Palm Springs mayor announces bid for State Assembly

Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege announced Thursday she will seek the State Assembly seat of Chad Mayes, a Republican turned Independent currently representing the 42nd District.

“As your assemblymember, I’ll bring a fresh, new voice to Sacramento, fight tirelessly for our fair share of state resources, achieve real results for our communities, and bring the 42nd District into the future,” she said in a statement released to the media.

Holstege, who works as a social justice attorney, was first elected to the Palm Springs City Council in 2017. Upon reelection in 2020 she was appointed as the city’s first female mayor, and the first bisexual mayor in America. The mayor role rotates between councilmembers annually.

“As the mayor of Palm Springs, I have led the way on the most important issues affecting our daily lives,” she said in the statement. “ … [O]n the city council, we have achieved real results for residents: approving hundreds of units of affordable housing, investing millions of dollars to build new housing, and securing $10 million of state funds for innovative housing and homelessness services.”

In campaign materials on her updated website, Holstege pointed to accomplishments in the Coachella Valley as evidence of her qualifications for the State Assembly seat. Among achievements she listed was funding secured to establish a legal aid clinic for domestic violence survivors within the Coachella Valley’s only domestic violence shelter, Shelter From The Storm. She also touted her work to represent farmworkers in civil rights, housing, and employment litigation at California Rural Legal Assistance.

“It is going to take all of us together to build a region that works for all of us,” she said. “I am committed to continuing that work for our region so that all of us can achieve better futures.”

Holstege holds a law degree from Stanford and a Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara. She and her husband, Adam Gilbert, principal and president of The Firm Commercial and a third-generation resident of Palm Springs, welcomed their first child, Aden, in October 2020.

Mayes, who grew up in Yucca Valley and served on that city’s Town Council, was elected to the State Assembly in 2014, defeating then-Palm Springs Police Chief Gary Jeandron in a primary.  He served as Assembly Republican Leader, but in December 2019 he left the Republican party and filed for re-election as an independent. He was reelected in 2020 with 35 percent of the vote.

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