Melissa Ann Melendez (née Schneider; born February 17, 1968) is an American politician serving in the California State Senate. She is a Republican representing the 28th District, which encompasses large portions of Riverside County. She previously served in the California State Assembly and on the Lake Elsinore City Council.
|Member of the California State Senate|
from the 28th district
|Assumed office |
May 18, 2020
|Preceded by||Jeff Stone|
|Member of the California State Assembly|
from the 67th district
December 3, 2012 – May 18, 2020
|Preceded by||Jim Silva (redistricted)|
|Succeeded by||Kelly Seyarto|
Melissa Ann Schneider
February 17, 1968
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
|Children||5 (Angelo, Paolo, Sofia, Rocco, and Carlo)|
|Alma mater||Chaminade University (BA) University of Phoenix (MBA)|
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Battles/wars||Persian Gulf War|
Melendez is a native of Youngstown, Ohio. After high school, she enlisted in the United States Navy. She attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, where she learned Russian.
While serving in the Navy, Melendez also attended college in the evenings, and received her BA in History and Political Studies from the Chaminade University of Honolulu in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Melendez was one of the first women to fly aboard EP-3 aircraft overseas. She was a Russian language translator for ten years, and was part of flight missions during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
After the Navy, Melendez worked at Chaminade University for two years before deciding to establish her own business. She then formed a transcription company, contracting with the Navy. Melendez earned her MBA from the University of Phoenix in June 2008. In 2008, Melendez was elected to the Lake Elsinore City Council. She served as Mayor Pro Tem as well as Mayor during her four years in local government.
After incumbent State Senator Jeff Stone announced his resignation to work as a regional director at the U.S. Department of Labor, a special election was ordered to fill his vacant seat. After advancing in the March 3, 2020, special election, Melendez won the runoff election held on May 12 over the Democratic nominee, Riverside County School Board Trustee Elizabeth Romero and was sworn into the Senate on May 18.
While ballots were being counted in the 2020 election, she claimed, without evidence, that Democrats were attempting to steal the election.
|Republican||Melissa Melendez (incumbent)||54,089||67.1|
|Republican||Melissa Melendez (incumbent)||93,519||60.9|
|Republican||Melissa Melendez (incumbent)||51,987||63.5|
|Republican||Melissa Melendez (incumbent)||107,654||63.8|
|Republican||Melissa Melendez (incumbent)||32,268||99.8|
|Democratic||Conrad Melton (write-in)||58||0.2|
|Republican||Melissa Melendez (incumbent)||54,018||68.9|
|Republican||Kenneth C. Dickson||8,216||19.0|
|Republican||William T. Akana||4,291||9.9|