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Former Assemblymember Brian Nestande dies at the age of 60


Former Assemblymember Brian Nestande has died at the age of 60.

Nestande died in the 73000 block of Vermeer Way on Wednesday. According to the Riverside County coroner's office, he was found at around 2:00 p.m. There was no word on the cause of death.

He represented the Coachella Valley in the California State Assembly from 2008 until 2014. He was in public service throughout his life, beginning his career in the early 90s with former Rep. Michael Huffington, R-Santa Barbara.

In 1994, Nestande managed the successful Congressional campaign of then-Palm Springs Mayor Sonny Bono. He was Bono’s Chief of Staff until his death in early 1998. Nestande was chief of staff for Rep. Mary Bono Mack from 1998-2000.

He left politics in the early to mid-2000s to form a government relations firm in Palm Desert.

In 2014, Nestande ran for Congress, facing off against Rep. Dr. Raul Ruiz in his first reelection campaign.

Assemblymember Greg Wallis served as Nestande's campaign manager in 2014. He issued a statement on Nestande's passing:

"Brian Nestande was not just a trusted friend and mentor but a true champion for the community. His pragmatic approach in working with colleagues across the aisle and advocating for good government policies no matter where they came from is something I will take with me throughout my career. Desiree and I considered Brian part of our family and while we take comfort knowing he is now with God, we will deeply miss his humor, wisdom, and unconditional friendship. My deepest condolences go out to his family during this difficult time."

Supervisor Manny Perez also issued a statement “I am heartbroken and full of sadness to tell you all that our dear friend, ally, mentor and brother, Brian, is now with God."

Perez continued, “We came into the State Assembly together in 2008, representing the Coachella Valley from different viewpoints of the political spectrum, and formed a companionship that grew closer with every late evening working to help our state through the Great Recession. We kept our partnership going, in a true spirit of bipartisanship, working as a team to serve Riverside County and our Fourth District constituents. Brian will be remembered as a devoted advocate for Riverside County. I always appreciated his perspective and, more than anything, my family including my wife, my parents, my sons, my extended family, will miss his presence. That’s how much we all loved Brian. Brian leaves a beautiful family, who are all in our prayers during this tough time.”

Nestande is survived by his wife Gina, son Hayden, daughter Sophia, stepchildren Sadie, Tad, Mason, Molly, and Savana.

The family requests privacy at this time. Details regarding memorial services will be provided soon, Wallis wrote in a statement.

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