The 42nd district state assembly primary is an interesting showdown between a Republican, a Democrat, and a very notable No Party Preference.
The incumbent is former Republican Chad Mayes who changed his affiliation.
Mayes says, "We're running a little experiment, we'll see how it turns out."
Republican and current Mayor of San Jacinto, Andrew Kotyuk, says not so fast, "There is no independent in elected and state office, you're either an R or a D."
Democratic challenger Deniantoinette Mazingo is trying to stay above the rift.
"He's still Chad Mayes and people still know him so it's going to be interesting," Mazingo says.
Mayes has the most money in his campaign coffers and he's spending it.
State records show he spent more than $415,000 this year, through February 15.
Kotyuk spent nearly $81,000 in the same time frame.
Mazingo spent just $22,000 in that period which is more than she spent on her last campaign two years ago.
"We've raised a lot more money, the speaker was the first person to get behind me," Mazingo says.
When it comes to money, Kotyuk says, "I think the only thing Chad's really accomplished is a lot of special interest money and support coming in for himself and not really for the district."
Mayes responds this way, "I did not expect the kind of support I've gotten and I'm very thankful for it."
On leaving the Republican party, Mayes points out declining republican support statewide.
Records show a big decline in the last 12 years.
32.5% of registered voters in California were Republicans in 2008.
In 2020, that number is down to 23.9%.
Mayes says, "The California Republican party failed to be able to meet Californians where they're at. This hasn't happened overnight, it's happened over thirty years."
On the issues, I asked the candidates about homelessness….
Kotyuk points out, "It's a nationwide issue and California is the worst."
Mayes says he's been working on the problem, "I was able to secure 10 million out of the budget for the city of palm springs because that's where the most acute homelessness problem is."
And Mazingo says, "When we address the homeless problem, we have to address housing, address medical and we have to address emotional, medical and addiction and addiction is part of medical."
On the shrinking Salton Sea and the health risk of dust storms from newly explose lake bed.
Mazingo says, "It's a shame that our babies over there have illnesses that seniors used to have, the water, the air, the eco-system, it's all dying."
Kotyuk says, "We need a comprehensive plan to do that and that's what we should be fighting for."
Mayes wants the federal government to help, "I would hope the administration here can work with the administration in Washington to solve it, we need resources, way passed time."
Mayes is confident headed into the primary, "I would have to believe that I would be in the top 2 and we'll know I am sure at 8:15 p.m. or so on Tuesday evening.""
Kotyuk also believes he'll be in the final two, "It's going to be Mazingo and Kotyuk coming through."
Mazingo points out that she was the top finisher in the primary two years ago, "If the Democrats turn out in my district, then we're going to be in the top 2, hopefully, the top as we were before."
While Mazingo finished first in the primary two years ago, Mayes easily won re-election in the general with a margin of more than ten points.