Home>Articles>Palm Springs City Councilwoman Lisa Middleton Announces Run For State Senate

Palm Springs City Councilwoman Lisa Middleton (Photo: Calpers.ca.gov)

Palm Springs City Councilwoman Lisa Middleton Announces Run For State Senate

Middleton to face incumbent GOP Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh next year

By Evan Symon, March 22, 2023 5:51 pm

Palm Springs City Councilwoman Lisa Middleton, the first transgender person elected to public office in Californian history, announced her run for the 19th Senate District this week, planning to face off against incumbent Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) next year.

Middleton, a graduate of USC did not enter politics until she was in her 60’s. She served as an employee of the State Compensation Insurance Fund for 36 years, and underwent gender transition to a woman in the mid-1990s. In 2017, she was first elected to the Palm Springs City Council and became the first transgender person to be elected to public office in Californian history. Middleton quickly gained a number of non-elected positions in the following years, including being selected for the Riverside County Transportation Committee, and being chosen by Governor Gavin Newsom for the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration in 2019.

In December 2021, Middleton became the first transgender Mayor of California, gaining the seat due to the Council’s 1-year rotating Mayor seat. Returning to the Council this past December, she was now free to look at other political options, leading to her decision to run for State Senate on Tuesday.

In her announcement on Tuesday, Middleton said she would focus on transportation and logistics issues, noting that older transportation networks and the growth of the warehouse industry in the Inland Empire were both problems needing to be addressed in Sacramento for the district.

“I think I can make a difference in Sacramento,” said Middleton. I plan to be a very pragmatic candidate and a problem solver and we’ve got some major problems that need to be solved. I would work to upgrade the Inland Empire’s transportation infrastructure. They are essentially on the same freeways and in the same transportation networks that existed when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in Bell Gardens. As demand for large Inland warehouses continues, we need to start planning for this kind of growth. And that is going to require the state getting involved in that planning process.”

She also noted more broader support for hot button Californian issues, such as extreme weather emergency planning, and homelessness. On the later, she also noted that “We need to be much, much more involved in preventing people from ending up on our streets and providing the kind of support for those who have mental health issues and addiction issues so they do not spiral down into homelessness.”

A Strong GOP Opponent in the 19th

However, Middleton faces an uphill battle in the 19th district. While the former district in the area was generally more favorable to Democrats, the new boundaries, which stretch from the area outside of San Bernardino to North of the Salton Sea to the Nevada Border to the Northeast of Lancaster, has brought more GOP leaning voters into the fold. Amongst registered voters, the Democrats only have a slight 2% lead in the area. Even more, the incumbent, Senator Ochoa Bogh, has proven to be extremely popular in the area, having been the first GOP Latina voted to the state Senate in 2020, upsetting the Democratic candidate in the election.

Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (Photo: Ochoaboghforsenate)

“Ochoa Bogh is solid in a lot of areas there,” explained San Bernardino County pollster Sylvia Cortez to the Globe on Wednesday. “The Latino community is largely for her. Women are largely for her. Republicans are with her. And, most importantly, she tends to be more moderate, and that has gotten her a lot of support from voters without a party.

“Ochoa Bogh has also been controversy free, is close to education issues, and has really just been proving herself in the Senate. Middleton does have strong support in Palm Springs, and being transgender, can get a lot more voters who otherwise wouldn’t vote to look at the race. But it will be very hard to unseat Ochoa Bogh were we stand right now, especially with the new district boundaries making the area less blue from last time.”

Other candidates are likely to join the race in time for the primary later this year.

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5 thoughts on “Palm Springs City Councilwoman Lisa Middleton Announces Run For State Senate

  1. An elderly man who delusionally thinks he’s a woman is exactly the kind of candidate that the Democrat cabal will make sure gets installed into office? No doubt the Democrat cabal is printing up the mail-in ballots now and getting the voting machines programmed for the win?

  2. To be a councilwoman, Middleton would have to two X chromosomes. No doubt Middleton was born a male with one X chromosome and one Y chromosome? Longer hair and some eye makeup does not make a man a woman. It’s despicable that Democrats refuse to accept the scientific definition of what a woman is and how they mock women!

  3. It ironic that a gender confused Democrat like Middleton would claim to be a “very pragmatic” candidate? Middleton’s proposal to upgrade the Inland Empire’s freeway infrastructure will not go over well with the Democrat and WEF globalist cabal? Middleton may get most of the alphabet vote in Palm Springs but probably not in the rest of the 19th Senate District?

  4. Middleton is another Democrat who goes from one government connected job to another while being a burden on taxpayers. Middleton retired after working 36 years with the State Compensation Insurance Fund, was elected to the Palm Springs City Council in 2017. Middleton serves on the Riverside County Transportation Commission, the Sunline Board of Directors as Vice Chair, serves as alternate to the Metrolink Board of Directors, was appointed in April 2019 by Gov. Gavin Newsom to the CalPERS Board of Administration, is a member of the League of California Cities Board of Directors and the President (September 2021 – 2022) of the Cal Cities Riverside County Division. Why can’t these Democrats ever start or run a business? Answer: they’d starve. Born in 1952, maybe it’s time Middleton retired for good and took up knitting?

  5. Why is the Globe feeding this crazy person’s delusion? This is a councilMAN who plays dress up as a woman. Nothing more. At the very least call them a “council person” if you must. Don’t partake in their agenda of erasing actual woman by playing their word games.

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