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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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California State SenateCandidate for District 18

Photo of Bob Hertzberg

Bob Hertzberg

State Senator
195,623 votes (78.1%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Advocate for working people
  • Champion the San Fernando Valley
  • Protector for Equal Justice



Profession:State Senator, 18th District
State Senator from California's 18th District, California State Senate — Elected position (2014–current)
Speaker of the Assembly, California State Assembly — Elected position (2000–2002)
State Assembly Member from California's 40th District, California State Assembly — Elected position (1996–2000)


Hastings College of Law Juris Doctor (1979)
University of Redlands Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in History and English (1976)


Senator Bob Hertzberg is a native of Los Angeles, and grew up in a household where elders encouraged the children to share their views. His father, Harrison, was a lawyer, and his mother, Antoinette “Bunny,” raised her five sons to think for themselves.  At a young age, Bob learned from his father the importance of the law and that the law sometimes is not just or fair – something he now works to change.

After graduating from Palm Springs High, Hertzberg enrolled at the University of Redlands, where he pursued a double major in History as well as English, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. In 1979, Bob earned his law degree from Hastings College of the Law and became a member of the California Bar.

From 1996 to 2002, Hertzberg represented the San Fernando Valley in the California State Assembly and was unanimously elected the 64th Speaker of the California State Assembly by his peers.  During his time in the Assembly, Hertzberg helped shape and pass legislation that hammered out agriculture-to-urban water transfers, providing a framework to end nearly seven decades of California/Colorado River water disputes.

On the education front, Hertzberg helped increase funds available through the “Cal-Grants” program, giving poor students unprecedented access to colleges and universities. He also negotiated a compromise that allowed the California Legislature to break a decade-long logjam and place school bond-related measures on the 1998, 2000 and 2002 ballots. The resulting tens of billions in school construction funds became one of the largest municipal bond issuances in U.S. history. Hertzberg was also instrumental in establishing a University of California campus in Merced—the system’s 10th campus—to serve students in an underserved region.

As Speaker, Bob Hertzberg secured funding for the construction of Metro’s Orange Line, California State University Northridge Valley Performing Arts Center; and construction of miles of sound walls for the 5, 101, 170, and 405 Freeways.

Due to term limits, Hertzberg left the Assembly and became a global clean-energy entrepreneur. He traveled extensively, visiting much of China and numerous countries in Africa.

In recognition of his clean energy efforts in Rwanda, he received the “World Bank Award for Lighting Africa.” Hertzberg helped create one of the first solar companies in Los Angeles, winning the 2005 Wall Street Journal Innovation of the Year Award. And he co-launched a company that produced inexpensive, lightweight solar panels.

The United Kingdom-based Guardian, one of Europe’s leading newspapers, named him one of the “50 People Who Could Save the Planet.”

In 2014, community leaders recruited Bob to run for the 18th District of the California State Senate and secured more than 70 percent of the vote.

Hertzberg returned to the Legislature determined to work on governing for the next generation, not the next election. As such, he has taken on the tough issues of tax reform, environmental clean-up, equity in our justice system, and water policy.  Bob is working to find ways to deal with the long-term issues of the drought; renewable energy, with a focus on domesticating good paying jobs in California; and repairing the courts, which have become unfair to the underserved, indifferent to small businesses, and too expensive for the everyday Californian.

Hertzberg has two grown sons. David is a classical music composer and a Juilliard graduate, and Daniel graduated from Goucher College and, like his father, loves politics and public policy.


Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $1,175,024

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

California Democratic Party
SEIU California
Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16
California State Association of Electrical Workers
California State Pipe Trades Council
IBEW Local 11

More information about contributions

By State:

California 84.63%
District of Columbia 2.03%
Texas 1.96%
Florida 1.74%
Other 9.64%

By Size:

Large contributions (100.00%)
Small contributions (0.00%)

By Type:

From organizations (78.29%)
From individuals (21.71%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


Senator Hertzberg changed the law to stop the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for those who are not able to pay exorbitant fines and court fees for minor traffic tickets. The law gives judges the flexibility to determine a person’s ability to pay before setting the size of the fine.



Many innocent low-income defendants plead guilty to minor crimes because they can’t afford bail. Others pay thousands of non-refundable dollars to bail bond companies to secure their release. Meanwhile, wealthy defendants, even those charged with violent crimes, can write a check to the court knowing it will be returned when their case is resolved, regardless of the verdict. Senator Hertzberg believes that bail should be determined by the risk to the public’s safety not the size of one’s wallet.


Senator Hertzberg wants hazardous waste sites in our communities cleaned up once and for all. He changed the law to encourage purchasers of contaminated properties to negotiate a cleanup plan with the State in exchange for liability protection. This law will help local governments attract developers willing to buy and clean up contaminated properties.


As an Assemblyman, Bob Hertzberg secured the funding that created the original Orange Line.  As a Senator, Bob stood up to downtown interests to ensure that the San Fernando Valley got its fair share of transportation dollars.  He got $180 million to expand the Metro Orange Line and connect Cal State Northridge to the public transportation grid. He also gained support for $200 million to build a new rail line with stations to serve the people of the East Valley and additional funds to build a transit corridor through the Sepulveda Pass.


In 2015, thousands of Valley residents were the victims of the largest gas leak in U.S. history. Senator Hertzberg joint authored a new law requiring testing of the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Facility and requiring all wells to undergo testing before new injections of gas are made. Senator’s lifelong record on the environment earned him the distinction of “One of 50 People Who Could Save the Planet.”



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