California Sen. Jeff Stone has rejected an offer to be the Assistant U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Stone confirmed to Uken Report on Friday.

Senator Jeff Stone

(Photo courtesy of Jeff Stone)

In order to accept the position, Stone said he would have had to liquidate all assets from his local business, Innovative Compounding Pharmacy, which he owns and operates in Murrieta.

“They told me I would have to shutter it or sell it,” Stone said in a telephone interview. “I couldn’t do that for a $150,000 job.  I have 20 employees to think about.”

He said he would have been fourth in line in the department, which is designed to protect the health and welfare of all Americans and provides essential human services. It administers Medicare and Medicaid and manages programs that provide financial assistance and services to low-income families, engages in health and social science research; ensures food and drug safety, prevents diseases, including immunization services for emergencies and potential terrorism, and ensures that health information technology is established to ensure a comprehensive medical system.

Stone, who was elected to represent the 28th State Senate District in 2014, said he told those who offered him the post to tell President Trump he was honored by the offer but he would need to pass.

“I stand ready to serve in whatever way I can be helpful,” Stone said.

His sights, Stone said, are on his district.  He has already filed papers to seek a second term.

Joy Silver

Joy Silver

Stone is being challenged by political newcomer Joy Silver, an openly gay, progressive woman who is coordinator of the Courageous Resistance of Palm Springs and Other Desert Cities. It was born in the wake of Election Day 2016. Since its creation it has been credited with persuading at least two Coachella Valley communities – Cathedral City and Coachella — to adopt sanctuary city status.

In what some said could not be done for a political newcomer, Silver collected nearly $160,000 for her state Senate campaign in 2017, outraising Stone by a 3 to 1 margin.

In the last six months of 2017, the period covered by the most recent Fair Political Practices Campaign Form 460 filing, Silver raised $126,125, compared to Stone’s receipts of $39,865 in the same period.  Silver’s cash on hand advantage is also significant, with Silver showing $105,126 available for the campaign and Stone having only $26,159 in the bank.

The 28th District stretches from Southwest Riverside County (Temecula, Murrieta and Lake Elsinore) all the way to the Arizona Border.