Less than three weeks after the California Primary, Kimberlin Brown Pelzer has turned to at least two of her former Republican challengers begging for their help, hoping their longtime ties to the Coachella Valley will provide the currency she needs — and does not have — for victory over Democratic Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz in November for the 36th District.
Brown Pelzer, who has resided in the Coachella Valley about eight months, has reached out to the third- and fourth-place finishers in the six-person field in the Primary Election to help boost her profile.
Her pleas for help and to make nice come in the wake of a Primary election that has left most of them sour and feeling betrayed by the Republican Party, particularly the East Valley Republican Women Federated led by Joy Miedecke. The group is designed to help all Republicans, especially women emerge victorious. But the four Republican men were basically on their own as the group endorsed Brown Pelzer before all of them had even announced their candidacy.
One of the candidates Brown Pelzer has reached out to for support is Stephan Wolkowicz.
“She asked me verbally, to post (my support) in Facebook in writing,” Wolkowicz told Uken Report.
He has not yet done fulfilled her request.
“I would have been perfectly fine if Joy (Miedecke) wanted to do endorse Kimberlin personally, but to put her entire club on the hook to the exclusion of all others was not right. What probably upset me the most is that I felt slighted. I did not feel comfortable going in the East Valley Republican Women Federated Headquarters. I didn’t have anybody to seek assistance or help from.”
One Republican candidate was even asked to leave the premises. There is video proof.
Throughout his campaign, Wolkowicz said he would unite behind the voter-chosen nominee and he likely will eventually, but he needs time to heal.
Doug Hassett, a longtime Coachella Valley resident who is well-liked and highly respected, is another candidate Brown Pelzer tapped for support.
As far as Kimberlin is concerned, I have offered my congratulations and for now that is all,” Hassett told Uken Report. “I have not yet determined if I will be endorsing. Kimberlin reached out to me via phone and we had a very nice conversation. She did request congratulations in writing. I let her know for the moment I wasn’t ready to do that and we agreed that my public announcement and face-to-face congratulations would suffice.”
Coachella Valley residents are not rapidly warming to the woman many publicly and privately call a “carpetbagger.” She is looking for local contributions instead of all the outside cash that helped float her to the second top spot on the ticket and she’s hoping Hassett and Wolkowicz can help her.
Oddly, she has not reached out to Dan Ball, who came in third directly behind her. Ball had repeatedly called for a debate during the Primary season. Hassett and Wolkowicz readily agreed. Brown Pelzer shied from his calls. In the days leading up to the Primary, she unleashed vitriolic ads against Ball, obviously seeing him as her biggest threat.
As for Ball lending her any support, “At this point, I’m going to remain an observer,” Ball told Uken Report.
As for the East Valley Republican Women Federated, Ball said, “I would just say that I find it very disappointing that a small, Republican group and its leader would treat other Republicans, like myself, Doug and Steve they way they did during the Primary.”
Like a B movie, there was drama-filled action as KNEWS 94.3 and 104.7 where a pair of local conservative talk show hosts weaponized the airwaves to demonize two Republican 36th Congressional District candidates – particularly Hassett and Ball.
The bombastic duo — Rich “Da’ Coach” Gilgallon and Paul Cashin — accused Hassett and Ball of not being serious candidates, of not doing the work needed to win and mocked them for not raising money – all the while pushing Brown Pelzer, the anointed candidate of East Valley Republican Women Federated.
Gilgallon accused Ball of driving with his 10-year-old daughter after drinking and of not serving in the military. Ball refuted both accusations and more.
Next thing anyone knew Gilgallon and Cashin were abruptly off the air during the highly competitive ratings period, which is like the sweeps week of television, when audiences are measured. It’s a period when you want your best talent on air.
One of the most telling and honest moments of the whole debacle was when the CEO of Alpha Media called Ball to personally apologize. The gesture spoke volumes.
Gilgallon never returned to the airwaves and has reportedly taken a job in another state.
In his absence, the East Valley Republican Women Federated – and Brown Pelzer – has lost its loudest bullhorn. Gilgallon promoted Brown Pelzer to the exclusion of any other candidates.
Miedecke claimed in the wake of Gilgallon’s abrupt departure that he had planned it all along.
But something does not ring true. If that were the case, why was Miedecke so quick to try to save his job? When it appeared Gilgallon’s job could be in jeopardy, Miedecke was first in line to rush to his defense, encouraging people to call the station to save his butt. Read her email pleas here.
She knew if he lost his job, her candidate might lose one of the most vocal – and influential voices — in the Coachella Valley.
On June 20, Miedecke threw a going away party for Gilgallon at the organization’s La Quinta headquarters, charging $20 per person with all proceeds going to Gilgallon as a way to thank him for “all the love he has given to us.”
As it stands today, Brown Pelzer has an uphill fight against Ruiz. He garnered 65,552 votes in the Primary election, far more than all five of his challengers combined.
- Doug Hassett: Doug Hassett