No. 20: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Erika Contreras. Illustration by Chris Shary

20. Erika Contreras

The Senate’s administrator is Erika Contreras, the first Latina to hold the office and the first woman to hold the position since Grace Stoermer in 1921. Contreras has worked in the Capitol in various staff positions since 2003, and was appointed Senate secretary in 2018 via a vote of the membership. A Senate secretary wears a lot of hats, and Contreras is no exception. She’s involved in politics and policy and answers to the Senate Rules Committee, the five-member panel that administers the house. She’s part personnel director, part adviser, part soother of wounded feelings, part go-between for an array of interests and lawmakers. Basically, the secretary of the Senate seems to get involved in everything and makes sure the house runs smoothly. Contreras was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico and raised in the San Fernando Valley.  She’s a graduate of UC Santa Barbara.

Updated Aug. 25, 2021

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