Primary ballots on their way. Here’s what to expect in Palm Springs

There are multiple Riverside County, state, and federal offices up for contention in the June 7 primary. Ballots were mailed this week.

How it works: Under California’s top-two primary system for state and congressional elections, all candidates are listed on a single ballot, and the two who receive the most votes, regardless of party, advance to the November election.

  • An exception: For county races, if a candidate gets even one vote over 50% in the primary, he or she wins outright and there is no need for a November election.

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County offices on the ballot include races for district attorney, where incumbent Mike Hestrin faces a pair of challengers — Superior Court Judge Burke Strunsky and attorney Lara Gressley; and sheriff, where incumbent Chad Bianco is being challenged by retired Sheriff’s Department Capt. Michael Lujan.

  • Of note: The District 4 county supervisor seat is also on the ballot, but Supervisor Manuel Perez is unopposed.

At the statewide level, you’ll see races for governor (again), attorney general, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, controller, superintendent of public instruction, and insurance commissioner, among others.

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom, you may remember, was the subject of a recall election last year. He survived and now has a few primary challengers, including state Sen. Brian Dahle, who has the GOP endorsement.

Our State Assembly representative is also on the ballot. We’re now in Assembly District 47, newly formed after redistricting.

  • Assemblymember Chad Mayes announced he would not seek re-election, and there will be two Democrats and two Republicans appearing on the primary ballot.

    • Democrat Christy Holstege, a current Palm Springs City Council member and former mayor, is endorsed by the state Democrats. Republican Greg Wallis has the GOP’s backing. He’s a staffer for Mayes.

At the federal level, we’ll vote for a U.S. House member for newly created District 41, and one of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats.

  • In the House, five candidates are on the primary ballot. Among them are Republican Ken Calvert, the incumbent, and Democrats Shrina Kurani and Will Rollins (who lives in Palm Springs).

    • Rep. Raul Ruiz, who has been the entire Coachella Valley’s representative for the past decade, is running in the newly formed District 25, which came about after redistricting and includes portions of the Valley outside Palm Springs.

  • In the Senate, incumbent Democrat Alex Padilla faces nearly two dozen challengers.

    • In an odd quirk, you will see this seat on the ballot multiple times this year. The LA Times explains why better than we can.

Timely reminder: You have until May 23 to register to vote in the primary. You can do that online here, or find forms at any post office, library, or government office, as well as the DMV. You can also call the county’s Registrar of Voters at 951-486-7200 and have a registration mailed to you.

Then what: Once your ballot is complete, you can drop it in the mail (the postage is already paid) or place it in a drop box at City Hall, 3200 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, or the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 West Tramview Way. Both are available through June 7.

Deeper dive: Find sample ballots with complete lists of candidates here.

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