Victory for BIA 2014 Endorsed Candidates!

BIA Riverside County would like to congratulate all of our endorsed 2014 victorious candidates!  While there remains a few close contests that might possibly change in the coming days, most of these contest results look good and should hold steady.  Many of these candidates were involved in hard fought races and overcame incredible odds.  All worked incredibly hard and earned a seat at the table in their respective jurisdictions.  There are many new faces that emerged victorious this election cycle supported by the BIA as well as several friends returning successful in their re-election bids.  From Battle Royales to ongoing nail biters (Moreno Valley where the BIA supported candidate has been gaining votes and is now literally neck and neck with his opponent 1212 to 1212!) this election cycle was hyper-local, low key in many ways and in some ways explosive.  See our list of winners below and commentary on a few key races:

2014 General Election Candidate Endorsements

House of Representatives
CD 42 – Ken Calvert
CD 50 – Duncan Hunter

California State Board of Equalization
District 4 – Diane Harkey

California State Senate
SD 28 – Jeff Stone

Notably, Supervisor-soon-to-be-Senator Jeff Stone was heavily outspent and endured a vicious campaign to emerge victorious.  His local fundraising and well-orchestrated grassroots effort clearly made a difference.  Whether or not it was the substance of campaign attacks against Stone that possibly alienated voters or a good message from him that resonated with voters, this will be an interesting race to analyze in the days ahead where nearly every Republican State Legislator endorsed Stone’s opponent and Independent Expenditures supportive of his opponent dwarfed his own resources.  The BIA of Riverside County was proud to support Jeff in his bid for a seat that many felt had already been won by his opponent.  Jeff’s presence on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors will definitely be missed, but our hats are off to his successful victory.

California State Assembly
AD 42 – Chad Mayes
AD 60 – Eric Linder
AD 67 – Melissa Melendez
AD 71 – Brian Jones
AD 75 – Marie Waldron

Local Government

City Council

City of Menifee
Mayor - Scott Mann
District 4 - John Denver
District 2 - NO Tom Fuhrman

The City of Menifee has remained a challenge to the industry and volatile in terms of election outcomes.  Most recently talk of moratoriums and unreasonable building restrictions galvanized some resistance to the Council majority prior to the election.  An organized effort then commenced throughout the course of the election in order to support the reasonable leadership of Mayor Scott Man and Councilmember John Denver and defeat Councilmember Tom Fuhrman in hopes that a better candidate might best him and establish a new Council Majority.  This race was a top priority for the BIA Riverside County.

Nail-Biter #1: John Denver’s opponent was being introduced to builders and locals as Menifee’s new Councilmember well in advance of the election, fortunately for the BIA and unfortunately for Gloria Sanchez on election night, that didn’t happen.  John Denver’s race was close however he worked hard, had a lot of support and won re-election to serve another term on the Menifee City Council.  Scott Mann had minimal competition, and ran a strong race resulting in over 70% of the vote.  Tom Fuhrman, whom throughout the campaign was the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation was heavily bombarded with mail publicizing his misdeeds and charges.  He was caught numerous times throughout the campaign attempting to tear down signs throughout the City that wielded the message “Fire Fuhrman”.  Ultimately, his charges caught up to him and he was arrested at a public park in front of his friends at a softball game after he consistently refused to cooperate with investigators and was charged with 1 felony and 7 misdemeanors.  This too was publicized in both the media and political mail.  Tom Fuhrman lost decisively on election night and was replaced by current Planning Commissioner and friend, Matt Liesmeyer.  Congratulations to Scott, John and Matt on your victorious effort.

City of Banning
George Moyer
Debbie Franklin

City of Beaumont
Mike Lara

City of Corona
Karen Spiegel
Eugene Montanez
Randy Fox

Nail-Biter #2: A well-funded “Retired CIA Agent” named Steve Ruth ran for Corona City Council with heavy endorsements from local police and fire.  He hadn’t even won an election yet and he was already planning to run for Assembly in an attempt to unseat good friend Eric Linder.  In fact no candidate has won a City Council race in Corona for 20 years without the endorsement of Police and Fire, that is until Randy Fox did it on November 4, 2014.  The BIA supported both Karen Spiegel and Eugene Montanez, incumbents up for re-election.  Additionally the BIA chose to support Randy Fox, an incumbent City Treasurer who stood the best chance of defeating Steve Ruth.  Randy is definitely understanding of industry concerns and shares our industry’s values.  His victory was a fight to the finish and he emerged victorious as late absentees and poll votes consistently landed in his favor.

City of Murrieta
Jonathan Ingram

Nail-Biter #3: Prior to this election cycle, if asked which race would be the most vicious, competitive, volatile campaigns in the county, you wouldn’t expect it to be an at-large Murrieta City Council race.  It seemed several candidates, incumbent and otherwise mercilessly attacked Jonathan Ingram in his bid for city council.  In politics, if you opponents focus all of their energy on attacking you, that generally means you’re doing something right.  Jonathan had a solid constituent block of votes that weren’t a guarantee for other candidates and as one of the best funded outsiders, he had the best chance of being the one victor against the status quo.  He fought hard, had lots of industry support including the BIA’s and combined with other circumstantial mistakes from other candidates Jonathan earned a seat on the Murrieta City Council.

City of Temecula
Jeff Comerchero
Matt Rahn

City of Eastvale
Adam Rush
Clint Lorimore

City of Lake Elsinore
Daryl Hickman
Brian Tisdale

City of Coachella
Mayor - Steven Hernandez

City of La Quinta
Mayor - Linda Evans

Running against a rooted longtime incumbent is never an easy endeavor, yet Councilmember Linda Evans took on that challenge and is now Mayor Elect to the City of La Quinta.  Linda is a good friend, this was a race that she won decisively and the BIA recognizes the bright future for the City of La Quinta under Linda’s leadership.

City of Indio
Elaine Holmes
Michael Wilson
Troy Strange

City of Palm Desert
Jan Harnik
Sabby Jonathan

City of San Jacinto
Scott Miller
Alonzo Ledesma

City of Jurupa Valley
Verne Lauritzen
Laura Roughton

City of Wildomar
Marsha Swanson
Timothy Walker
Ben Benoit

City of Indian Wells
Richard Balocco
Dana Reed

Water Districts

Beaumont-Cherry Valley
District 4 – John Covington

John Covington’s victory is a huge step forward for the BIA in the Pass Area.  He unseated an incumbent that was incredibly unfavorable to the industry and participatory in what could be considered legally unjustifiable actions taken by the BCVWD.  John Covington’s victory helps to restore some balance to the Pass Area water boards and the BIA looks forward to working with him.

Western Municipal
District 2 - Tom Evans
District 3 – Brenda Dennstedt

Coachella Valley
District 3 – John Powell, Jr.

Eastern Municipal
District 5 – David Slawson

School Board

Val Verde USD
Shelly Yarbrough
Julio Gonzalez

Moreno Valley USD
Gary Baugh
Jesus Holguin
Cleveland Johnson

Alvord USD
Art Kaspereen
Donna K. Wandro
Robert Schwandt

Coachella Valley USD
Joey Acuna, Jr.