Riverside County

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State Senator, 28th District

Depending on where you live, you may have the below races on your ballot.

Member of the State Senate

Elizabeth Romero photo

According to our analysis, Elizabeth Romero is the strongest choice to represent State Senate District 28.

About the Race

This is a special election on May 12th to fill the State Senate seat left vacant after Sen. Jeff Stone resigned in November to join the Trump Administration. Romero is a Democrat running against Assemblymember Melissa Melendez (R), a vocal Trump supporter who has strongly opposed criminal justice reforms and voted against legislation to establish mandatory vaccinations in California during her time in the State Assembly. It is imperative that a Democrat is elected to this seat in order to advance progressive policy in Sacramento. There is no question that Asm. Melendez would oppose all progressive priorities.

About the District

California State Senate District 28 extends from southwestern Riverside County through the Coachella Valley to the Arizona border. It includes the cities of Blythe, Indio, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, Palm Springs, and Temecula. According to recent election results, Democrats can win this seat as they did in a 2011 special election and in 2006, but Republicans have won in the last two election cycles in 2014 and 2018. Democrats now outnumber Republicans in voter registration in the district.  

Candidate Background

Elizabeth Romero grew up in Thermal, California and is the daughter of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador. According to campaign materials she is running to represent Senate District 28 to advance inclusive economic growth and opportunity, ensure seniors and people with disabilities are able to keep their homes and live with dignity, work with immigrant and LGBTQ+ communities, and defend worker’s rights.

Candidate Record

Romero is currently Assistant Vice Chancellor of Government & Community Relations at the University of California, Riverside where she has helped secure $100 million for the UC Riverside School of Medicine and $15 million for telepsychiatry healthcare to expand the number of primary care doctors and address the mental health crisis in medically underserved communities in the state. She is also an elected member of the Riverside County Board of Education representing Coachella Valley, Desert Center, Desert Sands, Palm Springs and Palo Verde Unified School Districts.

Prior to joining UCR, Elizabeth worked at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest where she helped enroll over 17,000 new people in the Affordable Care Act. Romero also managed the Building Healthy Communities Initiative funded by The California Endowment, where she brought together over 80 groups to address local issues that directly influenced the disbursement of a multi-million investment in the Eastern Coachella Valley. She has also worked for Desert Arc, University Center for Developmental Disabilities and served as a Legislative Assistant to the late Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor Roy Wilson and Supervisor John J. Benoit.

Candidate Viability and Support

Romero is an established community leader who has demonstrated the ability to bring people together for consensus-based policymaking that has delivered real benefits to the people of Riverside County.

How to Vote in this Election

The May 12 election encompasses only the 28th Senate District and is being administered by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters. To be counted, completed ballots must be received at the Riverside County Registrar of Voters office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day, or be postmarked on or before Election Day and received no later than three days after Election Day.

Vote in Riverside County

In Riverside County, voting by mail or making an appointment to vote in person are the two ways to vote in this election.

  • Vote by Mail: All registered voters in the May 12 Senate District 28 Special Election have been mailed a vote-by-mail ballot starting April 13th. Vote-by-mail ballots can be returned through the postal service or deposited in vote-by-mail drop-off boxes located at the Blythe City Clerk’s office or the Riverside County Registrar of Voters office. No postage is necessary. Be sure to sign the return envelope. Your signature must appear similar to the original signature on your voter registration form. A Vote By Mail ballot without your signature will not be counted. 
  • Vote In Person: Early voting at the Riverside County Registrar of Voters office began on April 13 and continues Monday through Friday (excluding county holidays), from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please call (951) 486-7200 to schedule an appointment to vote in person. 
  • Accessible Voting: Accessibility options for voters with differing abilities in Riverside County are available at https://sites.omniballot.us/06065/app/home. If you experience issues, please contact the Registrar of Voters at (951) 697-8966 or by email at rovweb@rivco.org
  • Register to Vote: You must register to vote by April 27, 2020 to receive a Vote By Mail ballot in the mail. After the April 27th deadline, you can still register and vote under Conditional Voter Registration (CVR), also known as Same Day Voter Registration. Contact your county elections office to learn more about CVR.
  • Riverside County Elections Website: https://www.voteinfo.net/elections/20200512/2020_05_12.asp


Last updated: 2020-07-15