John J. Benoit

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John Joseph Benoit (born December 27, 1951)[1] is a Republican member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, who took office on December 1, 2009.

A resident of Bermuda Dunes, his prior political experience includes election to the Desert Sands Unified School District Board of Education, service as a member of the California State Assembly, representing the 64th Assembly District, covering Riverside County, from December 2, 2002 to November 30, 2008, and service as a California State Senator from the 37th district from December 1, 2008 until November 30, 2009, when he resigned to become a Supervisor.[citation needed]

Personal life and career background[edit]

Born in Kankakee, Illinois, Benoit graduated from Notre Dame High School in Riverside and went on to earn an A.A. degree at Riverside Community College in 1974.

In 1978, he earned a B.S. degree from California State University, Los Angeles and then earned a Master of Public Administration from California State University, San Bernardino in 1993. In 1986, he graduated from the FBI National Academy.

Benoit's law enforcement career spanned 31 years including two with the Corona Police Department and twenty-nine with the California Highway Patrol. His CHP career included assignments in the Los Angeles basin (patrol, motor officer), Sacramento, Bakersfield, and finally Indio, where he was Area Commander from 1988 until his retirement in 2001. He also served as a Volunteer Fire Captain with the Sunset-Whitney Fire Department in Placer County from 1982 to 1984.[citation needed]

Benoit was elected and served as a member of the Desert Sands Unified School Board from 1999 to 2002. He has also served as a United Way Board member since 1989, serving two terms each as president and general campaign chairperson. He is a past-president of the Indio Rotary, and a parishioner of Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.


Benoit married his wife, Sheryl, in La Crescenta in 1978. She is an Executive Assistant with the Desert Sands Unified School District; they have two children.[citation needed]

State Senate[edit]

Benoit, a retired California Highway Patrol Commander, was the first Senator with a full-time law enforcement background since former Riverside County Undersheriff Robert Presley, who retired in 1994. Benoit introduced legislation to create criminal penalties for smuggling or possessing cell phones in State prison facilities. He introduced RJ's Law, a proposal to randomly drug test welfare recipients.[citation needed]

Rankings, awards and recognition[edit]

As a result of his efforts to improve education, Benoit was named 2003 Outstanding Legislator of the Year by the California School Boards Association. He has received a 100% legislative vote rating by the California Chamber of Commerce (2005), California Taxpayers Association (2004), California Farm Bureau Federation (2006), and California Manufacturers and Technology Association (2005).[citation needed] In 2007, he was named Legislator of the Year by the California Rifle & Pistol Association and by the California Narcotics Officers' Association.[citation needed]


Benoit was first elected to the State Assembly in 2002, with 63% of the vote, defeating Democrat Robert Melsh. He was re-elected in 2004 with 61%, again defeating Melsh. 2006 marked Benoit's final election, due to term limits, to the State Assembly, defeating Democrat Paul Rasso with 60% of the vote.[citation needed] On June 3, 2008, Assemblyman Benoit defeated former Assemblymember Russ Bogh by over twenty-four percentage points, to capture the Republican nomination for the 37th State Senate District. He won election to the State Senate on November 4, 2008, defeating Democratic candidate Arthur Bravo Guerrero, 55%-45%.[citation needed]


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index, Vols 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.

External links[edit]

California Assembly
Preceded by
Rod Pacheco
California State Assemblyman, 64th District
December 2, 2002 – November 30, 2008
Succeeded by
Brian Nestande
California Senate
Preceded by
Jim Battin
California State Senator, 37th District
December 1, 2008 – November 30, 2009
Succeeded by
Bill Emmerson