Former Long Beach Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske drops out of 34th State Senate race

Former Long Beach City Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske has withdrawn from the race for the 34th State Senate District.

LONG BEACH — Former Long Beach Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske said health issues have forced her to drop out of the race for the 34th State Senate District, according to an announcement on her personal Facebook page.

In her social media post Thursday, Schipske, 67, said an ocular blood clot that developed in January has “seriously affected” her vision.

“The process to treat this problem requires a series of painful procedures, and there is no promise of a full recovery,” Schipske wrote. “This medical condition has made campaigning difficult in recent weeks.”

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With Schipske’s withdrawal, State Sen. Janet Nguyen, the district incumbent, will face one challenger, Tom Umberg, in next month’s election.

In its convention last weekend, the California Democratic Party did not endorse a candidate for the 34th District.

Schipske, the first self-identified lesbian elected to the Long Beach City Council, was councilwoman for two consecutive terms until being termed out in 2014.


Schipske represented the city’s 5th District, which is part of the 34th State Senate District.

It also includes all or portions of several Orange County cities: Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Orange, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, and Westminster.

Schipske is a lecturer at Cal State Long Beach, a registered nurse practitioner, and healthcare and ethics attorney

In 2013, President Barack Obama’s White House named Schipske as one of seven “Champions of Change for Open Government.”

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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