Coachella Valley Region
"No, I am not attending the inauguration," says Congressman Raul Ruiz (D) 36th District.
During an exclusive KMIR News interview with Dan Ball, Ruiz made it clear he would not be attending President-Elect Donald Trump’s official swearing-in ceremony.
"It’s a very difficult situation because I believe in the office but this man is not respecting that office I respect so much by the way he is behaving, he needs to be a real president, he needs to really bring unity, he needs to really respect the American people," says Ruiz.
And he’s not alone, over two dozen elected Democrats are planning to skip the inauguration. Many citing Trump’s disrespect of civil right’s leader Congressman John Lewis (D) GA 5th District on social media. Ruiz voiced his own concerns including conflicts of interest.
"A real president doesn’t attack the press for asking tough questions, a real president doesn’t go after celebrities or everyday Americans because they disagree with him, a real president doesn’t use the office of the presidency to make millions more for himself, for his own pocket or for his family," says Ruiz.
People in the valley are divided on his decision.
"I think that just creates further division in our government which is definitely the biggest problem we’re facing," says Indian Wells resident William Wenk.
"I respect that decision, I support him in that," says Palm Springs resident Randy Baker.
State Senator Jeff Stone (R) 28th District, who challenged Ruiz in November, says he plans to attend the inauguration and thinks Ruiz is making a mistake and should reconsider, "One thing we always prided ourselves on in this country is that we have a peaceful transfer of power and this is a historic event when we have a new president … he’s a representative for the Democrats, Republicans, the Independents, Green Party etc. and he should be there to represent us to welcome the new president."