislative priority for her. She notes that an “upstream” investment in education is a way to reduce crime among youth.

When she entered the House race in June 2011, McLeod knew her timing was right. “I saw the map. That’s mine,” she told the Los Angeles Times. Late in her race, she was boosted by an influx of financing from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC.

McLeod is a mother of 10, grandmother of 25 and great-grandmother of 27.