Tuesday morning, Jose Hernandez told a crowd of about 75 people outside Modesto's City Hall that he plans to run for Congress in the newly-formed 10th district.
Hernandez grew up outside Stockton and picked vegetables with his migrant parents.
The self-described moderate Democrat earned an electrical engineering degree at the University of The Pacific in Stockton.
He applied a dozen times to astronaut school before being accepted at the age of 41.
If no other Democrat enters the race, Hernandez will face north valley Republican congressman Jeff Denham next November.
The newly formed 10th congressional district includes Stanislaus County and southern San Joaquin County.