January isn’t even over yet, but the 2018 election cycle is already in full spin — from Cathedral City to Indio and everything in between.

Newly drawn districts in Cathedral City and Indio are attracting candidates who might not otherwise have surfaced. Candidates in Rancho Mirage say it’s time for a change in leadership. The ballot order has been set. Does it favor any particular candidate? Check it out below.

Enjoy this potpourri of political news.

Dan Ball Call Foul on Discussing His Staff

Dan Ball, a Republican candidate for the 36th Congressional seat now held by Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz, is coming under fire from some of his opponents for hiring Marc Troast.  In June 2016, Troast was serving as the congressional campaign manager for Republican state Sen. Jeff Stone and resigned after posting a photo of him firing a rifle that looked similar to the one used in the Orlando massacre.

The photo was reportedly posted on social media with the comment, “Go ahead make my day.” It has since been removed.

When Uken Report inquired during a phone call about Troast’s role on Ball’s campaign, he came audibly agitated.

What Topic Won’t Dan Ball Address?

Marc Troast

“Cindy, I can tell you right now, I’m not going to talk about Marc,” as his voice became louder and firmer. “He’s not the campaign manager. He helps me set up fundraising events, and that’s it. He has no direction on my policy or my platform, and I’m disgusted that people want to take it there when we’re talking about intolerance, hatred, and bigotry aimed at Wang’s for allowing freedom of speech to happen. Period.”

Troast has a long pedigree in Republican politics. He served as a senior advisor for former GOP congresswoman Mary Bono, who lost to Raul Ruiz in 2012. He also worked for Rod Pacheco when the former Riverside County district attorney was an assemblyman and former Republican Assemblyman Brian Nestande.

Rancho Mirage Ballot Order Determined

The order of names in the Rancho Mirage City Council election has been determined, according to City Clerk Kristie Ramos.

The order in which they will appear is:

  1. G. Dana Hobart
  2. Michael Harrington
  3. Charles Townsend Vinci
  4. Robert Mueller
  5. Iris Smotrich
  6. Katherine Spates

The order was determined in accordance with state Elections Code. The Secretary of State’s office conducted a drawing of the letters of the alphabet to determine the randomized alphabet for use in the above election.

Indio City Council Election Begins to Take Shape

The Indio City Council election isn’t until November but at least one candidate, Waymond Fermon, has announced and all three incumbents who are up for re-election say they will run in the newly drawn districts.

Michael H. Wilson is seeking a four-year term in District 2.

Elaine Holmes said she is “absolutely” seeking re-election. She represents District 3.

Mayor Pro Tem Troy Strange also confirmed to Uken Report that he is seeking re-election. He represents District 4.  “As of today I’m running.”