For a while, albeit short, it appeared that there would be three people seeking the nomination in the June 5 California Republican Primary for the 36th Congressional District.
One of the candidates, Dan Ball, said in an interview with Uken Report that by the time polling is done in January or February, the field should be narrowed to one and he did not enter the race to lose.
“The polls will show people the exit door,” Ball said. “That’s how it’s supposed to work. If the poll numbers are where I think they will be that should be the writing on the wall.”
His remarks came just days before Doug Hassett of La Quinta surfaced as a fourth candidate. Hassett, who has lived in the district for 26 years, longer than any of his opponents, is a local businessman. He has begun fundraising.
Hassett said it was a personal decision for him and was not recruited to run. He said he had been considering a run for two years but could not make a final decision until he could be sure this was the “right time.”
“Life often presents a change of seasons that stretches one’s assumed limits. Such is this season for myself … I want our district firstly to be represented by someone that brings balance, maturity and a position of valuing truth over ideology,” Hassett said in an email interview. “Secondly, I want our district to be represented by someone who is representative of the district, and eager to legislate from a position that acknowledges our basic rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…for all.
“One of my former bosses used to say, ‘grab a glove and get in the game.’ So, in part, this is why I’m running. I’ve been here, I’m ready to do the hard work, my glove is on and I’m headed to the mound,” Hassett said.
Ball has said he will release the past five years of his federal income tax returns. Hassett said he has no problem doing the same.
“As CEO of my own business for 15 years my accounting records are impeccable,” he said.
The other two candidates are Kimberlin Brown Pelzer and Stephan Wolkowicz.
Water rights and farmers in Blythe, infrastructure improvements including separate truck lanes eastbound to Chiriaco Summit and westbound to Indio are of concern to him. Hassett also find troubling “pockets of extreme poverty,” some of which are less than 15 miles from his home.
Creation of Sanctuary Cities is on his radar as well.
Finding a long-lasting solution to restoring the Salton Sea is also one of his priorities.
Beyond those issues, he has a passion and respect for veterans. Their issues and service clearly touch a soft spot with him as he offers to share photos of family members who served.
“We have lots of young men and women coming home from war and service to our country and they deserve the best care and assistance we can offer,” Hassett said. “Likewise, those from previous conflicts from around the world need the same. My father was a Naval Aviator in WW2, one of my grandfathers served in WW1 and both of my great grandfathers fought in the Civil War. One served with Sherman on his famous march and the other served in the Union Army, was captured and survived the horror of Andersonville.”
Hassett volunteered that he has never served in the military but honors those that are serving or have served.
His varied interests do not stop there.
“As a nation we should be speaking more about elder care,” he said. “Both of my parents are in their 90’s and it’s not an easy place to be. In many cases we are just warehousing old people until they die. It lacks respect in many cases and dashes the hopes of those whose only crime is old age.”
California’s 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.
- Doug Hassett: Doug Hassett