In other races of local interest, incumbent Democrat Rep. Dr. Raul Ruiz retained his Congressional District 36 seat despite the Republican wave throughout the country. He defeated Republican challenger Assemblyman Brian Nestande by about 9,500 votes out of the 126,000 cast in this race.

From the initial vote-by-mail posted results Tuesday evening through Saturday’s totals, Ruiz maintained a 54 to 56 percent lead.

State Assemblyman Brian Jones, of the 71st District that includes Idyllwild, also retained his seat. He easily defeated fellow Republican, challenger Tony Teora. Most of the district resides in San Diego County, where Jones’ support is very strong. He garnered nearly 71 percent of the total vote in the district, but received only  54 percent from Riverside County voters.

For the seat of retiring Hemet Unified School District Director Paul Bakkom, Megan Haley overwhelmed her opponent Maurice Chacon. Haley earned nearly 73 percent of the total vote. “I was surprised by the significance of the win,” she said Friday after the election results were essentially final. “I was really confident, but this was great support.”

Haley, the former Assistant Principal at Little Lake Elementary School, will re-sign her administrative position before being sworn in as District Trustee.

“I really want to represent the Aguanga, Anza and Garner Valley areas,” she said. “Some call us the ‘red-headed stepchild of the district.’”

And she pointed out that Cottonwood Elementary and Idyllwild School are leading schools in the whole district. Maintaining their academic performance will be a high priority for Haley.

However, she knows that some HUSD students and graduates are not prepared to enter the work force. As a small business owner, she sees kids who need help with interviews and completing applications. A technical or career path is another priority she hopes to pursue while on the HUSD board.


U.S. Representative 36th District

Candidate Vote Count %
Raul Ruiz (Dem.) 67,970 53.77%
Brian Nestande (Rep.) 58,445 46.23%
Total 126,415 100%


State Assembly 71st District

Candidate Vote Count %
Brian Jones (Rep.) 57,019 70.80%
Tony Teora (Rep.) 23,551 29.20%
Total 80,570 100%


Hemet Unified School District

Candidate Vote Count %
Megan A. Haley 14,791 72.75%
Maurice Chacon 5,539 27.25%
Total 20,330 100%