Former Prosecutor Declares Victory in Assembly District Race

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Diane Sieker photo

RIVERSIDE – Republican Bill Essayli has declared victory in the election to represent constituents of a newly reconfigured Assembly district in western Riverside County.
The latest election returns released Thursday by the Office of the Registrar of Voters showed Essayli expanding his lead over Democrat Fauzia Rizvi for the 63rd Assembly District seat, where Essayli is ahead 36,038 votes to Rizvi’s 24,958 votes.
That represents 21.5% of the total cast. Rizvi has not yet conceded. “Voters spoke loud and clear — business as usual in California is over,” Essayli said. “I am ready to go to Sacramento on behalf of the 63rd Assembly District and fight to restore commonsense in our government.”
“Regardless of who you are and where you came from, you can succeed in America through hard work and determination,” he said. “My parents immigrated from Lebanon to shape a better future for their family, and now it’s my turn to give back to the state and nation that has given us so much.”
The district was previously in Los Angeles and Downey. Following the state redistricting process based on the 2020 Census, it was redrawn to cover parts of Corona, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Norco, Riverside and neighboring unincorporated communities.
Essayli, who tried unsuccessfully to oust Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes, D-Corona, from her 60th Assembly District seat in 2018, worked as a U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutor and Riverside County deputy district attorney prior to going into private practice.
He has been among the voices calling for suspension of the state gas tax amid escalating pump prices and has said on the campaign trial that he would do whatever he could to “stop reckless spending that is fueling inflation.”
According to the candidate, tax increases should be halted by the Legislature “because we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.” Essayli has taken a tough-on-crime stance that earned him several weighty endorsements, including from the Riverside Sheriffs’ Association, representing deputies, District Attorney’s Office investigators and some Department of Probation agents.
“I have a record of holding people accountable, working to protect our community and defending your liberties,” he said. “Soft-on-crime policies have failed, and I will work to reverse them.”
Rizvi, an engineer serving on the Western Municipal Water District Board of Directors, said her problem-solving skills would be beneficial to the district and in the Legislature, and her work in the Corona area over the last 20 years has positioned her to intimately understand constituents’ needs.
“I understand the issues that matter to our community,” the mother of three said in a campaign statement. “There are too many politicians in Sacramento who put themselves or their political parties ahead of the people.
I’m not a partisan politician. I’m an engineer … who will work with anyone to get things done.”
Some of her leading priorities included expanding housing options to relieve homelessness and ensure lower-income families can access the real estate market, improving veterans’ services and “investing in small businesses and restoring lost jobs.”
“My priorities will be the people … not partisan politics,” she said. “We deserve a representative who … understands our communities and who will focus on getting results for us, not themselves. I’ll put people first.”

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