Lake Elsinore City Councilwoman Melissa Melendez today announced her candidacy for what will be the 67th Assembly District, marking the second candidate from Lake Elsinore to make a run for the seat in 2012.
Earlier this year, also announced a tentative run for the spot currently held by Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore) of the 66th District. Jeffries terms out next year, and has formally announced his intention to run for the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
Under that are expected to be finalized next week, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Menifee, Canyon Lake, Homeland, Romoland and East Hemet will be redrawn as the 67th District, losing Temecula.
Other likely contenders for the seat include , a Murrieta Valley Unified School District board member, and Phil Paule, the district representative for U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa.
Melendez, a Republican and U.S. Navy veteran, said in a press statement she is running for State Assembly “because we must act to stop runaway government growth and remove the heavy mandates and taxation driving businesses and jobs out of our State."
“On both the national and local level, we must renew the fight for the American principles of a free market, economic prosperity, and fiscally sound self-governance,” she said.
“Our children deserve to live in a nation with a strong free-market economy,” she continued. “Small businesses continue to languish under the weight of high taxes, overbearing regulation, and historic government debt.”
Melendez was elected to the Lake Elsinore City Council in 2008 and has served the local community in various capacities, including on the Regional Conservation Agency Executive Board, the Lake Elsinore San Jacinto Watershed Authority Board of Directors and the Boys & Girls Club local fundraising Board of Directors.
According to the press announcement, Melendez is a former PTA president, a member of the American Legion, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and a volunteer youth soccer coach.
Her military career spans 10 years in the U.S. Navy. According to the press announcement, she achieved fluency in the Russian language at the Monterey, Calif.-based Defense Language Institute, and then served as a Russian language translator during the end of the Cold War and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
She is also one of the first women approved by the U.S. Navy to fly aboard EP-3E reconnaissance aircraft overseas to conduct intelligence-gathering operations in partnership with our allies, the press announcement stated.
After receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy, Melendez founded a transcription company contracting with the Chief of Naval Operations and providing services to the Secretary of the Navy as well as other Pentagon officials, according to the announcement.
Melendez holds a master’s degree in business administration.
She lives in Lake Elsinore with her husband, Nico Melendez, and their five children. He is also a U.S. Navy veteran and active reservist. He works for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.