Senator Ben Hueso’s (D-San Diego) DUI arrest on Friday has brought up concerns within the Latino political community.
“One thing we try to do over the last 20 years is to try to get more people of color in the State Legislature, as representatives for the community,” political consultant, Hector Barajas said. “I think this is once again a black eye for the Latino community.”
The lawmaker was arrested early Friday morning driving his state-issued vehicle on the other side of the road of a one way street. After conducting a field sobriety test, a California Highway Patrol officer arrested Senator Hueso on two counts of suspicious DUI.
This was after the lawmaker was seen drinking with his colleagues at a Latino caucus dinner, followed by what seemed to be a party at the Capitol balcony.
“When the picture showed up with all these Latino legislators inside of the State Capitol, in the place where they are held at a higher standard, it seems as though they have turned into a fraternity!” Barajas said.
Perhaps what is most ironic, is that in his July newsletter to his constituents in July, Senator Hueso addressed the seriousness of a DUI.
The Senator now faces major skepticism and loss of trust by his constituents. Crisis management expert, Doug Elmets, told FOX40 about a three-step process for a high profile individual to resurrect his image and career.
“The first he should do is if you made a mistake, admit guilt,” Elmets said. However, when pressed by media after his release from jail on Friday morning, he kept stating that he will “pursue [his] innocence.”
However, shortly after his release, his office released a statement apologizing for his behavior.
Elmets said the second of the three-step process is to seek some sort of redemption by showing you will improve. “That might be going to AA program,” Elmets said.
Lastly, the resurrection is the process in which you “get back in the game.”
However, with the growing distrust, it will not be as easy as the Senator hopes.
“His family, the electorate that voted and put him into office, and his colleagues in the State Senate: those are people who he has to earn the trust of again,” Elmets said.
“I think if you look at the district, that is a heavily a Democratic district,” Barajas said. “I don’t think there will be another Democrat that runs against him, so I see him getting reelected. But I think the biggest thing is the image. If he is found guilty, I think what I think he should do, and the honorable thing to do, is for him to step down, like what other people have done. And I don’t think he should continue to get his pay.”