America was first introduced to Kimberlin Brown as an actress on popular soap operas The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful and All My Children. Now, people are getting to know her as a Republican candidate for the U.S. House seat in California’s 36th District, which includes her city, Palm Springs.
Brown made her political debut during the run up to the 2016 presidential election, as a speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention representing female entrepreneurs — the night now-President Donald Trump was formally nominated as the GOP’s candidate. Just a few months later, the avocado farm owner and designer officially announced her own candidacy for Congress.
It won’t be an easy race, however. The seat she seeks to fill has been occupied by Democrats since 2001, and the incumbent, Rep. Raul Ruiz, has held the seat since 2012. Moreover, in statewide and national elections, the district has been blue, with very few exceptions, since 1992.
And Brown is not the only conservative who wants to flip that script. She will face another experienced TV presence, former news anchor Dan Ball, as well as hotel finance director Stephan Wolkowicz, in the June Republican primary.
Brown’s campaign platform emphasizes her status as an entrepreneur and political newcomer, and spotlights issues like nuclear proliferation, immigration reform and repealing the Affordable Care Act. In November, her message earned her an endorsement from the East Valley Republican Women Federated, a local grassroots organization for Republican women. She is also likely to get fundraising help from VIEW PAC, a political action committee that supports Republican women.
Brown and her husband, Gary Pelzer, have built several ventures over the years, including a sports fishing and marina rental business and an avocado farm. Brown also owns and operates her own design company, K. Brown Design, and has a hosting gig on The Design Network. She and Pelzer have two adult children. For fun, she skis, boats and golfs.
The Latest on the Campaign
November 7, 2018:
A surge of women candidates this year resulted in record numbers of women securing political office. We saw it all — wins, losses and unclear outcomes — in our Running Women project. Read the full story.
Kimberlin Brown lost to Democratic incumbent Raul Ruiz in what was always going to be a challenging race a Democrat-leaning congressional district.
September 5, 2018:
Brown, Evoking Business Background, Tweets Promise to Defend Trump Tax Cuts
— Kimberlin Brown Pelzer (@KimberlinBrown) September 4, 2018
July 30, 2018:
As the Cranston Fire Burns, Brown Mobilizes Donations
Kimberlin Brown over the weekend used her platform as a candidate for Congress to solicit emergency supplies for people in her district affected by the massive Cranston Fire.
The fire ignited Wednesday in the San Jacinto Mountains of California, forcing many residents to abandon their homes. As the blaze raged, the Republican candidate visited the displaced at an evacuation center in Banning High School. On Friday, she sent out an email blast asking her supporters to deliver much needed water bottles and Gatorade to her campaign headquarters or to the East Valley Republican Women’s headquarters, for later delivery to the center. The Salvation Army has been distributing meals, hygiene kits and other support to people there.
Late Monday night in a video, Brown said “we are so fortunate for the overwhelming support that we received.” She expressed her gratitude to those who donated supplies and to the “brave men and women who truly work tirelessly to protect not only our lives but our property.”
More than 1,500 men and women were called in to help contain the fire, which at its peak engulfed more than 13,000 acres of land. Brandon N. McGlover is suspected of setting the Cranston Fire and eight others, and is now in custody, facing 15 counts of arson.
An evacuation was issued for the town of Idyllwild and its surrounding neighborhoods. However, as of Monday, the fire was 57 percent contained, and some of the evacuations have been lifted.
June 5, 2018:
Brown Grabs 2nd Spot on General Election Ballot
Republican Kimberlin Brown Pelzer is advancing to the general election, after placing second in the primary race to represent the 36th District in Congress on Tuesday.
But she has a tough path to Washington. The district leans Democrat, and she faces and incumbent, Rep. Raul Raiz, a Democrat who won 55 percent of the vote to Brown Pelzer’s 23 percent.
California has an unusual “jungle” primary system that sends the top two vote-getters to the general election, regardless of party. Brown Pelzer managed to defeat four other candidates, all Republican men, who each received 8 percent or less of the primary vote.
In the California primaries, 52 women ran for House seats — 17 as incumbents, six for open seats and 34 as challengers. With some races too close to call as of publication, 31 women were on their way to the general election and at least five women were in limbo.
June 5, 2018:
The Brown Campaign Gets Out the Vote on Primary Day in California
February 19, 2018:
Brown Grows Local Network of Republican Women
— Kimberlin Brown (@KimberlinBrown) February 16, 2018