PALM SPRINGS- Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet announced Thursday that he’ll seek the 45th Congressional District seat held by Rep. Mary Bono Mack.
Pougnet, a Democrat, hopes to unseat the Republican incumbent in the district that includes Moreno Valley, Hemet, parts of the Coachella Valley and Blythe.
“I am committed to fighting for the people of the 45th District, bringing jobs to the district and finding practical solutions that help struggling families and businesses thrive,” Pougnet said.
“I’m running for Congress to bring a renewed focus on the needs of everyday citizens, and to replace a partisan politician who is out of touch with her constituents.”
Bono Mack, who was first elected in 1998, will seek reelection, said Frank Cullen, Bono Mack’s chief of staff.
“I respectfully suggest that he could better focus his attention on creating jobs and economic growth for those he currently represents before looking at other political opportunities for himself,” Cullen said.
Pougnet, who was first elected to the Palm Springs council in 2003 and has been mayor since 2007, is the first Democrat to throw his name in the 2010 race.
Pougnet said he has worked to create jobs in the city, where unemployment tops 10 percent. A hotel incentive program he backed helped create nearly jobs, the mayor said.
“I look forward to bringing this kind of results-oriented leadership to Washington, D.C.,” Pougnet said.
Cullen said Bono Mack has a proven record of working to bring economic opportunity to the district.
“I think it’s ironic that Mr. Pougnet’s announcement focused on job creation, with double-digit unemployment, vacancies soaring downtown and a long list of failed campaign promises to the people of Palm Springs,” Cullen said.
“It seems pretty clear the only job creation the mayor is concerned with is his own.”