California's Hispanic Governor Profiled
- California's Hispanic Governor Profiled
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 30, 2003
California's only Hispanic governor was never elected to the job and
left for Congress after just nine months.
Romualdo Pacheco Jr. was elected lieutenant governor in 1871 and
took the state's top job four years later when his predecessor was
elected to the U.S. Senate.
He was known as a skilled horseman and hunter who once lassoed a
Pacheco was born in 1831 in Santa Barbara. He was trained as a
seaman, and was stopped by Americans while sailing up the Pacific
Coast during the Mexican-American War. He was released only after he
swore allegiance to the United States.
After California became a state in 1850, Pacheco served as a judge,
state senator and state treasurer.
In 1875, when Gov. Newton Booth was elected to the Senate, Pacheco
became the state's first Hispanic and first California-born governor.
He served nine months before he was elected to the U.S. House of
Pacheco died in Oakland in January 1899.
Sources: the California State Library, the Library of Congress, the
California Center for Military History