A third Republican candidate has emerged for the 36th Congressional District seat now held by Democrat Raul Ruiz.
Stephan Wolkowicz, no stranger to the 36th Congressional District ticket, appeared before the East Valley Republican Women Federated (EVRWF) on Monday seeking its endorsement. The group instead “overwhelmingly” voted to endorse Kimberlin Brown Pelzer.
The role of Republican Women Federated is to support all Republican candidates, both men and women, but its primary goal is get Republican women in office, President Joy Miedecke said.
This is not the first time Wolkowicz has sought a seat in Congress. Wolkowicz, the director of finance for Embassy Suites Palm Desert, also ran in 2016, saying he was encouraged by Donald J. Trump’s success.
He did not return phone calls to his office or home on Tuesday.
In the 2016 Republican Primary for the 36th Congressional District seat, he received 9.9 percent of the vote while Jeff Stone received 31.6 percent to earn a place on the Republican ballot in the General Election.
Ball, 42, is a former Coachella Valley television news anchor and Realtor. This is his first foray into politics.
Brown Pelzer, 56, is probably best known for the role she plays on the popular soap opera, the “Bold and Beautiful.” She was as a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention in 2016.
She has not returned telephone messages given to her by a third party and there is no contact number on her Website. She has not returned direct messages to her Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Each of the three is looking to unseat Ruiz, a Harvard-educated doctor, who is a target by the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2018. The committee is reportedly targeting 36 Democrat-held districts in blue-collar areas.
In a sit-down interview with Ball, he declined to say how much he expects to spend on the primary and is already looking beyond.
“My main goal is to unseat Raul Ruiz,” Ball said. “To be honest, this is one thing Republicans have done too long. We eat our own. If we have three candidates moving forward in this primary all the way to June 8th, I don’t foresee a good outcome for anybody on the ticket against Raul.”
Ball said Republicans need to get behind one candidate and forego a primary in June.
“If we don’t unify behind one candidate and not have a primary we will not be looking good come November,” Ball said. “Because let me tell you what. You’re going to have three people digging up the dirt, tearing each other down, spending all kinds of money. Raul just sits there and gains money.”
California’s sprawling 36th Congressional is located in the southeastern portion of the state and includes most of Riverside County, including the area from Hemet to Blythe. It also includes the desert communities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indio, Coachella, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells and Cathedral City.