Let the speculation subside.
Michael Wilson, mayor pro tem of the city of Indio, will not seek election to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
Wilson, who has served on the Indio City Council since 1995, fueled speculation about a bid earlier this year with some of his actions. He posted a new official portrait on his Facebook page that was nothing short of a political campaign photo. He was simultaneously holding fundraisers. His supporters and followers predicted an announcement was eminent.
They theorized that he would challenge Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez for a seat on the board. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Perez to the District 4 seat, which covers the Coachella Valley, until the November 2018 election. He was appointed to fill the seat left vacant in the wake of Supervisor John Benoit’s death in December 2016.
The speculation about Wilson was not unfounded.
“I seriously considered it,” Wilson said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “Then I heard rumblings of Jan Harnik running. Jan had the quicker jump and had the organization in place.”
For the health of the Republican Party, Wilson said he decided not to run.
“The thing about the Republicans is that we’ve run over each other and practically killed each other to gain victory rather than putting our values out there.”
He said he is putting “everything” he has behind Harnik.
“But,” he added, “I won’t guarantee that I won’t run against her in the future.”
Harnik, who serves as mayor of Palm Desert, started fundraising in March and formally announced her candidacy in May.
Wilson’s concern for the Republican Party comes at a time when by many accounts, it is a party in freefall, not unlike what is happening on the national level. Republicans are fighting among themselves.
Some Coachella Valley Republican leaders described the party as “splintered,” “fractured,”
Wilson’s colleague on the Indio City Council, Lupe Ramos Watson told Uken Report in a blunt and candid interview that she no longer participates to the degree that she once did with the local party because she disagrees with the various groups’ “divisive action.”
She blames the “fragmentation,” the “deterioration” and “disintegration” of the GOP to the loss of continuity from the previous leaders such as Congresswoman Mary Bono, Supervisor Roy Wilson and Supervisor John Benoit.
Indio City Councilmember Glenn Alan Miller also referred to the Republican Party as “fragmented.”