Indio Mayor Michael H. Wilson, an ardent supporter of Jan Harnik for Riverside County’s Fourth District Supervisor, said Harnik earned his support because she is forthright about where she stands on issues.
Harnik, a Palm Desert City Councilmember, is challenging Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez for the position. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Perez to the positon last year following the death of John Benoit. Perez and Harnik go head-to-head in the June 5 primary. The position is techniceally nonpartisan.
Indio City Councilmembers Elaine Holmes and Glenn Alan Miller have also endorsed Harnik but did not return requests comment.
Indio Mayor Pro Tem Troy Strange and Indio City Councilwoman Lupe Ramos Watson have endorsed Perez.
“To me it’s very simple — values, ethics, and morals,” Wilson told Uken Report. “I have worked side-by-side with these two individuals for quite some time, having served on the Indio City Council for 21 years. I have seen firsthand the policies and the values that both candidates support and are willing to put out there truthfully.”
For instance, Wilson said Perez is a strong Sanctuary City supporter and behind the scenes promotes it along with his closest mentors and supporters, yet he won’t publicly, in this Campaign, talk about it or promote it.
“He knows it’s a losing policy position in this district,” Wilson said. “In my opinion, you either run on what you believe, or the values you have, or you’re misleading the voters. In comparison, Jan Harnik has always been forthright, stood behind her policy positions, and has shown what her values are —openly —without hiding behind the politics.”
Asked for Perez’s stand on sanctuary city policies, Derek Humphrey, a spokesperson for the Perez campaign said, “I am going to decline comment for this since it’s not a county issue.”
Harnik told Uken Report, “Frankly there is no single definition for the term sanctuary city. But, I have long called for comprehensive immigration reform and strongly believe that Congress and the President need to move on making that happen. We also must ensure that innocent people are protected from dangerous criminals whether undocumented or not.”
Before Benoit passed he could have endorsed anyone and supported anyone to be a successor since he knew he would not fulfill his complete term, Wilson said. He chose Jan Harnik to be his successor. He saw that Harnik had the same values and policy positions he had and he was comfortable with Harnik leading the Fourth District that John loved so dearly.
Remember, Wilson cautioned, Benoit and Perez ran against each other, it wasn’t even a close call, the Fourth District Voters overwhelmingly chose John Benoit to represent them and their values and policy positions.
In the 2014 contest between Benoit and Perez, Benoit earned 58 percent of the vote while Perez garnered 42 percent.
“This same electorate and campaign apparatus is 100 percent behind Jan Harnik,” Wilson said. “On the scale of the Riverside County region as a whole, Jan Harnik simply matches up better with values, policy, and the electorate as to where they are on the issues.”