Resignation drops Democrats below two-thirds in California Senate

  • FILE -- In this Sept. 9, 2011 file photo, State Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, looks over the Senate Daily file with his daughter, Iliana, 4, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Sept. 9, 2011. Rubio announced that he was resigning from the Senate to spend more time with his family, effective, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. Rubio, who serves as chair of the Senate environmental committee, says he will work for Chevron Corp., to be closer to home.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,file)

SACRAMENTO — State Sen. Michael Rubio resigned unexpectedly Friday, a move that drops Democrats below the two-thirds threshold they need to pass tax changes or override vetoes.

The Democrat from the San Joaquin Valley town of Shafter, which is near Bakersfield, announced that he was stepping down immediately to take a government affairs job with Chevron Corp. He was in the middle of his first term in the Senate, after being elected with 60 percent of the vote in 2010.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Rubio said the job of a legislator had kept him away too often from his wife and two daughters.

"With me, family comes first. And over the holiday break, my wife and I, through a lot of thought and prayer, made a decision that I would not be running for re-election," he said.

At the same time, he learned of the job with Chevron, which he described as "a company that I have a great deal of respect for."

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