Bisexual SoCal Assembly candidate Holstege remains in 2nd place

  • by Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor
  • Wednesday December 7, 2022
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Palm Springs City Councilmember Christy Holstege's Assembly race is going down to the wire. Photo: Courtesy the candidate
Palm Springs City Councilmember Christy Holstege's Assembly race is going down to the wire. Photo: Courtesy the candidate

With another update from the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Wednesday, bisexual Palm Springs City Councilmember Christy Holstege remains stuck in second place in the race for the open Assembly District 47 seat. Her opponent, Republican Greg Wallis, continues to see his lead expand.

The Bermuda Dunes resident, where he lives with his wife, is now in first place with 84,723 votes according to the current tally. He leads Holstege by 69 votes, as she now stands at 84,654 votes.

There are still nearly 1,800 ballots from San Bernardino County to count, and elections officials there plan to post another vote count update at 9 a.m. Thursday. The Assembly seat also includes parts of Riverside County, where elections officials have already completed tabulating ballots.

Their counterparts in San Bernardino County must certify their vote count Thursday, and Secretary of State Shirley M. Weber must certify the final statewide results for the November 8 election by December 16.

If either of the AD 47 candidates or someone else living in the district wants to call for a recount in the race, they have until Tuesday, December 13, to do so. Holstege told The Desert Sun on Wednesday she doesn't know if she will request a recount.

"This is one of the closest legislative elections in California's history, and we continue to eagerly watch as the last ballots are counted," Holstege told the newspaper, adding, "We have not yet made any decision on whether or not to request a recount. Out of respect to the voters and the democratic process, we are waiting until every vote is counted to make that decision."

In talking to the paper Wednesday, Wallis appeared assured of being declared the winner once the final vote count was posted Thursday.

"It's important that we treat every ballot with respect by making sure that each it counted," Wallis told the Sun. "It may take a little time, but our democracy is worth it. I'm looking forward to seeing the final certified results on Thursday."

Since December 2014 Wallis has served as district director for former Assemblymember Chad Mayes (I-Rancho Mirage). Mayes opted not to seek reelection this year, so a win by Wallis would be a pickup seat for the GOP caucus in Sacramento.

Should Holstege, a Democrat, emerge the winner then she would be the 13th member of the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus in Sacramento. She would also be the first out legislator elected from the Palm Springs region.

Now with 12 Democrats as members, the affinity group for LGBTQ lawmakers is the largest since its founding in 2002. Accounting for 10% of the Legislature's 120 members, it marks the first time an LGBTQ caucus has reached such proportional representation in a U.S. legislature.

Holstege would be the caucus' first bi female member and bring the number of women in it to five, the most ever. Taking his oath of office for a second time December 5 was Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-San Jose), who two years ago became the first bisexual elected to the Legislature.

As she awaits a final call in her race, Holstege took to Twitter this week to discuss running for office as the mother of a newborn son. Her tweet thread was praised by some and attacked by others, such as gay Republican Richard Grenell.

"We started this campaign with a 9 month old, I spent my first nights away from him, our family worked hard & sacrificed, & we grew into toddlerhood with a now 2 year old. I'm so proud of us being on this journey and showing the world moms can run for office with babies in tow," wrote Holstege.

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