Several Republicans competing in June primary

A second Republican has announced his intent to challenge Congressman

Dr. Raul Ruiz. Dan Ball, former news anchor at desert television stations, wants to unseat Ruiz with a page from Ruiz’s script when he upset incumbent Mary Bono Mack in 2012.

“[Ruiz’s] voting record is right down the line with the Democrats,” Ball stated. “That’s why he criticized Mary Bono because she lost touch with the

Dan Ball, Republican candidate for California Congressional District 36 seat, visited Idyllwild with fiancée Peyton. Photo by JP Crumrine

district. He ran with good intentions but got consumed by the ‘beast’ in Washington.”

Only a week earlier, Kimberlin Brown Pelzer, an actress, and owner of K. Brown Design, announced her intent to compete against Ruiz. Ball lives in Palm Desert, having moved to the district more than 20 years ago.

“Idyllwild reminds me of my home,” he began. Ball is from a small town, Archbold, in northwest Ohio. Raised by his grandparents, who owned and ran the general store with a bona-fide soda fountain, he learned “to treat others as you want to be treated.”

Ball enlisted in the U.S. Air Force even before graduating from high school. And that’s where his journalism career began. “I had a rifle in one hand, a TV mike in the other,” he said.

Ball met with the Town Crier Sunday, Oct. 22, and answered questions about his priorities and campaign plans.

When asked about his principal strength in the campaign, Ball quickly replied, “I have no political background. I have no prior public experience and I’m proud of that.” Throughout the interview, he stressed that he wanted to represent the people in the district and was not serving himself nor a party or elected official.

He pointed out that Sen. Diane Feinstein is 84 years old. She is finishing her 20th year in the Senate and will be 91, if she is re-elected and finishes her fourth full-term. “That’s why I’m for term limits,” he said.

He argued that the Founding Fathers knew what they wanted. “Elected officials should be citizens first, run a business, make legislation and then go back home. Politics is not a job.”

Since California employs the “top two” vote-getters in the June primary, Ruiz, Pelzer and Ball will be competing for the top two spots. The two candidates receiving the most votes will appear on the ballot for the November general election.

When asked about the possible primary fight between the two Republicans — Pelzer and himself — Ball focused on his 21 years as a desert and district resident to Pelzer’s recent interest in local politics.

“The bulk of the district relies on tourism and we always welcome visitors,” he replied, making note of Pelzer’s recent move to the desert.

He also stressed that, if elected, his time in Washington would be devoted to serving the district and not a party. As a journalist, he understands the need and value of independent thinking. For example, he stressed that he favors health care for all.

“We need to re-tool the laws, but we don’t need to scrap them. Fix it,” he said. “Democrats knew it wasn’t perfect. Premiums have increase 20 to 25 percent, and now 12 percent this year. Both sides have to give to fix it.”

One of his platform issues is emphasis on improving conditions for small businesses. “From Blythe to Banning, from Idyllwild to Anza, the district is made up of small businesses. That’s what drives the economy,” he argued.

Ball also shared that he and fiancée Peyton were at the Route 91 Harvest concert the night of the shooting. He had been with friends, including performers John Rich and Jake Owen. On their way to another Rich performance, they left the concert about 30 minutes before the shooting began.

“One decision can change everything. I know how lucky we were,” he said solemnly.

“We’ll run and win for the people. It’s not simply ‘My way or the highway,’ I’ll examine the pros and cons of both sides of the issues,” he promised. “If elected, I’ll take it very seriously, just as when I put on the uniform.

“I won’t care about being re-elected,” he stated. “People will re-elect me when they see I’m doing what’s best for them.”

Having just announced his candidacy, Ball has not raised any campaign funds. From January through Sept. 30, Ruiz has raised $1.3 million and has $1.8 million in cash.

“It won’t be an easy 13 months,” Ball agreed.