Early Life

Roth's father swears him into the U.S. Air ForceRichard Dale Roth was born November 6, 1950, in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Ada High School (Ada, Ohio) in 1968, where he played in the band and was elected president of his junior class and the Student Council. He went on to Miami University (Ohio), majored in political science, minored in chemistry and enlisted in the ROTC program. After a less than perfect eye exam kept him from flight school, Roth set his sights on the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) and earned his law degree from Emory University in 1974.

Air Force Career

After earning admission into the JAG Corps, Roth entered active duty in the US Air Force in 1975. He served various postings with the Strategic Air Command and Pacific Air Forces units in Arizona, Okinawa, Japan and California. Roth became a lifelong resident of Riverside in 1978, when he was assigned to Riverside’s 22nd Bomb Wing at March Air Force Base.

Transferring from active duty to the Air Force Reserves in 1979, he served at March AFB over the next 13 years with Strategic Air Command and Military Airlift Command units. During this period, he was named Air Force Judge Advocate of the Year (1986) and California Air Force Reserve Officer of the Year (1992).

Through the 1990s, Roth worked as a reserve judge advocate at Air Force bases in Georgia, California and Illinois. He also served at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command and in the Pentagon. By 2004, he had risen to the rank of major general and served in the Pentagon as Mobilization Assistant to The Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Air Force where he oversaw more than 900 Reserve judge advocates and paralegals assigned to more than 200 offices at every level of command and helped to manage the recruitment, training, utilization and deployment of Reserve legal forces worldwide.

Roth retired from the Air Force in 2007 after 32 years of service in the grade of major general. Over the course of his career, he received numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Civilian Life

Roth engaged in the practice of labor and employment law with Riverside-based firms for over 30 years and is a member of the State Bars of California and Georgia. Prior to establishing his law practice, Roth worked as an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board. He has served as an adjunct instructor at the University of California at Riverside’s Anderson School of Management and in the University’s extension division.

Roth is a Past Chairman of the Board for the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and past President of the Monday Morning Group. He is a member of The Raincross Club, the Riverside Community Hospital Advisory Board, the Thomas W. Wathen Foundation Board (Flabob Airport), the Riverside County Bar Association Board of Directors, the Path of Life Ministries Advisory Board, the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School Foundation Board, and the La Sierra University Foundation Board.

He is also past Vice Chairman of the Parkview Community Hospital Board, past member of the Riverside Public Library Foundation Board and the Riverside Art Museum Board, and a past Trustee of the March Field Museum. He served as Legal Advisor to the Airlift/Tanker Association as well as having served as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference.

Roth and his wife Cindy live in Riverside.

Election to the State Senate

Roth was elected to represent the California State Senate’s 31st Senate District on November 6, 2012. He was sworn into office in California’s State Capitol in Sacramento on Monday, December 3, 2012.  The 31st State Senate District includes portions of Riverside County including the Cities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Moreno Valley, Norco, Perris and Riverside.


Senator Roth is chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and General Government; the Senator is also chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. The Senator also serves as Vice Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.

Senator Roth serves on the Joint Committee on Emergency Management Services. He is a member of the following Senate policy committees: Budget & Fiscal Review; Health; Insurance; Rules; Transportation and Housing. He is also a member of the Senate Select Committee on Defense and Aerospace. Senator Roth was appointed to the Little Hoover Commission by the Senate Rules Committee in February 2013. On March 28, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Senator Roth to the newly created Governor's Council on California Military Future.  On July 16, 2015, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León appointed Senator Roth to the California Law Revision Commission which is responsible for examining the common law, statutes, and judicial decisions of this State for the purpose of discovering defects and anachronisms in the law and recommending needed reforms.