The following comes from a March 16 Calbuzz article:

Now that Republican Assemblyman Rocky (his actual name — we asked) Chavez of Oceanside has officially joined the race for U.S. Senate from California, becoming Democratic Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris’s No. 1 and, so far, only opponent, Calbuzz spent some time the other day chatting with him about actual, you know, issues. Our motto: We do this so you don’t have to.

Turns out that while Chavez, 63, is at odds with the mainstream of California political sentiment on some key issues – abortion rights, health care, minimum wage, offshore oil drilling, for example — he is more thoughtful and not nearly as rabid nor strident as your hardcore, right-wing, Tea Party type Republicans. Talking issues with Rocky Balboa, you have to admire his openness and easy candor.

Pro-Cuomo on Abortion: Take abortion rights, for example, a position overwhelmingly favored by California voters. As a practicing Catholic, Chavez is pro-life. Importantly, however, he says he would not support an attempt to overturn Roe v Wade’s protection of a woman’s right to choose because “that’s been settled in the courts.” Nor, he said, would he vote for measures to further restrict abortion rights, like requiring parental consent for minors.

And it infuriates him when people from the anti-abortion right wing accuse him of being a “weak Catholic.” Basically, his position is similar to the one laid out at Notre Dame in September 1984 by former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.

Here’s what the late great Cuomo said, in part:

“The Catholic who holds political office in a pluralistic democracy — who is elected to serve Jews and Muslims, atheists and Protestants, as well as Catholics — bears special responsibility. He or she undertakes to help create conditions under which all can live with a maximum of dignity and with a reasonable degree of freedom; where everyone who chooses may hold beliefs different from specifically Catholic ones — sometimes contradictory to them; where the laws protect people’s right to divorce, to use birth control and even to choose abortion.”

That’s pretty much the position Gov. Jerry Brown also holds on the issue. So Rocky’s in good company.

For the record, he believes the big choice vs. life issue in California is not abortion, but assisted suicide and he’s absolutely opposed to allowing it.