Is anyone else tired of Donald Trump and his childish, spoiled, self-indulgent behavior?  I sure am as I sit here in front of my laptop.  So, today, NO Trump, NO D.C., and not even any Sacramento. We will keep it all local.

Last week I promised a complete list of who is running for local office this November.  Here is the list.  The first week of October, I will release my recommendations for those races where I know the candidates.

Cathedral City

District 3

  • Mark Carnevale: A current council member, Carnevale was first elected in 2014.
  • Juan Carlos Vizaga: He works as a real estate agent across the Coachella Valley.

District 4

  • ·Sergio Espericueta: A former member of the planning commission, Espericueta also ran for the council in 2014 and 2016.
  • Ernesto Guiterrez: He is a real estate agent and restaurant owner.
  • Rick Saldivar: He serves as an associate pastor at Destiny Church.
  • John Rivera: Former chair of the city planning commission, Rivera also served on the city’s architectural review committee and is a licensed architect.

District 5

  • Raymond Gregory: He had a long career in law enforcement, spending almost three decades with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department before retiring in 2017.
  • Laura Ahmed.


  • Henry Chan: He has served as the city’s treasurer since 2010 and is seeking another four-year term.



  • Steve Hernandez: He was first elected to serve on the council in 2006 and was first sworn in as mayor in 2014.

City Council

  • Victor Alcantara: He is active in the Coachella soccer community and serves as a soccer coach for the Coachella Boca Juniors team.
  • Steve Brown: He was appointed in May 2017 to fill the seat of Manuel Perez on the council after Perez was appointed to serve as county supervisor following the death of John Benoit.
  • Josie Gonzalez
  • Megan Beaman

Desert Hot Springs


  • Scott Matas: He was first elected to the council in 2007 and was elected mayor in 2015.
  • Stephen Giboney.

Council member

  • Jan Pye: She served on the council from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2009 to 2015. She was appointed to serve out the remainder of Parks’ term earlier this year.
  • Gary Gardner: The city’s planning commissioner
  • Adam Sanchez: A former Desert Hot Springs mayor, Sanchez was unseated by Matas in 2015. He was first elected to the council in 2011, before becoming mayor in 2013.

Indian Wells

Indian Wells residents will also vote on Measure K, a proposed transient occupancy tax rate adjustment that is estimated to generate $700,000 in annual revenue.

  • Dana Reed: He was elected to the Indian Wells City Council in 2014
  • Richard Balocco: He was elected to the Indian Wells City Council in 2014.


District 2

  • Michael H. Wilson: He has had a long career with the city and was first elected to serve on the council in 1995.
  • Waymond Fermon: He is a correctional officer and former professional bodybuilder who has been an active member of the desert’s Democratic political scene in the past year

District 3

  • Elaine Holmes: She was first elected to the Indio City Council in 2010. She served as mayor in 2017.

District 4

  • Troy Strange: He is the incumbent candidate and has served on the local council since 2014.
  • Oscar Ortiz: He came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child. He attended Indio High School and later studied chemistry at Stanford University. Ortiz moved back to the Coachella Valley in 2017 and works as a substitute teacher.

City Treasurer

  • Balvina Ramirez: Ramirez was appointed to the position of treasurer in June 2017

La Quinta


  • Linda Evans: She is the current elected mayor of La Quinta. She was appointed to the City Council in June 2009 and was then elected in 2010. She was elected mayor in 2014.

Council member

  • Joe Johnson, He holds a seat on the La Quinta Housing Commission. Johnson ran for City Council two years ago but lost.
  • Robert Radi: He was elected to the council in 2014.
  • John Peña, He has the longest history with the La Quinta City Council among the candidates running. He served on the council from 1984 to 2002, when he declared his retirement. He decided to come out of his retirement and was elected again in 2014 and has served since.
  • Dante Gomez: He has been a public defender for Riverside County for 10 years.
  • Brian Hanrahan: He has worked for Desert Sands Unified School District. Hanrahan ran for La Quinta City Council in 2014 but lost.

Palm Desert

  • Carlos Pineda: He was a vocal resident during a handful of Palm Desert City Council meetings.
  • Kenneth Doran: He has attempted a local run twice before.
  • Jan Harnik: She has held a seat on Palm Desert City Council since 2010
  • Sabby Jonathan: He was elected to the council in 2014 and is the current rotational mayor.
  • Matt Monica: He is most well-known in the valley for his prior seat on the Desert Sands Unified School District, from 1981 to 1999, and then from 2004 to 2016.

Next week, I will list the local candidates for School Board, Water Board and Desert Healthcare District.

It is only August.  Normally local city council races don’t begin to heat up until mid to late September due to the heat, but social media has been abuzz.  I follow Cathedral City and Palm Springs and occasionally Rancho Mirage.  Not sure I could handle following all nine cities and the county.  The vitriol and hatred that is spewing from the computers of some people is simply astonishing.

This is the worst I have seen in my three decades of local community activity.  I would like to blame it all on the President, but this was beginning prior to his election.  He just made it OK to publicly espouse your racism.  Mark Zuckerberg and another social media CEO bear some responsibly for not monitoring their product.  But the real culprit here is ourselves.

We must accept most of liability here.  We have quit speaking civilly, quit discussing issues and allowing for others to have a different point of view.  This is not good for the future of our country.  Everyone needs to take a breath, relax and dial it down.  Talk about issues, not personalities.  Share ideas for making a better community, not lies and distortions to destroy your political opponents.

Save the anger for the real fight we all need in November and that is taking back the House.  We live in a small area of just a half ncilmillion people.  Let’s rediscover what community and neighbors are.

There are only 79 days until the election.

We all must get involved.




Rise up!