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City Councilman Rodriguez Named to Sen. Green's Staff

July 12, 1987

NORWALK — City Councilman Marcial (Rod) Rodriguez has been appointed to the staff of newly-elected state Sen. Cecil N. Green (D-Norwalk).

Rodriguez was Green's campaign co-chairman, helping his longtime friend and former council colleague defeat Assemblyman Wayne Grisham (R-Norwalk) in a special election May 12 to fill the vacant 33rd Senate District seat.

Rodriguez, one of the area's most visible Latino Democrats, will work part time as a consumer affairs specialist, a liaison between Green and local community groups, Green's chief spokesman Rocky Saunders said. Rodriguez, a two-term councilman, will be paid $15,504 a year and will work out of Green's new Santa Fe Springs office, 12631 E. Imperial Highway. Rodriguez said the new job should have little effect on his private insurance business, which he plans to continue. He will remain on the Norwalk council.

Some speculate that Rodriguez sought the job to improve his ties with the Democratic leadership in Sacramento should he seek the party nomination in the 63rd Assembly District race next spring. Rodriguez said last week that he has no plans to run for the Assembly, but added: "As time goes by, anything is possible."

Rodriguez reportedly was interested in running for the 33rd District Senate seat, but when Green jumped into the race Rodriguez agreed to abandon his Senate quest in exchange for Green's support should he try for the Assembly. Rodriguez denied that any agreement was struck between the two.

With Green now in Sacramento, Rodriguez has become one of the city's most powerful politicians. Calling Green "a close friend," Rodriguez said he helped Green get elected to the first of his four council terms in 1974.

"We've always made a good team, one of the reasons that I think he hired me to his staff," Rodriguez said. "I will work hard to keep him informed on issues and people."

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