RivCo Fourth District Supervisor Manuel Perez will give no endorsement to Sheriff Chad Bianco who is seeking a second term in the June primary election
Unlike 2018, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco will receive no endorsement from Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez as the first-term sheriff seeks a second term in the June 7 primary.
That’s a 180-degree turn from January 2019 when Bianco, 54, was sworn into office. Perez, 49, was on hand along with Coachella Mayor Steven Hernadez, to congratulate the Sheriff and his new executive leadership team.
“I didn’t ask for and didn’t want his endorsement,” Bianco told Uken Report.
Four years ago, I thought that we were more aligned on issues, Perez said of his then-endorsement of Bianco.
“And we may still be, but COVID really caused a strain on all of us,” Perez said. “And I think as a result of that, obviously it made it difficult for us to have strong communication. I still can pick up the phone and call him and he’ll answer my call, there’s no issue there, but only because of where we are today. I just hope that we just are able to work together and begin to work on the policies that are needed for our folks.”
One of the primary issues that began to shake Perez’s support of Bianco, was his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of Perez’s Democratic constituents wanted him to censure Bianco for his “arrogant, non-compliant, and negligent” behavior.
There were times when I did have to state out loud my opinion and people would appreciate that, and then others would not, Perez said.
Before COVID, Perez described the pair’s communication as “strong.”
“And then over the course of time when COVID began, and then he went out and said he’s not going to enforce the stay-at-home order … our relationship began to strain and became more difficult,” Perez said.
What constituents failed to realize, Perez said, is that supervisors have no authority over the sheriff. They cannot tell him what to do or not do.
“The only thing that I can do that could have an impact on him, quite frankly, and ultimately overall is the budget,” Perez told Uken Report in a telephone interview. “I was under fire for certain issues when it came to Chad Bianco, but at the same time I felt that I needed to, once again, respect his jurisdiction.”
From the outset, many of Perez’s supporters took issue with his endorsement of Bianco, a Republican. Perez is a Democrat.
“We did not see eye to eye on many fronts, but we did have at least a communication between us,” Perez said. “It got strained over time. I will say that. And right now, we’re cordial with one another. That’s fine. But I did speak up when I needed to, when it came to certain issues. Now folks wanted me to go further not knowing that he is elected in his own right, he has his own jurisdiction.”
The strain between the two grew over time, Perez said.
“Now we’re in a better place,” Perez said. “We can at least now have communication with each other. We’re at least cordial with each other. And I’m sure time will come in the future where we’ll get to see eye to eye on certain issues and there’ll be other issues on which we won’t.”
Bianco is not the only one not getting an endorsement from Perez, who is unopposed in his bid for re-election. He’s keeping his head down.
“I’m staying out of those races. I’m staying out of the race of the District Attorney,” Perez said. “This go-around, I’m doing my best to just stay back.”
- Sheriff Chad Bianco: Sheriff Chad Bianco
- No Endorsement: Illustration