With her recent reelection to the Palm Springs City Council, Christy Holstege is poised to become the first out bisexual mayor in the country, as well as the desert city’s first female mayor. Palm Springs does not elect a mayor by direct vote, but instead rotates the position among sitting council members. Hostege is currently mayor pro tem and will become the official mayor following her victory Tuesday. She represents District 4 in the city, and easily defeated two opponents in a heated race marred by sexist and biphobic attacks.
“Thank you!” Holstege tweeted yesterday. “So excited for this moment for our city and our country and proud of Palm Springs to achieve this historic first!”
Holstege easily defeated Mike McCulloch and Dian Torres, but the campaign was filled with biphobic accusations about Holstege’s sexuality. Victory Fund claimed staffers and supporters of her opponents openly suggested in online comments the married and pregnant Holstege was straight and only claimed to be bisexual for political gain. One McCulluch staffer wrote “I highly doubt Christy belongs to the LGBTQ community” while a supporter wrote Holstege “lied about being a member to gain votes.”
In a post to Facebook, Holstege responded by posting screenshots of the attacks and noting “the other campaign has supporters actively sending out campaign messaging about me that is homophobic and sexist.”
“Christy Holstege has a proven track record of getting results for Palm Springs residents, supporting our small businesses and keeping our communities safe and healthy,” Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur said in support of Holstege at the time.
“We’re confident that voters want an experienced leader like Christy, who unites our communities, not more Washington-style name calling and political games,” added Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund.
Palm Springs has been hard hit by global pandemic travel restrictions. Holstege said in a recent interview that the city was “at a tipping point” and facing great risk to the tourism industry.
“I’d like to see us invest in our economy in a way that creates jobs of the future — invest in our internet infrastructure, and invest in economic development in a way that can provide a vision for our economy, including green energy jobs,” she was quoted in MyNewLA.
Support from her constituents have been positive, including a shout-out to the city's new first husband.