PALM DESERT, Calif. -

Just three weeks away from Election Day, Joan Stengel, of Palm Desert, says, "I've seen some very heated, nasty advertisements."

She's talking about television attack ads seen around the desert in the 36th Congressional District race between Republican U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack and her challenger Democrat Dr. Raul Ruiz.

Some people are calling it the nastiest local congressional face off yet. One ad called Bono Mack, "Another Washington politician who looks out for herself." Another one said, "Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. Not for Raul Ruiz."

Each party is taking shots at shining a negative light on its opponent.

"Of course you see it all the time. It doesn't reflect well on either candidate, the nastiness," said Stengel.

Bono Mack is seeking her eighth term in Congress. While Ruiz, an emergency room doctor, is making his first run for office.
Some neighbors call the culmination of TV ads and the attacks made at last week's debate distracting and ineffective.

"It's more about trying to destroy the other person than try to build a platform for themselves. I don't know where either of these people stand. All I know is they just don't like each other," said Lynn Borget, of Palm Springs.

With just a few weeks left to go, neighbors of the Coachella Valley say they have a message they hope candidates will keep in mind.

"Focus on the issues and not focus on each other," said Borget.

She says it's solutions to issues like jobs, the economy and education that she wants to hear about instead.

Borget and Stengel say either way, they'll be heading to the polls.

"I think it's very important. It's a privilege. I always vote whether I'm happy about it or not," said Stengel.