A Decade Later: Assemblyman Mike Gordon


A decade ago Thursday, 47-year-old Mike Gordon, just months into his first term as a member of the State Assembly, died of cancer.

Gordon, who had previously served as the Mayor of El Segundo and as a staffer to Assemblyman Bruce Young, was diagnosed with a brain cancer just months after his inauguration. He was survived by his wife Denise, and four children.

During his 202 days in the State Assembly, Gordon authored 19 bills, of which four were chaptered and one was vetoed. Gordon was the chair of the Committee on Veterans Affairs and a number of his bills related to the military and the closure of the Los Angeles Air Force Base. His legislation included bills relating to school attendance of the children of military personnel, providing mental health to veterans, and the redevelopment of the former Air Force Base.

The special election to fill Gordon’s vacancy was filled by Torrance City Councilmember Ted W. Lieu. Six years later, Lieu would win election to the State Senate after Jenny Oropeza died of cancer.

In a Memoriam to Gordon shortly after his death, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer noted;

He was a deeply loved member of both the California State Legislature and the South Bay community for his willingness to champion the causes of those he represented. He will be missed by all who knew him. – Senator Barbara Boxer

It’s just a good opportunity to reflect on those who left us too early, and to appreciate the ones who remain.

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