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County Officials Mourn Passing of Congressman, Former Supervisor

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Riverside County officials mourned the recent passing of Al McCandless, former congressman, veteran and county supervisor, who represented the Coachella Valley. McCandless died at his La Quinta home last Wednesday at the age of 90.

Born in Brawley, McCandless served as Fourth District Supervisor from 1972 to 1982. The Fourth District covers the Coachella Valley eastward to the Arizona state border.

He also sat on the boards of the Riverside County Housing Authority, SunLine Transit Agency and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

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Following his stint on the Board of Supervisors, he was elected to represent California's 37th Congressional District, which he served for the next 12 years. McCandless also served in the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of captain.

Current Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said "Al McCandless was a dedicated public servant who represented Riverside County and the `desert
district' during a period of tremendous growth. While much has changed, the institutions he helped establish and lead -- the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, SunLine Transit Agency and the South Coast Air Quality Management District -- are vital to our valley's residents more than 40 years later. He also worked to expand Lake Cahuilla, a beautiful county park and recreational resource for families in the Coachella Valley.

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"Al McCandless served our country and community very well, as a veteran, businessman, county supervisor, six-term member of Congress and community volunteer. I note his passing with sadness and express my deepest sympathy to the McCandless family.''

John Tavaglione, current Second District Supervisor, credited McCandless' friendship with him and his father as the catalyst behind his political career. "Congressman Al McCandless holds a very special place in my heart, having gotten to know him through my late father, Dominic. He and my dad were great friends,'' Tavaglione said. "Al is the one who, after my dad passed, encouraged me to get into politics. He was a wonderful advocate for Riverside County on the local and national level and a true friend to the Tavaglione family.''

Flags across the county will fly at half-staff through Aug. 21 in honor of McCandless, who is survived by his children Cristina and Al.

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