He graduated from Torrance High School in 1969 where he was a varsity wrestler. After graduating high school, Chávez attended El Camino Junior College where he earned an associate degree. He then attended Chico State, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1973.
He is a Republican representing the 76th district, encompassing parts of northern coastal San Diego County. In February 2014, Chávez announced he was forming a committee to explore a run for the United States Senate in 2016. Early Life and He qualified for the United States Olympic trials in 1968 and 1972.
Chávez helped his family during grade school and college by working in agriculture, including summers picking grapes in Fresno County, California, working at a packing plant in Chico, California and gathering almonds in Hamilton City, California near Chico.
Military Chávez began his career in public service after graduating from Chico State when he joined the United States Marine Corps. Chávez served in the United States Marine Corps for 28 years, rising to the rank of Colonel.
Post Military Chávez continued his career in public service after retiring from the Marine Corps. by founding the School of Business and Technology, a charter High School located in the Oceanside Unified School District. Chávez served as the school’s director from 2002-2008.
Chávez was elected to the Oceanside City Council in November, 2002.
He served on the Council for seven years, focusing on economic development, public safety, and good governance. Chávez was selected as the Deputy Mayor of Oceanside in 2004. Chávez was appointed as the Undersecretary of the California Department of Veteran Affairs by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009.
In January, 2011, Chávez was appointed Acting Secretary.
During his time working at the California Department of Veteran Affairs, Chávez focused on streamlining procedures and increasing services for veterans. Chávez was elected to the California State Assembly to represent 76th District on November 6, 2012.
He ran on a campaign of education, veteran’s issues and good governance. The 76th District comprises the cities of Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside and Vista.
Chávez currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee and the Higher Education Committee.
Chávez also serves on a number of select committees, joint committees, and caucuses tackling issues ranging from justice reinvestment to environmental issues and K-12 education. Chávez is running for the United States Senate hoping to replace the retiring Democrat Barbara Boxer.
He is a member of the Rules, Education, Budget, Utilities and Commerce and Health committees.