What they're saying: Politicians on social media - California State Senate candidate Rafa Garcia

With the decennial redistricting for California Assembly and Senate districts completed, Elk Grove voters will hear the names of several new office seekers. Among them is Rafa Garcia of Sacramento.

Garcia is one of three Democratic candidates running for the newly drawn 8th California Senate district that includes Elk Grove and most of south Sacramento. Also vying for that position are Sacramento City Councilmember Angelique Ashby and former California Insurance Commissioner, and California Assemblymember Dave Jones.

According to biographical information on his campaign webpage, Garcia is from Hollister and holds a bachelor's degree from San Jose State, a graduate of Lincoln Law School in Sacramento, and a member of the California Bar. 

Garcia has a presence on several social media platforms, including Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For this story, we will look at postings on Facebook and Twitter. 

As a union representative, several of Garcia's Facebook posts reference labor issues. Below is an example from November 2021.  

As noted on this website. Garcia says, "To this day I continue to fight for workers’ rights as a Union Representative for American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. I strongly believe in defending and advocating for workers’ rights. If elected I will focus on enhancing workplace protections as well as the health and safety of our workforce."

Last August, Garcia posted this Facebook video covering the four policies that will anchor his campaign. 

Similar to other officeholders and candidates, Garcia has used his Twitter account more frequently since establishing it last July. Garcia has 859 posts as of today.

While most of Garcia's recent tweets are retweets, an entry in the last two weeks has revealed his progressive Democratic stances. In particular, Garcia has committed not to accept donations from fossil fuel interests. 

Aside from retweets on labor issues like minimum wages, Garcia supports Assembly Bill 1400, single-payer health care, which has caused some fissures with the Democratic-controlled California Assembly and Senate. That legislation is currently working its way through the California Assembly, and unless it passes by the end of the month and moves on to the Senate, the legislation will be dead for this session. 

Typical of his support of the legislation is this retweet from Assemblymember Ash Kalra, the sponsor of AB1400.  

While Garcia uses social media, Twitter, in particular, to promote his candidacy and advocate for several issues, he has generally refrained from diving into national politics and has not criticized powerful politicians. Garcia has 123 followers, and among the 700-plus accounts he follows are mostly individual progressive politics advocates and advocacy groups primarily in California. 

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