Raul Ruiz (born August 25, 1972) is an American medical doctor and politician. A Democrat, he has been a member of the United States House of Representatives since winning election in 2012. In what was considered a major upset, Ruiz defeated redistricted, incumbent Republican representative Mary Bono Mack in the November 2012 general election in California’s 36th congressional district. Ruiz was reelected to Congress in the 2014 election, after what was considered one of the most competitive congressional races in the country.
Ruiz was born on August 25, 1972 in Zacatecas, Mexico and raised in Coachella, California. His parents were farmworkers. He graduated from Coachella Valley High School at age 17, and went to UCLA in 1990, graduating magna cum laude before attending Harvard Medical School. He was the first Hispanic to receive three graduate degrees from Harvard University: an M.D. from the Harvard Medical School; an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; and an M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health.
In 1997, while attending Harvard as a medical student, Ruiz participated in an annual Thanksgiving protest in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Ruiz was one of 25 people arrested at the event. The charges were later dropped as part of a deal that also dismissed claims of police brutality.
Two years later, in 1999, Ruiz took part in another Thanksgiving protest at which he read a letter of support for Leonard Peltier, who was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for first degree murder in the shooting of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special agents during a 1975 conflict on thePine Ridge Indian Reservation. During the 2012 congressional campaign, the incident was used as an attack by his opponent, Mary Bono Mack. In response, Ruiz’s campaign stated that he had not supported Peltier.
After graduating from Harvard University, Ruiz spent time working abroad in Mexico, El Salvador, and Serbia, before taking a job as an emergency physician at theEisenhower Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital in the Coachella Valley. He founded the Coachella Valley Healthcare Initiative in 2010. In 2011, he became senior associate dean at the School of Medicine at University of California, Riverside.
In 2012, he received a Commander’s Award for Public Service from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division for his humanitarian efforts for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Ruiz’s background as a physician has gained him attention for several incidents in which he has provided medical aid to fellow airline passengers, including conservative columnist Lisa De Pasquale.
- Location California
- Listing categories House of Representatives, Political Representatives
- Website http://www.ruiz.house.gov/
- Phone (202) 225-5330
WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
1319 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5330
Fax: (202) 225-1238
445 East Florida Ave - 2nd Floor
Hemet, CA 92543
PALM DESERT OFFICE
43875 Washington Street
Palm Desert, CA 92211
Phone: (760) 424-8888
Fax: (760) 424-8993