Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone has told the two 28th state Senate candidates that he too will jump into the local race.
Former Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia of Palm Desert and Indio Councilman Glenn Miller confirmed to The Desert Sun today that Stone shared his political intentions in separate conversations.
Stone, a pharmacist and former Temecula councilman, has served on the Board of Supervisors since 2004. His current term runs through 2016.
A political aide to Stone did not confirm or deny the news in a conversation with The Desert Sun, but said the supervisor would release a statement on the issue later today.
The Secretary of State’s website does not indicate that he’s launched a fundraising committee yet.
Stone’s foray into the 28th Senate campaign will set up a three-way Republican showdown for a district that spans both ends of Riverside County. Because of California’s top-two primary system, the top two vote getters will move onto the November ballot, regardless of political affiliation.
Stone — a conservative who isn’t shy about criticizing Sacramento lawmakers — ran for state Senate in 2010 for a district that included parts of Riverside and San Diego counties. He lost in the primary.
Earlier this year, he considered running for Congress.
In 2011, Stone unveiled an out-of-the-box proposal to split California into two states, with Riverside and 12 other counties becoming the state of South California.
The idea was immediately dismissed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s office, but created plenty of talk around the water cooler.
“California was once the world’s fourth largest economy and now struggles to hold on to eighth place,” Stone said at the time. “Our taxes are too high, our schools don’t educate our children well enough, unions and other special interests have more clout in the Legislature than the general public. It has to change.”
Next year’s election marks the first time voters will select someone to serve in the new 28th Senate seat, which was created after the post-Census redistricting.
The district favors Republicans in terms of voter registration. It encompasses the Coachella Valley and eastern Riverside County, then stretches west to include Wildomar, Murrieta and Temecula.
Both Miller and Garcia have spent months campaigning for the seat, including securing endorsements and funds.