Political Ambition Signals Mayes’ Pending Departure As Rutherford’s Chief of Staff

(August 9) There are indications that Chad Mayes, the chief of staff for San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford, may not remain in his current position, even if Rutherford seeks and successfully obtains reelection next year.
Mayes is himself a declared candidate for the state Assembly in 2014. Along with two others, Mayes is vying to replace Brian Nestande, who must leave office as the 42nd District Assemblyman after his current term because of California’s term limitations on state office holders.
Mayes, a former mayor in Yucca Valley, resigned that post to become Rutherford’s chief of staff two years ago. Despite an eighty-mile commute to work in Rancho Cucamonga and a sixty-mile commute to work in San Bernardino, Mayes remains a resident of Yucca Valley as well as the 42nd Assembly District, which covers much of the desert areas of adjoining eastern San Bernardino and eastern Riverside counties.
The pace of fundraising activity for the upcoming race in the 42nd is accelerated this year because of Nestande’s pending departure. In the sweepstakes for money to be used in next year’s electioneering, Mayes so far is leading the pack.
Between January 1 and June 30 of this year, Mayes banked $95,652, more than double of his nearest competitor, former Palm Springs police chief Gary Jeandron and roughly eight times what Banning businessman Chris Mann collected. Jeandron brought in $45,179. Mann stacked up $12,084.
Mayes, Jeandron and Mann are all Republicans. The 42nd leans strongly in favor of the GOP.
Touting himself as a conservative Republican, Mayes previously based his political campaigns on right-wing values, including appeals to religious principals and causes, among them a stance against abortion. He is a member of Grace Community Church, where his father, Roger, is the pastor, and his mother, Ruth, is the principal of the affiliated Christian school. Chad Mayes was educated at Jerry Falwell’s fundamentalist Liberty University.
While on the city council, he championed several “limited government” laissez faire economic and government policies.  He was the co-founder of  the Morongo Basin Lincoln Club.
Mayes’ political ambition, in particular in an Assembly District significantly removed from the San Bernardino County Second Supervisorial District in which he is employed, is seen as a signal that Rutherford, who must herself stand for reelection in 2014, will be seeking a new chief of staff as the primary election in June 2014 approaches. While there is no legal requirement that Mayes resign or take a leave of absence from Rutherford’s staff while he campaigns for state office in the 42nd District, having a chief of staff who is focused on political issues far removed from the Second District could prove disadvantageous to Rutherford in her reelection effort.

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