Politics & Government

Rep. Salud Carbajal to attend Trump inauguration despite colleagues’ boycott

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal.
Newly elected U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Newly elected Democratic U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal will not participate in what is shaping up to be one of the nation’s largest lawmaker boycotts of a presidential inauguration Friday, saying he wants President-elect Donald Trump to “see the face of a Mexican immigrant newly elected to serve as the first Latino representative for the Central Coast.”

“From the moment he takes office, I want the president-elect to know there are members in Congress fighting for communities who will be greatly harmed by his misguided policy proposals, and we will not be ignored,” Carbajal said in a prepared statement Tuesday.

He added: “I am not attending this inauguration in celebration of a man that I do not respect, but rather to bear witness to our democratic institutions.”

The announcement came after more than 40 Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives said they will boycott Friday’s events, citing a laundry list of concerns about Trump’s behavior and transition effort, as well as disparaging comments Trump made about civil rights icon and longtime Democratic Rep. John Lewis.

Among the 40-plus members of Congress boycotting the inauguration are at least 14 of the 39 Democrats in California’s congressional delegation. There are 194 Democrats in the 435-member House.

Carbajal said the day after the inauguration, “I will proudly join my colleagues during the Women’s March on Washington to send a clear message to our new president about the values we stand for as a country.”

Matt Fountain: 805-781-7909, @MattFountain1