Republican Congressional Committee takes another swing at Rep. Ruiz

For at least the second time since Raul Ruiz, M.D., was elected to Congress, the National Republican Congressional Committee has identified the Congressman as being vulnerable in the upcoming midterm elections in 2022.

In 2018, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced it would Ruiz’s seat for the 2018 election with the goal of keeping a GOP majority in the House.

The Committee made good on its promise. Still, Ruiz defeated Republican Kimberlin Brown Pelzer in the general election by a vote of 59 percent to 41 percent.

Ruiz’s 36th congressional district is based in the eastern part of Riverside County. It covers most of the desert communities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indio, Coachella, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells and Cathedral City in the Inland Empire. It also includes the San Gorgonio Pass, Hemet and San Jacinto.

So far this year, Ruiz, a physician trained in emergency medicine, is the only Inland House Democrat to be targeted.

Other California Congressional Democrats target are:

“Dr. Ruiz considers this a badge of honor,” Roy Behr, a Ruiz campaign consultant, said in an email statement to Uken Report. “We’re confident that voters prefer Dr. Ruiz’s record of delivering vaccines and helping the area recover from the pandemic, not Washington insiders playing politics.”

Targeted Democrats are often the focus of special GOP attack ads, and the list is a signal to Republican donors of where their party thinks their money can be best spent to flip the House.

“Every House Democrat is facing an uphill battle having to defend their toxic socialist agenda that prioritizes trillion-dollar tax hikes on the middle class, opens our borders, closes our schools and defunds the police,” Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minnesota, the Republican Committee chairman, said in a news release announcing the addition of Ruiz and nine other Democrats to the original 47-member target list.

Ruiz has defeated every Republican challenger in California’s 36th Congressional District since upsetting GOP incumbent Mary Bono in 2012.

Ruiz won 60.3% of the vote in November 2020, defeating the GOP’s Erin Cruz.

Republican and San Jacinto City Council member Brian Hawkins has filed to run against Ruiz in 2022.

Hawkins has called Ruiz’s placement on the list “a great opportunity.”

The NRCC target list includes Democrats in states that are expected to gain or lose seats during the reapportionment or that have an independent redistricting commission.

Democrats have not announced their 2022 target list, but the majority of the DCCC’s spending so far this cycle has focused on Republican-held districts that Biden won.

The NRCC’s targeted list is in districts Biden lost or are facing redistricting. Congressional redistricting remain a question mark in the race for the 36th. Changes to the district’s boundaries could bolster Ruiz, if he gains or retains predominantly Democratic communities, or weaken him if his district adds Republican voters.

The party out of the White House typically gains House seats during the midterms, and Republicans are counting on conservative voters being more motivated than Democrats to cast a ballot in 2022.


Image Sources

  • Raul- Ruiz: Dr. Raul Ruiz