California’s governor race is officially underway and, following this week’s primaries, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom is the Democratic Party’s nominee. That leaves his current position open—so, why shouldn’t it be filled by an optometrist? State Senator Ed Hernandez, OD, of West Covina, Calif., walked away from Tuesday’s primaries with the Democratic Party’s nomination for the position.

“Through his work in both houses of the legislature and as Senate Health Committee chairman, Dr. Hernandez has championed increased access to quality and affordable health care for all Californians—especially for our underserved and rural communities,” according to the California Optometric Association.1 In his time with California’s state senate, he served as a member of the California Latino Legislative Caucus and the Senate Committee on Health, which he chaired. Prior to public service, Dr. Hernandez opened a family practice with his wife, who is also an optometrist.2

He’s earned the endorsement of several local eye care practices and California optometrists. His website boasts various health care related goals and policies, such as championing lower drug prices and passing clean water and air regulations, as well as taking strong positions against tobacco and sexual harassment.2

He’ll face Eleni Kounalakis, also a Democrat, in the November general election. Ms. Kounalakis was the United States ambassador to Hungry under President Barack Obama.3 California’s primary system advances the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation.

1. Thompson J. California Optometric Association applauds Dr. Ed Hernandez’s election night victory. June 6, 2018. Accessed June 7, 2018.
2. Dr. Ed Hernandez for Lt. Governor 2018. Accessed June 7, 2018.
3. Eleni Kounalakis For Lt. Governor 2018. Accessed June 7, 2018.