A Palm Springs Republican Mayor?

     It’s been 12 years since Palm Springs was headed by a Republican serving as the city’s mayor. In 2003 city councilman Ron Oden, a Democrat, defeated incumbent mayor Will Kleindienst, a Republican, in an upset 51% to 43% sweep that also saw the first time election of both Steve Pougnet and Ginny Foat as new city council members.

     Will this be the year when Palm Springs elects another Republican as Mayor? Democrats hold a lopsided majority of 11,146 registered voters. Registered Republicans total 5,482 and there are 4,976 registered as Decline to State (Independents) or other small parties. It would appear from these numbers that this will be another good year for the Democrats.

     This year, 2015, will be the first since 2007 in which the mayor position will be without an incumbent on the ticket. That alone makes it both an attractive and a competitive option for anyone seeking the political spotlight. The problem for Democrats, if one turns out to exist, may be that they have too many candidates running for the seat. The field includes incumbent councilwoman Ginny Foat, former mayor Ron Oden, Palm Springs high school principal (retired) Rick Wright, Measure J Commissioner Rob Moon and Civil Rights attorney Bob Weinstein. That could spell trouble for Democrats. These five highly qualified candidates, all with good support, will definitely split the Democratic vote. In her 2013 city council reelection bid Ginny Foat received 5,268 votes. It’s not expected that she or any other candidate’s vote total will reach that figure in this year’s mayoral race.

     If a Republican or “Conservative” candidate enters the race that person will stand a very strong chance of winning the election. The 5,482 Registered Republicans would probably unite behind a single conservative candidate (if there’s one on the ballot). Should that turn out to be the case then the Republican could easily turn out to be the one with the highest vote.

     The following are recent Registered Voter statistics for Palm Springs.

11,146  –
05,482  –
04,976  –
21,604  –

Registered Democrats
Registered Republicans
Independents and Others
Total Voter Registrations

     For comparison purposes, the following is the 2013 City Council Vote Count for Palm Springs.

5,286  –
5,207 –
3,181  –
1,916  –

 Ginny Foat
 Christopher “Chris” Mills
 Judy Evans Deertrack
 Jeffrey Nichols
Total Votes

     The last day to file completed applications to run for mayor is August 12th. That’s when the list of qualified candidates will be known and that’s when the candidate(s) with “conservative” credentials, if any, will be known.

Bond Shands
August 2, 2015
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.DesertObserver.com
The Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Twitter – @BondShands

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