In the first pre-election report, Denise Delgado’s campaign cash drawer is flush

COACHELLA — When it comes to campaign contributions, Councilmember Denise Delgado, who is challenging Mayor Steven Hernandez for his seat, has raised roughly five times as much as the incumbent mayor, according to campaign finance documents filed with the city.

The first pre-election reports were filed Thursday, Sept. 29.

Delgado, first elected to the City Council in 2022, reported total contributions of $86,877, which includes an $8,000 loan to herself. Her monthly contributions were listed at $73,477.

It is clear that Delgado is drawing support from a wide group of people across the Coachella Valley — from Palm Springs, Palm Desert and La Quinta to Thermal, Indio and Coachella.

Nachhattar Singh of the Chandi Group USA, $4,900; Harold Matzner, an entrepreneur, humanitarian, and philanthropist, $4,900; Palm Springs City Councilmember Grace Garner, $104.15; Palm Springs City Councilmember Christy Holstege, $1,000; Indio City Councilmember Waymond Fermon, $1,557.54; Date Palm Petroleum, $4,300; Raja Chandi Group, $4,100; and many others.

Hernandez reported $16,300 in total contributions, with an ending cash balance of $12,514.70.

His donors include Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, $2,000; Brian Nestande, a consultant and former Republican California State Assemblyman, $4,500; Frederick Noble, President/CEO at Wintec Energy, $4,900; and Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, $4,900.

Political insiders say this could become a costly and hard-fought race, and that it’s only just begun.

Some of Delgado’s support, such as that from Garner and Holstege, has likely grown out of an incident earlier this month in which a Coachella Valley women’s advocacy group said it was “appalled and outraged” by the Mayor of Coachella’s recent use of misogynistic tropes and racially inflammatory language on social media.

In particular, they cited his reference to Holstege as a “real housewife of Palm Springs” and said it is unacceptable.

Councilmember Holstege is a community-oriented, professional, and highly effective public official; a graduate of Stanford Law School; and a public interest attorney. The reference is therefore not only sexist and immature, it is also ridiculously inaccurate, according to the statement.

“We implore Mayor Steven Hernandez to apologize for his inflammatory statements, and to refrain from any further such unprofessional and harmful behavior in the future,” the statement said.

Hernandez declined to comment Friday.

Holstege is a member of the group, which is called Mujeres Advancing Leadership, Advocacy, and Success. It is a community-based network that describes itself as a group as uplifting women and non-binary persons in leadership and advancing advocacy on behalf of Coachella Valley communities.





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