LA QUINTA — Dante Gomez, an attorney for the County of Riverside, Law Offices of the Public Defender for more than 10 years, is poised to capture one of two open seats on the City Council.

Gomez, 39, who has been a La Quinta resident just shy of a decade, said he is running for City Council because he want to improve the quality of living for all La Quinta residents.

And, he added, “Make us the model of an American city.”

Gomez is one five people vying for one of the two, four-year terms. The others are:

  • John Peña, incumbent
  • Robert Radi, incumbent
  • Brian Hanrahan
  • Joseph “Joe” Johnson

Mayor Linda Evans is unopposed in her bid for re-election.

As a student at California State University, Fullerton, Gomez was on the board of directors for the Associated Students.  He was later appointed as part of the executive committee to be the director of statewide affairs. In that capacity, he I traveled to Sacramento to speak on behalf of the 30,000-plus students at Fullerton.

“I learned the skills necessary to comprise and work within a group to create the best environment for all Cal State students,” Gomez told Uken Report. “I was recently elected to serve my third year as a board of director for the homeowners association in my community.  My education and experience in the law have allowed me to develop analytical thinking skills, problem-solving techniques, and the ability to get along with others, even in an adversarial setting.”

When he first moved to La Quinta, Gomez said he fondly remembers the Fourth of July fireworks over the La Quinta Resort.  Years later when the fireworks stopped, Gomez said he called City Hall and was told the city of La Quinta did not have the money to pay for the fireworks.

“My daughters have asked why La Quinta doesn’t allow fireworks or have a firework show,” Gomez said. “They could not understand why La Quinta would not celebrate America.  I promised my little girls that I would help our city become a model city that celebrates America.”

Gomez said he is a registered Republican.

“However,” he hastened to add, “having been born and raised in Southern California, I consider my views moderate when compared nationally.

The biggest issue facing La Quinta is the ongoing multi-million dollar hotel and now $6 million amphitheater/park the City Council recently approved.

“This project is reflective of the city’s need of tourism and making La Quinta a destination city,” Gomez said.

Facing two incumbents in the November election, Gomez said that which separates him from other candidates is that he understands the daily life and needs of most of La Quinta’s everyday residents, for he is one of them.

“With two daughters in public school, we get stuck on multiple red lights on a daily occasion just as everyone in our city does,” Gomez said. “My family gets affected by cutbacks, like no fireworks, (or) the quality of living that makes us proud to live in our city.  I have the ability to recognize issues that affect our residents and the background and education to find solutions. I understand that much like the flow of traffic, one must work in unison with others in order to achieve the best outcome.”