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Lieut. Gov. Maldonado to visit Merced today

State Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria,  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's nominee for lieutenant governor,  listens to the debate over his nomination prior to the Senate vote at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010.  On a 26-7 vote the Senate approved Maldonado's nomination but it initially failed to get the majority support in the Assembly.  The Assembly is expected to reconsider Maldonado's nomination later in the day.(AP Photo/ Rich Pedroncelli)
State Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's nominee for lieutenant governor, listens to the debate over his nomination prior to the Senate vote at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010. On a 26-7 vote the Senate approved Maldonado's nomination but it initially failed to get the majority support in the Assembly. The Assembly is expected to reconsider Maldonado's nomination later in the day.(AP Photo/ Rich Pedroncelli) AP

Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, who's also a Republican candidate for the post, will appear at Merced County Republican headquarters today at 2 p.m.

He's running against San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat.

After being nominated by Gov. Schwarzenegger and confirmed by his fellow legislators, Maldonado was sworn in as California's 47th lieutenant governor on April 27 after his predecessor, John Garamendi, was elected to Congress. At the time, Maldonado was a state senator representing Santa Maria.

In 2004, Maldonado was elected to represent the 15th District as a California state senator. Earlier, at the age of 26, he ran and was elected to the Santa Maria City Council. Two years later, according to his website, he was elected mayor by defeating the incumbent and a former mayor. After guiding the city out of a financial crisis, Maldonado took his leadership style to Sacramento for the first time in 1998 when he was elected to the state Assembly.

A former legislator, Stanford Public Policy professor Joe Nation, told the Stanford Review earlier this month that although he was a Democrat, he endorsed Maldonado for the job. "As a Democrat, I don't think I've ever endorsed a Republican in a race before," commented Nation. "I don't agree with him on every issue ... but, in terms of integrity, there's no one I can think of who is better than he," he said in the Review.

The Los Angeles Times called the job "a largely ceremonial position, (and) the lieutenant governor becomes acting governor when the governor leaves the state. He also serves as president of the state Senate and serves on the governing boards for California's public university systems and on the state Lands Commission."

The local GOP office is at 15th and R streets.

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