Lake Elsinore Councilwoman to Run for 67th Assembly Seat

Lake Elsinore Mayor Pro Tem Bob Magee, Murrieta Valley Unified School District Board Member Ken Dickson and Phil Paule, the district representative for U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, have all announced their intentions to run for the seat.

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.

Gina August 10, 2011 at 04:38 AM
No offense, but anyone involved with Lake Elsinore's city government should clean up their own city before moving up... The place is a sewer of drug addicts and aliens. You have the potential to have a really beautiful city with the ability to draw people there... the light posts are a glimmer of what I imagine your city USED to be... now I dread coming through there.
John August 12, 2011 at 04:58 AM
Gina - How would you recommend city government control who lives in their city? Drug addicts and aliens? Really? I live in LE, am educated, have a well-paying job, well-educated children, food on the table, pay my taxes, never been on drugs and born in the US. Not sure I would fit into the "addicts and aliens" generalization, nor do I believe my city government can control who owns the home next door. We all have struggles... perhaps you can do us all a favor and educate yourself on what is happening in surrounding communities before attacking them. So, offense taken. Ms. Melendez is a savvy councilwoman, who is the one person on our council working to make a difference. Unfortunately she is not surrounded by the same type. Cut her a break, call her and talk to her before you take a stand. She is probably one of the most accessible elected officials in the county.
Gina August 12, 2011 at 05:58 AM
John, LE has had the reputation for YEARS... other cities clean up... drug addicts and aliens don't make for good neighbors.
Lex November 08, 2011 at 07:13 PM
I agree John. I also live in Lake Elsinore and attend council meetings. Melendez is very accessible, If you email her she will respond right back to you in a timely manner. I have a lot of respect for her and what she does and she is probably one of the best members on the council. She can't control what goes on in every single family and every single home. I am currently 19 years old, and a full-time student with a job, and I also would not consider myself an "addict or alien." Melendez is very concerned about Lake Elsinore and she cares about the youth and families that live there. She is only one person at can't clean up everybody's messes. She is always willing to talk and even meet with you if you just ask her.


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