By Haddon Libby

The 2016 elections are coming up in about 45 days. If you listen to many politicians and their marketing machines, these will be the most important elections since the beginning of time. While that bit of hyperbole is not necessarily true, it is important that we exercise our constitutional right to vote.

During this election season, most incumbents will win reelection. This is due in large part to the natural advantages of name recognition and fundraising that most incumbents have. Generally speaking, the electorate is not angry with politicians at the local level this year.

Here in California, your vote for President of the United States will most likely make no difference as Los Angeles and San Francisco would have to fall into the ocean for any candidate other than Hillary Clinton to have even the most remote of chances at winning this state. If you want to help in developing a legitimate option to the two-party system, consider voting for one of the third party candidates. I like to use the analogy that the national level Democratic and Republican Parties are like Coke and Pepsi yet most of us want to drink water. If you want water, don’t vote for a carbonated beverage.

Your choices in the Presidential election are: Hillary Clinton, Democrat; Donald Trump, “Republican”; Gary Johnson, Libertarian; Jill Stein, Green, and; Gloria La Riva, Peace and Freedom.

Moving our focus to elections that are closer to home, let’s take a quick look at the uncontested local elections:

State Assembly 56th District: Incumbent Eduardo Garcia (D).

Cathedral City Mayor: Incumbent Stan Henry.

Coachella City Mayor: Incumbent Steven Hernandez.

Coachella City Council: Incumbents Emmanuel Martinez and Felipe Bautista.

Coachella City Clerk: Incumbent Angela Zepeda.

Indio City Clerk: Incumbent Cynthia Hernandez.

Indio City Treasurer: Incumbent Sharon Ellis.

US Senate: As Barbara Boxer is retiring, you can vote for one of two Democrats, Attorney General Kamala Harris or Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. It is expected that Harris will win big.

US Representative 36th District: Incumbent Raul Ruiz (D) is running against California Senate member Jeff Stone (R). Most believe that Ruiz will win handily.

State Assembly 42nd District: Incumbent Chad Mayes (R) is running against Greg Rodriguez (D) who is the former Chief of Staff for Raul Ruiz.

Cathedral City City Council has two Incumbents in John Aguilar and Greg Pettis and one challenger in Sergio Espericueta.

Indian Wells City Council has three seats up for election and four candidates: Incumbents Doug Hansen, Ted Mertens and Ty Peabody and challenger Kimberly Muzik.

The Indio City Council election has seven candidates, two incumbents and a former council member running. The incumbents are Lupe Ramos Watson and Glenn Miller, former council member Sam Torres and newcomers, Gina Chapa, Joan Dzuro, Jackie Lopez and Noe Gutierrez.

The La Quinta Mayor’s race is between Incumbent Linda Evans and newcomer Paula Maietta.

La Quinta City Council has five candidates and only two seats. Incumbents Kristy Franklin and Lee Osbourne are running against Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Victoria Llort, Joe Johnson and Steve Sanchez.

Palm Desert City Council has six candidates and three seats. The three incumbents are Robert Spiegel, Van Tanner and Susan Weber while the challengers are Kathleen Kelly, Jerry Martin and Gina Nestande, the wife of former State Assembly member, Brian Nestande.

The Coachella Treasurer’s race is between Incumbent Irene De Leon and Arturo Aviles.

The Desert Health Care District has two incumbents in William Grimm and Mark Matthews running against David Duffner, Jerome Estes, Linda Levinson, Donald Lorack, Jennifer Wortham and Les Zendle.

The Coachella Valley Water District has incumbent Ed Pack running against Anthony Bianco, Sergio Nunez and Jim Schmid.

Additionally, there are a number of people running for the boards of school districts. For a full list of all candidates, go to www.voteinfo.net.

Haddon Libby is a Financial Advisor and Managing Director at Winslow Drake and can be reached at 760.449.6349 or by email at HLibby@WinslowDrake.com.

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