Benoit to Leave Senate for Riverside Supervisorial Gig

Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Republican State Sen. John Benoit to fill a vacancy on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. This will create yet another special election cycle, but as David Dayen reminded us, he was already equivalent to an empty chair, since he already votes “no” on budget bills.

Benoit had been lobbying Arnold hard for the job…but that wasn’t why he voted for all of the water bills. You know, that was because he’s totally down with the peripheral canal.

Earlier in the week, Benoit said there was no connection between his desire for the supervisor’s job and his support of the water package, which includes an $11.1 billion bond.

“One thing they told me is that they’re not going to do anything until after (water) is done, because it’s a critical issue facing California,” Benoit said of the governor’s office Monday. “I’m expecting nothing to happen until after this is done.

“Tying the two together is not right, no.” (P-E 11/4/09)

As for the Senate seat, SD-37 includes about half of Palm Springs, so the registration advantage isn’t that huge for Republicans at about 4 percentage points (41-37). And in fact, Obama won the district, 50-48.  As for who could take a stab at the seat, the most obvious Dem candidate would be Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet. However, he’s currently running against Mary Bono Mack. There are a slew of Republicans looking at the seat, but has anybody heard about any Democratic interest?

One thought on “Benoit to Leave Senate for Riverside Supervisorial Gig”

  1. From The Desert Sun

    Art did better than expected last year, and Justin Blake is a PSUSD Board member and local theater professional.

    Palm Springs Unified school board member Justin Blake formally announced his candidacy on Thursday. The Rancho Mirage Democrat says he is already planning events across the district

    “As much as I treasure my school board service and the remarkable staff members who work for the children of our district, I have come to realize that we must have a strong voice for education in Sacramento as well,” Blake said in a statement.

    “I cannot pass up this opportunity to bring to the legislature my first-hand insights on California’s educational dilemma.”

    Democrat Arthur Bravo Guerrero, who lost to Benoit in the November election, is also running. The Beaumont computer systems analyst said he is entitled to the seat based on the last election.

    “I think the runner-up for the last election should be appointed to the seat,” Guerrero told The Desert Sun. “I feel a special election is going to cost taxpayers a lot of money. I don’t think it’s fair that somebody doesn’t complete their term and they walk out.”

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