In what some political leaders say is unprecedented support in Coachella Valley politics, mayors and city council members from Palm Springs to Indio are lining up to endorse a candidate in a city that is not their own.
Five mayors and eight city councilmembers to date are endorsing Katherine “Kate” Spates for the Rancho Mirage City Council. They are lending their names and their cash to help her secure one of three seats on the City Council.
At least three sources confirm to Uken Report that the outpouring of support for Spates is based on the respect Spates has earned throughout the Valley over the years as both a business owner and as an active member of numerous organizations. But the primary reason is to help her oust G. Dana Hobart, the oldest and longest serving member of the Rancho Mirage City Council.
As one leader said, “(Hobart) has so alienated Rancho Mirage from working with the rest of the valley and his smug, nasty treatment of staff at (the) Coachella Valley Association of Governments and other elected officials that a very large swath of the Valley electeds want to see him gone.”
One source said, “His all-out effort to destroy CV Link is based on a racist attitude that he doesn’t want ‘those’ people in — or coming through — Rancho Mirage.”
As the race heats up and ballots are set to go in the mail to registered voters, three of the latest elected officials to support Spates are Palm Springs City Councilmember Christy Holstege, Indian Wells City Councilmember Dana Reed and La Quinta City Councilmember John Peña. Their endorsements bring to 13 the number of elected leaders supporting Spates.
She is one of six candidates vying for one of the four-year terms. Spates is up against three incumbents.
“I have known Kate for some time and was impressed with her business skills and starting (an) Internet company, way ahead of what is now common place, creating web sites,” Peña told Uken Report. “Also, Kate is a local, having grown up in the desert attending local schools including College of the Desert much like myself. Her approach to local politics comes from her heart. She is not a single-issue candidate but rather a people person that will hear all sides of an issue and use her skills both in business and common sense to come to a rational decision. I have worked with Kate on many occasions and I am impressed with her ability to adapt to changing circumstances. She is honestly running for the right reasons, not for her ego, or to advance some hidden agenda. I wish her the best.”
On the other end of the spectrum comes an endorsement from a councilmember who does not know Spates personally.
“… but many people I respect who live in Rancho Mirage including clients, attorneys and doctors support her and have urged me to help,” Reed said. “I met her once, at a valley-wide GOP candidates’ forum in La Quinta and was greatly impressed. She is obviously highly qualified and very intelligent.”
Reed, who wasted no time writing her a $1,000 check, said he had not planned to get involved until he saw a letter to the editor in a local newspaper from one of his City Council colleagues endorsing three of Spates’ opponents.
“I figured that if he could get involved in Rancho Mirage on behalf of his candidates then I could do likewise for the candidate I support,” Reed said. “So, earlier today I made a personal contribution to Kate’s campaign and endorsed her.”
Holstege said, “Kate Spates has demonstrated proven community leadership with local organizations and businesses for 20 years in the Coachella Valley. I am proud to endorse a highly intelligent, dedicated, and extremely qualified addition to Rancho Mirage City Council to bring a much-needed voice of collaboration for regional projects.”
Local elected officials who are supporting Spates include:
- Stan Henry, mayor, Cathedral City;
- Linda Evans; mayor, La Quinta
- Kimberly Muzik, mayor, Indian Wells
- Sabby Jonathan; mayor, Palm Desert
- Michael Wilson; mayor, Indio
- Lupe Ramos Watson; councilwoman, Indio
- Elaine Holmes, councilwoman, Indio
- Dana Reed, councilman, Indian Wells
- John Peña, councilman, La Quinta
- Robert Radi, councilman, La Quinta
- Steve Sanchez; councilman, La Quinta
- Jan Harnik; councilwoman, Palm Desert
- Christy Holstege; councilwoman, Palm Springs