Melendez announces intention to run for Stone’s vacant senate seat

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In an announcement made in a Facebook live video event Monday, Nov. 4, 67th District Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez announced her bid to fill the 28th state Senate District seat left vacant by Jeff Stone last week.

Before making the announcement Melendez outlined some of the issues within California including poverty, gas prices, mental health, homelessness and drug problems.

“I’m happy in the assembly, I like being in the assembly, I have a good time over there it’s kinda scrappy in the assembly, it kind of fits my personality at times,” Melendez said. “But, we need somebody to fill this seat who can do the right thing, who takes these issues that I brought up seriously, and who isn’t going to go up there and contribute to the problem, but who is going to try to help solve the problem.

“And that is why I have chosen to get into this race and run for the Senate seat in the 28th District.”

She said she anticipates many more people to join in the race to fill the seat that Stone left to accept a presidential appointment to the Western Regional Director of the United States Department of Labor.

“But I am the one who can win it,” Melendez said. “And I am the one who’s best suited for it.”

Stone announced his resignation last week and now joins Temecula Councilman Matt Rahn in endorsing Melissa Melendez for State Senate.  

“I have had the pleasure of serving alongside Assemblywoman Melendez and I have every confidence that a dedicated public servant and advocate for taxpayers like Melissa Melendez can continue the work we started,” Stone said. “Our state faces a mountain of challenges and it is important we elect a fiscal conservative who we can count on and who will prioritize the safety of our local businesses, neighborhoods and schools. Melissa Melendez not only champions those policies, she has consistently done so her entire career. She has my full support.”

Rahn, who announced his candidacy last week, has made the decision to not enter the race and put his support behind Melendez’ candidacy. 

“I am first and foremost a public servant. I deeply appreciate all the support everyone has shown, and the overwhelming confidence in me as a potential candidate for the Senate. However, after discussing the race with my family and supporters, I decided that it is more important to continue the work I started on the Temecula City Council. Fortunately, after hearing Melissa Melendez’ vision for our region, I know that she would be an outstanding and hard-working representative for our region,” Rahn said. “I remain committed to ensuring we have a safe and prosperous place to live and raise a family and I know that teaming up with Melissa is the surest way to make certain our region prioritizes public safety and sound fiscal policies.”

According to a report by the Desert Sun, Democrat Joy Silver, who came within 3.1 percentage points of defeating Stone in 2018, has stated she will file paperwork to run for the seat as well.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has not yet called for a special election to fill the seat or whether the race will conclude in November 2020.

“We need better representation, we need our legislators to be more accessible and not be afraid to go before the people they represent and hear the tough questions,” Melendez said. “Hear about the issues, hear about the things that make people angry and proud and what they want more. And that’s what I intend to keep doing.

“While I love the assembly and I have certainly enjoyed my time, I think it is in our best interest as a state and certainly for the 28th senate district that I run for this seat and bring a little sense of order and common sense into the senate,” she said.