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Democratic Party Likely Not Hurt by Wright's Conviction

Sen. Rod Wright's office

Sen. Rod Wright's office

The party already has another Senator facing a federal bribery investigation. But the cases aren’t expected to hurt the party too much.

Senator Wright joins Senator Ron Calderon in the legal hot seat. Calderon is under federal investigation for allegedly accepting bribes. He denies the allegations.

Claremont McKenna Government Professor Jack Pitney said neither case will likely have a big impact on the party. He points out Democrats aren’t in danger of losing their Senate majority or the Los Angeles area seats.

“Californians as a whole are skeptical about politicians. But this really doesn’t shock anybody," he said. "It’s not really going to fundamentally change the way Californians view their politicians or the Democratic Party.”

Wright faces up to eight years in prison, though his attorney says he will appeal. He will not lose his Senate seat unless two-thirds of the Senate votes to remove him.

In a statement, Senate President Darrell Steinberg said he respects the jury's verdict.

“Senator Wright is a valued colleague and he has the right to appeal this verdict. I will take a short amount of time to consult with him about his intentions," he said. "I have also begun consulting with my Senate colleagues and our legal counsel and will make recommendations regarding this matter soon."

Wright will be sentenced in March. He faces up to eight years in prison.



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Katie Orr

Health Care Reporter

Katie Orr covers health policy for Capital Public Radio. She received her Masters in Political Science from San Diego State University. In her spare time Katie enjoys wine tasting and shopping, though she tries not to combine the two.  Read Full Bio