Dr. Raul Ruiz, an emergency physician at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, and a Coachella Valley businessman announced plans to challenge Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, Sunday, according to reports.
Ruiz, a 39-year-old Democrat who lives in Palm Desert, told MyDesert.com that his campaign will focus on creating jobs to combat the Coachella Valley's unemployment rate, as well as improve access to affordable health care and education.
"When I came back home to fulfill the promise and started doing all my work as a public servant, I started seeing how people were really suffering in this district,” Ruiz told the website.
He kicked off his campaign during Sunday's Democrats of the Desert brunch in Palm Springs, the newspaper reported.
Republican Steve Grasha also announced his plans on Sunday. He is the owner of TrueFog, USA.
Bono Mack will be running for her eighth term in the 2012 election for the 36th Congressional District.
Ruiz is the first Latino to run against the congresswoman. According to census data, nearly 47 percent of the congressional district's population is Hispanic.
Bono Mack beat Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet during the 2010 election. Pougnet, a Democrat, announced earlier this year in the 2012 election.
, and graduated from Coachella Valley High School in 1990. With the community's support, he went on to get degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, and Harvard University.
He eventually returned to the desert and has focused on improving access to health care.