Government / Politics

Former Assembly candidate faces election fraud charges

Neil Kitchens denied using an address outside of the district during his campaign.

Former candidate for the 30th State Assembly District Neil G. Kitchens will appear in Monterey County Superior Court on Aug. 13 and 15 for a calendar call and preliminary examination regarding felony election fraud charges, according to court documents. Kitchens plead not guilty in court on June 27 to two counts of illegally registering as a voter and three counts of submitting a forged instrument to a public office.

Kitchens, the lone Republican candidate in last year’s race to represent the 30th State Assembly District, lost to Democrat and former San Benito County Supervisor Robert Rivas, who received 68% of the vote. 

Kitchens’ attorney Frank W. Dice declined to comment, as did Rivas. 

Before the election, Kitchens told BenitoLink that the Fair Political Practices Commission complaint alleging that he lived two miles outside District 30 in Prunedale was not legitimate. He said there were two houses on that property, one of which was his office and the other was a rental. He said he was registered to vote in Salinas. Kitchens provided an address to BenitoLink at the time, but asked not to publish it out of safety concerns. He also said he was advised by the elections office not to give out his home address, which is why he used the Prunedale address. 

The 30th District includes San Benito County and parts of Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties. 

According to the California Secretary of State website, Kitchens filed a statement of intention to run for the State Senate District 17 in 2020, which does not include San Benito County. However, if he’s found guilty, he would not be eligible to run for office. 


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Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is BenitoLink Co-Editor and Content Manager. He joined BenitoLink as reporter intern and was soon brought on staff as a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. He is a San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily. He is a USC Center for Health Journalism 2020 California Fellow.