Brian Nestande launches challenge for College of the Desert Board of Trustees representing Area 4

PALM DESERT — Brian Nestande, no stranger to politics, has officially announced his campaign for the College of the Desert Board of Trustees Area 4, which includes Rancho Mirage, most of Palm Desert, Indian Wells and part of La Quinta.

He’s wasted no time in securing endorsements from political leaders in the area. Among them are:

  • Indian Wells Mayor Dana Reed and Councilmember Greg Sanders
  • Rancho Mirage Mayor Charles Townsend, Mayor Pro Tem Richard Kite, Councilmember Ted Weill, Councilmember Iris Smotrich
  • La Quinta councilmembers John Pena and Steve Sanchez
  • Palm Desert Mayor Pro Tem Sabby Jonathan and Councilmember Gina Nestande (Nestande’s wife)

He is seeking the seat that Aurora Wilson has held since 2013. Wilson could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday as to whether she will seek re-election.

Former COD President/Superintendent Joel Kinnamon is also expected to announce any day that he’s seeking the same seat.

Brian Nestande Seeks Seat on COD Board of Trustees

COD Board Chair Rubén Pérez

It is one of two seats that will be open on the board. The other open seat is in Area 1. Rubén AríAztlán Pérez, chair of the board, currently holds the seat. Pérez confirmed for Uken Report that he will seek re-election.

The filing period for people to officially declare their candidacy for the Nov. 8 election will begin on July 18 and close on Aug. 12, according to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters.

“Coachella Valley students and taxpayers deserve new leadership at College of the Desert,” Nestande said in a news release. “Over the past 18 years taxpayers have voted to approve two COD bond measures totaling nearly $1 billion. The money was supposed to be used to build new campuses to serve our students, but the campuses are not built.”

As a COD Trustee, Nestande pledged to expand College of the Desert campuses to the entire Coachella Valley “thereby creating an institute of excellence in education, one enjoyed by all students in the Valley.”

Nestande served six years in the California State Legislature. During his time in Sacramento, he was the Vice-Chair of Education, working on policies to improve education as well as funding for Career Technical Education in community colleges.

“We need to expand our career technical education opportunities for students seeking a professional certification or a building trade. We must also ensure classes are readily available for those seeking an associate degree. There is much work to be done and I look forward to this opportunity.”

Nestande is a government affairs consultant in Palm Desert. After serving in the state Assembly from 2008-2014, he was deputy CEO of Riverside County until May of 2021.



Image Sources

  • Ruben Perez: File photo
  • Brian Nestande: Brian Nestande