Republican Greg Wallis was sworn into office as the new Assemblymember for California's 47th District on Monday.
Wallis was sworn in by Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert at Noon on Monday.
"The Living Desert is a staple in our community and it's a testament really to the work that can be done when we all come together for a common purpose. And I think that's going to be my commitment to you in the state legislature as well. I want to work together with everyone, Republican, Democrat," Wallis told the audience. "Too many of our friends and neighbors are being left behind and I think that's the work at hand. So I'm looking forward to going up to Sacramento, working with anyone, so we can deliver real results for safer streets, better schools, and a more affordable California."
The oath comes more than a month past election day and after weeks of vote counting in two counties that saw the race leader alternate, sometimes several times in just one day. In the end, the race came down to 85 votes.
In the video below from last week, Wallis declares victory in the State Assembly race and discussed his future plans.
Democratic challenger and current Palm Springs City Councilmember Christy Holstege has decided not to ask for a recount in the tight race, congratulating Wallis on his win.
She issued this statement Monday morning:
“Dear friends and supporters,
The votes have all been counted, and it is clear that by the very thinnest of margins, we have fallen just short of victory, coming the closest this district has ever come to electing a Democrat to State Assembly. With slightly better turn out, we would have flipped this district blue. I called Greg Wallis this morning to congratulate him, and expressed to him that I hope we can work together these next two years to deliver measurable results for our communities.
The final margin was 85 votes out of 170,000 cast - the closest State Assembly race in over 40 years, and the closest that this district has ever been. The election was so close that the seat remained vacant on December 5th when all 79 other Assembly districts had their new members sworn in. I’m proud of the nearly 85,000 votes we earned in this race and I’m grateful to voters for responding to our message, caring deeply about the issues we highlighted, and participating in our democracy.
I am also grateful for each and every one of our supporters for the passion and commitment that you brought to this campaign. The close margin shows that every door you knocked, every phone call you made, every text, every grassroots donation, and everything we did together made a difference in this extremely close race. We worked hard and we should be proud of the movement we built and the volunteers and voters we engaged to achieve progress for our region.
If anybody ever tells you their vote doesn’t count, tell them about this Assembly race that was decided by just 85 votes. Our democracy depends on everyone participating and voting like their rights and their futures depend on it.
When I announced this campaign, we set out to do something hard, something that had never been done before, flipping this longtime Republican seat blue for the very first time. Few thought that a Democrat could win this seat in 2022. But our people-powered movement proved them wrong - we ultimately came closer to flipping this district than has ever been achieved before.
We did so while facing millions of dollars in opposing spending, with the California Republican Party spending more money supporting my opponent than they spent in any assembly race in the state, mostly spent on personal attacks against me with misleading information. We still ended up 85 votes away from victory.
This campaign was also history-making. No openly bisexual woman has ever been elected to the California Legislature, and while we fell short, we came closer than any candidate ever has to breaking that glass ceiling. And we’ve learned, once again in 2022, we can never take a woman or an LGBTQ candidate winning a race for granted, since the barriers to our success are still very much real.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank my family and friends for their support during the campaign. I announced my campaign for State Assembly with a nine month old baby, and I’m proud to have campaigned with a baby and now toddler in tow to show him the meaning of civic engagement and to show the world that moms with young children can run for office and serve, though those barriers are still significant. I’m grateful to my husband and our parents for their help and I’m looking forward to enjoying some much needed time with my son and our family.
While I am disappointed by the outcome, I am determined to continue serving my community in every way possible. Nothing about this election result changes my commitment to advocating for the issues that matter most to our community, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that our assembly district has strong representation that reflects our values, our communities get our fair share of resources, and we advocate collectively on important issues from fair wages, to climate change, to affordable housing, to equitable access to healthcare, to civil rights, and safer communities. I am not done serving and am not done fighting for our community.
In the meantime, I will continue working to make sure our city and our region meet the challenges of the moment, and will continue to deliver results for our communities as a Palm Springs Councilmember and continue my current term through 2024.
Thank you again to every single person who supported this campaign. I am deeply grateful for the trust that you placed in me, and I will continue to work hard to earn that trust every day. I remain committed that we can achieve change for our communities and equitable and just futures where everyone can thrive in California.
47th State Assembly District
The 47th district includes much of the Coachella Valley (Except for Indio and Coachella), Yucca Valley, Banning, Beaumont, and Yucaipa. Riverside County makes up 76% of the district while 24% is in San Bernardino.