RANCHO MIRAGE – Four candidates – two incumbents and two challengers – are competing for two open seats on the City Council in the April 14 General Municipal Election, according to City Clerk Kristi Ramos.

The incumbents are Richard W. Kite and Ted Weill, challengers are Stephen Jaffe and Maggie Lockridge.

Both opponents took high-profile opposition to keep In-N-Out from opening a burger shop in the city. The City Council voted 4-0 to approve the drive-thru eatery at the northeast corner of Highway 111 and Magnesia Falls Drive in the Rancho Las Palmas shopping center.

Mayor Pro Tem G. Dana Hobart did not vote due to what he called a “personal non-financial interest,” according to City Council minutes.

Despite the unanimous City Council vote to welcome In-N-Out to the community, a group of residents calling themselves Save Rancho Mirage, are suing to stop the popular burger chain.

Kite was first elected to the Rancho Mirage City Council in April of 2000, where he served as mayor from April 2001 to April 2002. In April 2004, he was re-elected for another four-year term on the City Council, running unopposed. He served again as mayor for the city from April 2006 to April 2007. In April of 2008, he was re-elected for another four-year term on the City Council. On May 6, 2010, Kite was selected to be mayor from May 2010 to April 2011. In 2012, he ran unopposed and appointed by City Council for another four-year term. He was once again mayor for the city from April 2013 to May 2014. In 2016, he was re-elected for another four-year term on the City Council and was sworn in as mayor on May 3, 2018.

Weill was appointed to the Rancho Mirage City Council on Dec. 20, 2012. In April 2014 he was elected to a two-year term winning more than 73% of the vote. Weill was overwhelmingly re-elected in April 2016 to a four-year term and became Mayor on April 21, 2016.

Jaffe is an employment attorney who once challenged Nancy Pelosi, according to Observer. Jaffe has worked on several campaigns and initiatives in the San Francisco area and was recruited by Bernie Sanders‘ campaign as a senior attorney to observe and monitor the Nevada caucuses, according to Observer.

Lockridge, a registered nurse, is the founder of Iraq Star, a nonprofit organization. She founded it in 2007 watching the Bob Woodruff special on TV.  He was the journalist who received a traumatic brain injury while covering the Iraq War. During the special, Woodruff took his viewers into the VA hospitals and it was painfully apparent that the aesthetics of their wounds were not being addressed, Lockridge says in her Curriculum Vitae.

Shrapnel was left in wounded soldiers’ faces and the scars of second-degree burns were left to heal on their own, leaving unsightly scarring.

The primary objective of Iraq Star is not to let the Iraq and Afghanistan wars permanently disfigure young lives, she writes in her vitae.

As of Jan. 12, Iraq Star Inc.   is now referred to as RAW (Rebuilding America’s Warriors.)  This name is more definitive of Iraq Star’s mission.  America is no longer involved only in Iraq but also Afghanistan and, most likely, more wars are in our future




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