She plans to unseat Rep. Raul Ruiz

Kimberlin Brown Pelzer is a Republican candidate challenging Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz. Photo by Philippe Ramic

In October, Kimberlin Brown Pelzer announced her intent to challenge Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz, representative of California’s 36th House District, which includes the Hill communities.

Pelzer, who works in daytime television (soap opera) and owns several businesses, essentially began her political career at the 2016 Republican Convention. She was a featured speaker during the convention.

The opportunity to speak at the convention was the result of an inspired spontaneous moment at a Women in Business Forum in Anaheim during the California presidential primary in 2016. While they were awaiting candidate Donald Trump to arrive, several of the attendees were invited to use the microphone.

The first woman owned a medical insurance company. As a result of the costs for employee insurance under the Affordable Care Act, she had to reduce staff from 25 to seven. Then a woman from Laguna spoke and a judge followed. At that point, a friend of Pelzer’s urged her to stand and speak.

“I started talking about Obamacare. We used to pay 75 percent [of employee insurance] and they could choose the plan. After Obamacare, we can’t afford those,” she stated at the meeting.

She also shared that many young people were seeking work for cash to avoid paying for health insurance.

“The Affordable Care Act was nothing more than catastrophic. It needs to change. Kids are not paying taxes or getting Social Security credit,” Pelzer emphasized.

At the women’s forum, she also discussed how the North American Free Trade Agreement affected employment and staffing on the sets of her shows. When passed, she assumed there would be little effect since the shows are filmed in the U.S., but production crews from Canada, New Zealand and Australia were supplanting U.S. crews, she said. Next, she addressed issues about Black Lives Matter.

“After that, they were vetting me to speak at the GOP convention,” she said proudly.

Pelzer was the first major Republican to announce a challenge to Ruiz. Former desert news anchor Dan Ball also announced his candidacy the next week. The two candidates with the most votes in the June 2018 primary will face-off in the November general election.

“Truthfully, I am focused totally on unseating Ruiz,” Pelzer said. “Too many politicians are afraid to make tough decisions. They’re afraid to lose their job.”

Small businesses, improving their opportunities, will be the focus of her campaign. Change is needed “when business increases each year, but your take-home pay doesn’t change,” she argued.

Healthcare and taxes are two of the culprits limiting small businesses, in Pelzer’s opinion.

While she stars on daytime television, she and her husband have several small businesses, including her design business. So, she addresses the obstacles and difficulties for small businesses from experience, she said.

“You fix taxes by starting with Congress,” Pelzer said. “I’m thrilled this Congress passed a budget bill. It’s the first in eight years. Anyone in business knows you need a budget.”

Pelzer and her husband have a home in the desert. She is a native Californian, born in Northern California, and raised there and in Southern California.

“I got to play cowgirl on my grandparents’ ranch in Northern California and go to the beach in San Diego County,” she said. The desert has been an important part of her life for nearly 25 years, she added.

It began with helping Dinah Shore raise money for local charities and continued after Shore’s death.

“We did business here, up until one year ago, but because of the rules and regulations, it became unaffordable. That peaked my interest and I can’t be quiet anymore,” Pelzer stated. “I can’t sit home and rail at the TV. Something needs to be done. I’ve got to get in there and bring success to the district.

“I’m not establishment or like to be different,” she concluded. “It’s important to get results. That means work with each party. That’s what’s missing in Washington. I’ve set my sights on Raul Ruiz.”