Former Palm Springs mayor and current City Councilmember Christy Holstege easily advanced to November’s General Election and most likely an eventual seat in the California State Assembly during Tuesday’s statewide Primary Election.
Driving the news: Holstege, a Democrat campaigning for the State Assembly in the 47th District that includes Palm Springs, finished well ahead of three opponents after all ballots were counted. Early momentum for her campaign as initial ballot counts were released never let up throughout the evening.
- With 100% of precincts reported, Holstege garnered just over 53% of the vote, compared to 28% for her nearest challenger, Republican Greg Wallis.
- Holstege and Wallis now advance to a General Election runoff.
- Even if Wallis picks up the votes cast for the other two candidates — Republican Gary Michaels and Democrat Jamie Swain — it would take a major swing to defeat Holstege in November.
Zoom in: At an event Tuesday evening at Holstege’s campaign headquarters in Palm Desert it was all smiles. The 35-year-old social justice attorney, who was the first female to serve as mayor of Palm Springs, was quick to thank roughly two dozen campaign staff, volunteers, and supporters after the first returns were announced to cheers just after 8 p.m.
What they’re saying: “Our message is resonating,” Holstege said shortly afterward. “The people of this district want experienced leadership that can get things done.”
- Holstege appears to be that leader, having successfully helped steer the city through the pandemic along with her fellow City Council members. Palm Springs is emerging from the Covid crisis with a stronger economy and more revenue than anticipated just two years ago.
- “These results show the hard work of a strong City Council,” Holstege said as fellow Councilmember Geoff Kors and Mayor Lisa Middleton circulated in the background.
Zoom out: In other notable races Tuesday, incumbents had a strong evening. In the race for both Riverside County Sheriff and District Attorney, for example, the current office holders appear to have pulled off majority wins, avoiding runoff elections in November.
- Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco is leading challenger Michael Lujan by 16 percentage points — 58% to 42%, with all precincts counted.
- District Attorney Mike Hestrin has 53% of the vote over challengers Burke Strunsky (24%) and Lara Gressley (23%).
- Republican Rep. Ken Calvert collected roughly 44% of the vote for the US House seat in the 41st District, followed by Democrats Will Rollins (36%) and Shrina Kurani (15%).
- Calvert and Rollins will face off in November, and Democrats could have enough of a voting bloc to unseat Calvert after nearly 30 years in DC.