PALM SPRINGS – “I’ll be back” is a catchphrase Arnold Schwarzenegger made famous when he mouthed those words for his role in the 1984 science fiction film The Terminator.
Now, they are fitting for another entertainer who, like Schwarzenegger, has his eyes on political office.
Votes from the Nov. 5 City Council have not yet been certified but Alan “Alfie” Pettit has turned his focus to the future.
Pettit, 50, a popular drag performer, is the first resident to publicly announce his intentions to seek election in the November 2020 City Council race. That’s when the terms of Councilmembers Lisa Middleton and Christy Holstege will expire.
Think: I’ll be back.
Pettit came in second in a three-way race in District 3 on Nov. 5. Official election results are pending from the Riverside County Registrar of Voters. An estimated 1,000 Provisional ballots still must be processed. Ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day and received no later than Nov. 8 also remain to be counted. The next updated results will be posted at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14.
Current vote tallies show Mayor Pro Tem Geoff Kors garnering 1,528 votes. Pettit to date has earned 348 votes, and Michael J. Dilger has net 128 votes. All totals are higher than they were on Election Night.
So, what went wrong for Pettit as he attempted to transition from entertainment to politics?
“The answer,” Pettit said, “was having a foot in two different streams while trying to manage a crisis after my father having a stroke. I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish it having been my first election .”
During the campaign Pettit called for a return to a directly-elected mayor. He repeatedly called for David H. Ready, the longest-serving city manager in the Coachella Valley, to resign. Pettit said he wanted to finish what Mayor Rob Moon started four years ago.
“We posted 51 reasons why Ready should go … on my Facebook election page,” Pettit said. “I’m sure his assistant (Marcus Fuller) will get the job and Palm Springs will stay corrupt. Had I been elected I would have made sure that the next city manager was independently selected. I also would’ve made sure that Ready resigned as he should have during the FBI scandal.”
Fuller was photographed drinking what appeared to be a glass of wine at Kors’ victory celebration helping to set the theory of his ascension to city manager in motion.
Pettit also alleged in the days leading up to the election that “seeding” was occurring. “Seeding” is the practice of getting a property owner to temporarily change his or her voter registration to his or her short term vacation rental property address and change it back to their actual residence after the election.
Pettit promoted a new Palm Springs Library, rebuffed the Democrats endorsement process, and attacked Kors for the amount of money he raised, calling him “money-grubbing.”
You can hear the refrain, “I’ll be back.”
“What’s next for me is, of course, always family first and seeing my father through his rehabilitation from his stroke,” Pettit said. “I will keep my finger on the pulse of Palm Springs and continue to stay involved exposing the underbelly and deep state of the city.”
Pettit continued, “My new phase will be more of an Eddie Izzard activist/politician, boy with face continuing my public service work. But back on this assistant city manager thing. Just goes to show you that this is truly an oligarchy and I am willing to go on the record about it. This election had early voting in the lobby of Palm Springs City Hall with a voting booth directly underneath Geoff Kors’ picture. So …”
The purpose of the Nov. 5 election was to select three City Councilmembers — one each from Districts 1, 2, and 3. This election began the first phase of the city’s transition to district-based elections. The transition will be fully complete following the November 2020 election when City Councilmembers are elected from Districts 4 and 5.
He will be back.
- Voting booths at City Hall: Alfie Pettit
- Alfie Pettit at City Hall: Alfie Pettit