Raul Ruiz tries to make peace with local officers

Just back from the start of freshman orientation in Washington, Rep.-elect Raul Ruiz is already trying to build bridges with those who campaigned against him during the 36th Congressional campaign.

Ruiz, a Palm Desert Democrat, was spotted at today’s Peace Officer and Public Safety Awards luncheon in Palm Desert.

Local police unions began campaigning against Ruiz after audio tapes surfaced that showed Ruiz, as a college student participating in protests, expressed support for Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal, two men convicted of killing law enforcement officers.

Ruiz went on to unseat Rep. Mary Bono Mack, a Palm Springs Republican.


Ruiz is certainly not the only elected leader showing their support for local police today.

The Desert Sun also spotted Assemblyman Brian Nestande, a Palm Desert Republican who is widely seen as a challenger to Ruiz in 2014, as well as Coachella Mayor Eduardo Garcia and Indio Mayor Glenn Miller, who are both likely to run for state office two years.

Ruiz, who is handing out food to needy families on Wednesday in Desert Hot Springs, will return to Washington next week to resume his new member training.

About the photo:

Congressman-elect Raul Ruiz talks to Riverside County Fire Department Indian Wells Firefighter of the Year award recipient Firefighter Paramedic Aaron Keser after the 16th Annual Peace Officer & Public Safety Awards Luncheon in Indian Wells. Photo by Desert Sun photographer Crystal Chatham

Dems, GOP hold get-out-the-vote rallies

Both the Republicans and the Democrats are holding rallies this week as part of the bipartisan effort to get voters to the polls.

Republcians, who held a rally Tuesday night for Rep. Mary Bono Mack, will hold a similar celebration this Thursday. This one is done in conjunction with Indio Mayor Glenn Miller’s campaign. It starts at 6 p.m. at a private home in Indio’s Country Estates. Information: (760) 899-2772

Democrats have three get-out-the-vote rallies planned in partnership with congressional challenger Raul Ruiz’s campaign:

– Saturday: Supporters will meet at 1 p.m. at El Mexicali Cafe in Indio, 82720 Indio Blvd.

– Monday: Democrats will gather at at noon at Frances Stevens Park in Palm Springs. They’ll also meet at 6 p.m. in Coachella at 49-305 Grapefruit Blvd.

Information: (760) 969-8459

In addition, Democratic Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez is holding a get-out the-vote effort Saturday that’s focused on Latino voters. It starts at 3 p.m. at 1494 Sixth Street in Coachella. Actress Rosario Dawson, who co-founded Voto Latino, will be featured.

The event was announced through Perez’s legislative office, indicating it will not be focused on just one candidate’s campaign.

The Riverside County Registrar of Voters expects about 75 percent of all registered voters will cast a ballot in Tuesday’s election. The county is already counting the vote-by-mail ballots that have been cast.

Although Latino voters are traditionally harder to get to the polls, a national survey released this week indicates 87 percent of Latino voters will participate this year.

Updated as of 2 p.m. Nov. 1:

Bono Mack’s campaign has just announced that supporters will rally in San Jacinto on Saturday. Rep. Jerry Lewis, a Redlands Republican who represents many of the western areas in the new 36th, will be among the speakers. The rally starts at 11 a.m. at Estudillo Mansion, 150 S. Dillon Ave.