Candidate Forum: Life on the busiest block in the city of Twentynine Palms

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For the first time in the history of the city, a desert-fied city that lies at the gateway of Joshua Tree National Park, three women are seeking to give the boot to three incumbent men.

Life on the busiest block in this desert outpost would be last night on 73637 Sullivan Road in Twentynine Palms. The Candidate Forum was held at Theater 29. The city was kind enough to share its building for a public candidate forum.

The turn out was moderate. It was nothing like it was four years ago when incumbent McAuthur Wright ran with a promise to serve all the people. At that time, the candidate forum at Theatre 29 was so pack it spilled onto the sidewalk.

The local radio station hosted last night’s forum. The irrepressible Gary Danignault did a blue-ribbon job as MC for the evening.


As I sat in the in the front row I saw three intelligent women, all three potential councilmembers. They are intelligent. Their minds are clear and they have an honest in fact drive to serve the residents and city.

I also saw three respectful councilmen who have given many years to a city they love. Two of which appeared burned-out, each going for the their twelve year on the city council. Both gentlemen seemed to be going through the motions. The substance from one was lackluster and the other one sounded canned.

Incumbent McArthur Wright’s — a one term councilman seeking a second term– may need more than his famous million-dollar smile to regain a coveted seat on the dais.

Now comes Cora Heiser. A former high school teacher and former 29 Palms Councilmember. Heiser is a candidate in District 3 seeking to unseat Wright.

The last council meeting Heiser sat on as her 4-year term on the council was coming to a close, she said You may not have heard the last of me. 

Heiser is a respected persona in this city. She was a genuine public servant for every resident and a wise councilmember at every tune [rumor has it the former councilwoman didn’t seek a second term due to personal matters.]

Heiser does her homework on every issues. She is a Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce Director.

The city has three classy, qualified women running. They seem quicker to the pulse and more vibrant. A diverse city is a proud city. Tourists love diversity among cities and a city where women are included in city decision-making.

As far as the discussed issues, I can only report on a few observations. I saw a weak response as far as doing much of anything for neighborhoods in distress.

Wright’s response was kind of chilling. He didn’t seem to want to deal with neighborhood. He quickly turned a question around to city matters,  not neighborhoods. Wright is a charming burgeoning politician.

A majority of the incumbants didn”t seem to have a common connection to district neighborhoods, or the district they are seeking a seat in.

Another observation, three incumbents seemed to be a package; their answers all too often reflected that. Conversely, all three women express themselves in the first person.

Running for District 3 are incumbent Daniel Mintz and certified write-in candidate Denise Cullum. In District 4, incumbent John Cole will face challenger Karmolette O’Gilvie. And in District 5, incumbent McArthur Wright will be challenged by Cora Heiser.

Commentary and opinion by Branson Hunter

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One Response to Candidate Forum: Life on the busiest block in the city of Twentynine Palms

  1. Pingback: Explosion in Numbers of Women Candidates creates dilemma for all-male 29 Palms incumbents | Cactusthorns

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