Joy Silver is a bitter, vicious, failed candidate who is withholding her endorsement of Elizabeth Romero, a move that could jeopardize Democrats’ effort to flip the 28th State Senate District seat from red to blue in the May 12 election, some Democrats say.

Silver, a Democrat, has twice run for the seat – and lost. She first lost in November 2018 to incumbent Republican Sen. Jeff Stone.

Her most recent failed attempt came in March 3, 2020 Special Primary Election. Silver came in third in a five-person race. She trailed first-place finisher Republican Melissa Melendez and Romero, a Democrat, who grabbed second place.

Final Official Election Results show Melendez with 88,052 votes followed by Romero with 51,363 votes, and Silver with 44,316.

Many Democrats hoped Silver would support Romero and that by combining their supporters, Democrats could wrest the seat from longtime Republican control.

Romero told Uken Report earlier this month that she “respectfully asked for (Silver’s) endorsement and support.”

The professional request apparently fell on deaf ears. With voters already casting mail-in ballots, any endorsement now would be meaningless. Romero likely never had a chance of getting Silver’s endorsement.

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Joe Duffle

“It’s unfortunate that she hasn’t done it already. At this point a Silver endorsement means nothing so close to the election. I’m sure this was intentional,” Joe Duffle, president of UFCW Local 1167 which has endorsed Romero, told Uken Report. “I strongly believe Joy was never going to give it to her. It would appear that Joy and her (few) supporters can’t get over the loss. Shameful — and it would appear that if Joy isn’t the candidate, no one wins.”

Duffle went on to describe Silver as a person who “bullies,” is “vicious,” “bitter” and “unprofessional.”

“It’s really sad what’s happening to the party,” Duffle said. “It creates fissure in the party.”

Duffle heaped praise upon Romero saying, “She is the salt of the earth. She has never lied to me or misled me.”

Silver did not return two requests for comment.

Palm Springs Mayor Geoff Kors declined to comment on Silver’s failure to endorse Romero. Instead, he showcased Romero’s strengths in his own full-throated endorsement.

“I strongly support Elizabeth.  Having worked with her, I know she will be an extremely effective leader for our region.  Elizabeth is by far the best candidate to pass legislation and advocate for funding for our region and I urge all voters, regardless of political party, to support her,” Kors told Uken Report. “The differences between a lifelong progressive like Elizabeth who has worked in a bi-partisan fashion to get things done, as compared to her opponent who has been a consistent vote for right-wing positions and has led attacks on Republicans who work with Democrats on issues such as protecting the environment is significant.  I hope every Democrat, as well as Independents and Republicans who want to see elected officials work together for their constitutes, support Elizabeth.”

Leading up to the March 3 Primary, Riverside County Supervisor and Chair V. Manuel Perez told Uken Report it was imperative for Democrats to unite behind one candidate. It was clear from the get-go he wanted Romero to be that one candidate.

Perez immediately endorsed Romero and was followed by other party leaders including Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D.; Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia; Palm Springs Mayor Kors; James Williamson; Palm Springs City Councilmember Lisa Middleton, former Cathedral City Councilmember Shelley Kaplan; Democratic Activists Alan Carvalho, Bill Holzhauer and Lynnie O’Neill; Indio City Councilmembers Waymond Fermon and Oscar Ortiz; and many more.

Many privately hoped Silver would take the hint and bow out. She did not. She gave some the impression she was entitled to it because she had run before — and because she was raising money to run long before Stone announced his retirement.

The fact that Silver cannot bring herself to endorse the only viable, qualified and experienced Democratic candidate running in the upcoming special election is “upsetting, disturbing, and selfish!” Carvalho said.

He went on to say he was “personally embarrassed” at Silver’s refusal to endorse Romero, adding that it could well end up helping Melendez.

Holzhauer said he is at a complete loss as to why Silver hasn’t endorsed Romero.

“As Democrats, we spoke about endorsing and supporting the winner of the primary no matter who won,” Holzhauer told Uken Report. “The Democratic clubs and groups across the Coachella Valley spoke about ‘vote blue no matter who.’ Apparently, she is not intending on following her own words. To me this is a glaring shortcoming of her character and indicative of how she would behave as a Senator. (This lack) of character will follow her as she plans her next steps. Behaving in a manner of spite and selfishness is unbecoming of a person who is asking for voters to place them in office.”

The 28th State Senate District is reportedly going to be split in the next election cycle, Holzhauer said. He believes Silver thinks she could have a shot at that time.

“However, one’s behavior is never forgotten in an election cycle,” Holzhauer said. “Her tactic will be viewed as an attempt to undermine Elizabeth and will be spoken about every time Joy steps into the lime light.  Joy, in her speeches, states she has a voice and intends to use it.  Her silence is deafening, I, for one, will ask at every public appearance, ‘Where is your voice?’ There are times you pick up your toys and go home and there are times you act like a child and have a temper tantrum. The choice is hers.  Her (inability) to act like as adult shows she will never be ready to lead.”

The 28th Senate District runs from the satellite suburbs of Los Angeles to the Nevada border. Entirely within Riverside County, geographically diverse places like Lake Elsinore, the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, and Temecula all fall under district lines.







Image Sources

  • Joe Duffle: UFCW Local 1167
  • No Chance: Shutterstock