Melendez announces run for 28th State Senate District seat

Melissa Melendez announces her candidacy for the State Senate 28th District seat in a Facebook Live broadcast Monday night. State Assemb...

Melissa Melendez announces her candidacy for the State Senate 28th District seat in a Facebook Live broadcast Monday night.

State Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez announced her candidacy for Jeff Stone's vacated seat in the 28th State Senate District in a live broadcast on her Facebook page Monday night.

Melendez, like Stone a Republican, has served in the California Assembly since 2012, representing the 67th District, which includes parts of Western Riverside County, including Menifee and Murrieta. Prior to that, she was a member of the Lake Elsinore City Council from 2008-2012. She is a Navy veteran. If elected to the Senate, she would replace Stone, who served the 28th District from 2014 until he resigned last week to take a position with the Trump Administration in Washington, D.C.

The 28th Senate District stretches from Temecula into the Coachella Valley and east to Blythe. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is required to call a special election for Stone's replacement. Democrats currently hold 29 seats in the State Senate, with Republicans in the minority with 11.

"California has been run by Democrats for years," Melendez said during her Facebook announcement. "What we're doing isn't working. The last thing we need is to send another member of the majority party to the Senate."

Melendez has been a vocal member of the Assembly, where Republicans are outnumbered, 61-18. She has a reputation of fighting for the rights of the average taxpayer and against rising gas prices, poverty and what she calls "wealth inequality". She is known for being very visible in public, appearing regularly in her district at Town Halls, as well as answering every email sent to her personally and communicating with constituents through Facebook Live events.

"One of my biggest complaints before I was in public office was that I never saw my legislators, never met them in person," Melendez said. "I want to hear from you and let you hear me. That's what we need more of in Sacramento -- in Washington D.C. and everywhere, but especially in Sacramento. We need better representation from legislators who are accessible and not afraid to hear things from the voters."

Melendez acknowledged that there may be several candidates in the special election, and she said she will be counting on support from local constituents once the election is called.

"While I love serving in the Assembly, I think it is in the best interests of our state and certainly District 28 that I run for this position," Melendez said. "Jeff Stone has done a great job and we will miss him, but it's now time for someone else to come in and continue on with what he has done."


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