PALM SPRINGS — For the first time since 2005, and probably longer, an incumbent member of the City Council, Lisa Middleton, is unchallenged in her bid for re-election in District 5 in the Nov. 3 election.

City Clerk Anthony J. Mejia said he does not have any existing records which could provide the last time an incumbent was unchallenged.

“However, I can say that at least since 2005 there has been more candidates than offices available,” Mejia told  Uken Report. You can see the robust list of candidates here.

In November 2017, Lisa Middleton was the first out transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California  She immediately attracted international attention. But she never lost sight of those who brought her to the dance. During an onslaught of requests for interviews from around the world, she made time for local reporter and editor — and always has.

Most speak of her intelligence, and dedication. She is also kind and funny. She speaks in measured tones and has an E.F. Hutton aura about her. When she speaks, you listen. That is simply a fact.

Middleton, a retired senior vice president of Internal Affairs for the State Compensation Insurance Fund of the State of California, told Uken Report in 2017, “The people will judge me by what I do and how I do it. I have promised to always listen.”

The people have indeed judged her and, based on the lack of opposition, have deemed her worthy of another four-year term.

Nomination papers were issued to Richard Noble and one other. Neither followed through.

In an email to Uken Report, Noble criticized the qualification process. “It makes absolutely no sense to not let me collect electronic signatures in this harsh and potentially deadly environment,” Noble wrote. “I’m disappointed our legislators who are so justice oriented allow something so unjust to take place. Where’s the conscience?”

Middleton gathered the signatures with nary a word.

For some perspective on why Middleton likely was not challenged, Uken Report turned to  Mayor Geoff Kors, who has worked closely with Middleton the past four years.

Lisa Middleton

Mayor Geoff Kors

“Lisa is an excellent member of the City Council,” Kors said. “She is smart, hard working and open minded.  Lisa makes a point of hearing from all sides on an issue before making a decision.  I have found her to be a great partner on the many issues we have worked as liaisons on together including districting, the city budget, and ethics and transparency.

“All of these have been challenging issues and in each case we did extensive public outreach and worked together with our residents, businesses, and staff in the best path forward,” Kors said.  I appreciate that Lisa is always up front on where she stands, seeks input from the community and is solution focused.  For Lisa it isn’t about politics, it is about people.  This is a challenging year for someone to run for office due to COVID, and Palm Springs is fortunate to know that Lisa will be on Council for another term.”

Christy Gilbert Holstege, also elected in November 2017, faces two challengers in her re-election bid in District 4. Challengers include Michael McCulloch and Dian Torres.


Image Sources

  • geoff-kors: Petrelis Files
  • Lisa Middleton: Facebook (edited)