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19-year-old seeks to win California's 57th Assembly District

by Susannah Kopecky, published

As Democrat challengers seek to knock one another out of the running, 19-year-old Brian A. Gutierrez is looking to claim victory in the race for the 57th Assembly District seat.  This particular district serves a number of areas around the vicinity of West Covina, Azusa, La Puente, City of Industry, Baldwin Park and North Whittier. 

The West Covina resident and high school graduate is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Rowland Unified School District Foundation, and is the Republican candidate any Democratic nominee would need to beat to win the seat.  Currently, Democrat Dr. Ed Hernandez occupies the spot Gutierrez hopes to claim. 

According to his campaign biography, the youth has hopes of one day receiving a college education at USC.  He has modeled himself as a fresh, young voice in a field which is more often populated with elder statesmen. At such a young age, it is no surprise that Gutierrez is also directing campaign outreach through a Facebook page, which already has 78 fans.

But, Gutierrez is not just a face on a Facebook page.  He has made clear that he has specific goals and priorities, if he is to win election to the Assembly.  Gutierrez plans to focus on the quality of education at California public schools, to identify a “better” form of health care reform, and to “better public safety funding and ensure California has a stable budget.”

These are some of the most important issues in politics today, and yet are issues which seasoned state leaders have not been able to address in totality for some time (if one is to judge by a state that is billions in debt). Gutierrez’s professed interest in education and helping students seems to be based on his own story, of pulling himself up by his bootstraps, working hard and setting ambitious goals.

Growing up in a one-parent household and having to deal with parental alcohol abuse, it is remarkable where Gutierrez is today, and tells quite a story about the power of determination. 

To help those who may also have faced disadvantages growing up, Gutierrez hopes to make schools better equipped to prepare the youth of today, no matter where they live, to be competitive down the road. Gutierrez is described as an indefatigable optimist and a “hard and diligent worker” who is willing “to acknowledge his shortcoming, thus making room for self-improvement.”

As a self-described optimist, it makes sense that he also looks up to California’s late premier optimist and former governor-turned-President, Ronald Reagan. If he proves to utilize these skills in Congress, Guiterrez may indeed stand out for a willingness to leave the ego at the door and work only for the good of the people.

How refreshing it is to see a candidate who never wants to “look back and have any regrets”! However, one must remember that while youth brings vigor and new ideas, the elder does bring experience, and calls of “change” and youthful optimism do not always equate with phenomenal success early on, as certain major politicians have shown.

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