CATHEDRAL CITY —  Former City Councilmember Shelley Kaplan has long been rumored to have his eye on running for the District 1 seat. In an unexpected move, however, he told Uken Report he will not seek the seat that Rita Lamb now holds. Instead, he is putting his support behind his husband, Alan Carvalho.

“I considered running again this year, however, I have passed my mid-70’s and am considered at high risk relative to the pandemic we are facing,” Kaplan told Uken Report. “I also have never undertaken anything without making a 100% commitment to do the work the right way. Being on City Council really requires an average of 40-plus hours a week, which is more than I can comfortably commit to at this time. I am also still on the Desert Community Energy Advisory Board and was just elected to the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee.  Therefore, I have decided to instead support my husband, Alan Carvalho as a candidate for the District 1 City Council position for 2020.”

Kaplan Will Not Seek District 1 City Council Seat

Alan Carvalho

Carvalho has been a very strong and vocal supporter of the city for many years and has attended almost every City Council meeting for the past seven years, Kaplan said. He has just stepped down from the Public Arts Commission where he has been a member for 6 years and Chair for the past five years.

“He has been a community activist fighting for residents’ rights, protection and safety, while supporting our business community and our students, non-profits and families,” Kaplan said. “He is well-known in the community for his vocal support of our public safety staff, economic development, community events, and supporting those in need. He is the kind of person who will give you the shirt off his back if you need it. After 48 years together I can tell everyone that Alan is not a politician and you will always know where he stands because he will tell you in clear and straight-forward ways.”

Carvalho pulled nomination papers this week. Lamb is also seeking re-election to District 1.

Carvalho, who is gathering signatures, told Uken Report that he is not yet ready to discuss his campaign.

Kaplan was elected to Cathedral City’s City Council in 2014 and received the highest number of votes among the seven people running that year. He stepped off of Council at the end of his term in 2018 because the city had moved to District elections and District One was not up for election, since the seat was occupied by former Mayor Gregory S. Pettis.

“Our Council from 2014 through 2018 was very successful.,” Kaplan said. “During my term we saw dramatic improvements in economic development in the city, significant improvements in infrastructure (over $100 million), road repairs, and directional signage, the first section of the CV Link, reduced crime and improved staffing in public safety, new and expanded citywide events, improved code enforcement, new residential construction, the agreement with the Tribe to build entertainment facilities downtown, the move of CVRep into the (former) IMAX, renovation of the Mary Pickford, expansion of the city’s reserves to over $20 million, and many more improvements for our residents, businesses and visitors.

“I ran for re-election to Cathedral City Council in the special election to fill Mayor Greg Pettis’ seat last August,” Kaplan said. “I lost by 39 votes in a very low voter turnout election and with ‘dirty tricks’ on the part of my opponent.”

In addition to the District 1 seat, voters will also be electing a representative in  District 2. Both terms are for four years and will expire in November 2024.

District 2 is currently an at-large seat. John Aguilar holds the seat. Aguilar, who is currently serving as mayor, has not said whether will seek re-election. If he does, he will have at least one opponent, Nancy Ross.

Image Sources

  • Alan Carvalho: Facebook
  • Shelley Kaplan: Owned by the author