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Rep. Ruiz planning run in new congressional district to encompass eastern Riverside County

Citing his Coachella roots, Congressman Ruiz first told News Channel 3 that he would run in the newly drawn congressional district that will include the eastern Coachella Valley, all of Imperial County, and parts of San Bernardino County.

"I've decided, given I've grew up in Coachella, that's where my roots are, I'm gonna run in the seat that has Coachella, Indio, Desert Hot Springs, Imperial County, all the way to Blythe, Hemet, San Jacinto," Ruiz said.

He first told the news to News Channel 3 live at Noon.

As we have reported, redistricting changes mean the representation of the Coachella Valley cities will soon be split into two congressional seats.

"It splits my heart and breaks my heart in two just given that I've represented everybody in the Coachella Valley," Ruiz said.

Draft district maps are being considered now ahead of being finalized later this month. One shows a new line right through the valley's congressional district. The valley is currently represented in its entirety in the 36th District, by Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz.

The new draft map puts cities including Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and Rancho Mirage in with Menifee, Norco, and Corona in a district separate from the eastern part of Riverside County. Dr. Ruiz would no longer run to represent these areas.

Below is an interactive map showing some of the draft districts

Another candidate has already announced a run for the new district on the eastern side of the Valley.

Storm Jenkins is the owner of firearms store Guns of Distinction in Palm Desert. He will challenge local Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz in California’s primary election in June 2022. 

Check Out: Local gun store owner announces bid to run against Rep. Raul Ruiz

In addition, local Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia has not ruled out a possible Congressional run. Garcia sent a statement in response to Ruiz's announcement during our newscast.

“I have not ruled anything out, including continuing for assembly or running in the same congressional district as Congressman Ruiz, giving voters of this new district the option to choose their representative. This new congressional seat resembles the constituency I have served faithfully and brought significant investment to over the years — allowing us to amplify our policy efforts at the federal level. Ideally, Congressman Ruiz and I could consider running for the two separate, adjoining districts we live in to strengthen, together, our region’s voice. At this point, nothing has been ruled out, and I await the final maps to see where I might best serve our community.”

Garcia and Ruiz grew up together in the Coachella area, now they could possibly face off for the same district.

The Coachella Valley's state senate representation could be upended too.

The valley as a whole is in Senate District 28 right now, but the new drafts, if approved, would move cities like Coachella and Indio into a district with Imperial County and some of San Diego County, leaving the rest of the valley, including Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and La Quinta, in a district with Southern San Bernardino County.

The timeline for finalizing district maps. By Thursday, Dec. 23 the California Citizens Redistricting Commission must display their approved version of the map. On Dec. 27, those final district lines will be certified by the CA Secretary of State.

To view drafts of Congressional and Senatorial redistricting maps and to get learn more about important dates for the change, visit: https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/

KESQ News Team

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