Embattled Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), a leader of the #MeToo movement in California, is struggling to campaign for re-election after being hit by sexual harassment and misconduct allegations earlier this year.
Garcia returned from a voluntary three-month leave of absence last week during a legislative investigation into her alleged misconduct.
“It is incredibly difficult for her to be an effective representative,” Jessica Levinson, a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Times or Garcia’s reelection bid. “She can only do floor votes. She has no power in committees, which is where all the power is.”
Garcia represents the heavily Democratic 58th Assembly District and is facing off against six fellow Democrats and a Republican.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Garcia is “facing a well-funded opposition campaign from typically Democratic allies and damaged relationships with many of her colleagues in Sacramento.”
During her return to the Assembly on Friday, Garcia was met by female protesters who stood silently with shirts that spelled out “RESIGN” in red, according to local CBS News coverage.
Breitbart News reported in February that “Garcia reportedly slept with fellow lawmakers in order to get information out of them, allegedly spoke graphically about her encounters, and allegedly urged fellow lawmakers to play ‘spin the bottle’ after a political fundraiser.”
She has denied any wrongdoing.
In March, Garcia acknowledged that she had made a homophobic comment about former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and apologized.
She was recently cleared of charges of groping a male staffer, but her accuser is appealing that finding, the Sacramento Bee reports.