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Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announces engagement to his boyfriend

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia went on Twitter today to announce his engagement to his long-time boyfriend, Matthew Mendez. Photo: Justin Rudd.

LONG BEACH — Mayor Robert Garcia went to Twitter today to announce his engagement to his long-time boyfriend of nine years, Matthew Mendez.

Garcia popped the marriage question to Mendez on Tuesday aboard the Queen Mary as fireworks burst in the sky. No wedding plans or date have been announced yet.

Garcia is Long Beach’s  youngest, first Latino and first openly gay mayor.

RELATED: Robert Garcia is California’s 4th highest paid mayor

Mendez is a professor of political science at Cal State Channel Islands and a published researcher. His past work has focused on American politics and parliamentary governments, including political representation, immigration and state legislatures.

In 2015, Mendez earned a doctoral degree in political science from the University of Southern California. He earned his undergraduate degree at San Jose State University.

The couple live in a downtown Long Beach loft.

Garcia was first elected to the Long Beach City Council in 2009 to represent the 1st District. He was elected mayor in 2014, and has announced he will seek a second term.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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