SACRAMENTO — Abel Maldonado was sworn in Tuesday as California’s lieutenant governor, becoming the only Hispanic in statewide office and leaving vacant the Central Coast state Senate seat.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger swore in the former 15th District state senator during a ceremony in the Capitol, as Maldonado’s father held the Bible.
The Republican from Santa Maria, who represented San Luis Obispo County in the Senate, called his confirmation an amazing story. Maldonado is the son of Mexican immigrants and recalled picking strawberries by his mother’s side 30 years ago.
Maldonado, 42, will fill in for Schwarzenegger when the governor is out of state.
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The post has been vacant since November, when Democrat John Garamendi was elected to Congress.