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Life on the Campaign Trail with Raul Ruiz

Day On The Campaign Trail with Dr. Raul Ruiz

PALM DESERT, Calif. - With only days to go until election night, the 36th Congressional race appears to be closer than ever.  Some analysts say the race between Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack and Democratic challenger Dr. Raul Ruiz is too close to call.

To give voters a closer look at each candidate, we spent a day with them.

We caught up with Dr. Ruiz at his apartment just down the street from the ER at Eisenhower Medical Center.

"The experience has been surreal," Ruiz said of the campaign.

Our first stop of the day, the Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade.

"That was a lot of fun, got to meet a lot of supporters. I got a lot of reaction, a lot of positive energy from the crowd," said Ruiz.

Despite criticism from police officer associations, Ruiz stopped and talked with Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff.

"It was wonderful. It was a good conversation and I am looking forward to working with him as well and all of the law enforcement," said Ruiz.

Ruiz says he's not a politician, he's a doctor.  "That is who I am that is how I view the world," said Ruiz.

We saw evidence of that as he walked along the parade route.

"We should make sure that we got water and actually we should get suntan lotion for our seniors," Ruiz told one of his staffers.

Dr. Ruiz even stopped to show a group of parade participants how to wrap an arm, even if it was just for show.

"Ya that was fun.  I love to teach, I love to be able to influence our youth and especially to inspire them to really dream big," explained Ruiz.

Ruiz says it's his mom who helped him dream big.

"She asked me, 'What do I want to be when I grow up?' and I looked up at her and said, 'Mom what do you call those people like you who help others?'  She was smart and said, 'A doctor, son,' and so I wanted to become a doctor ever since so that I could help others."

Ruiz believe he can continue what he calls his mission of helping others in Congress.

"When you come in with a broken bone it doesn't matter if you are Republican or Democrat, it hurts.  We don't ask if you are Republican or Democrat we fix it that's what we need to do in Congress," said Ruiz.

Ruiz says the Desert Sun's Endorsement says it all.

"The ideas are what is winning.  Its the idea that through excellence, by striving for excellence with personal responsibility, and serving each other with great social responsibility, that we can come in and revive the American dream," said Ruiz.

It's a dream Ruiz hopes to give his nieces and nephews.

"These are my adorable treasures," Ruiz says of his niece and nephew at the parade.  "If I ever have a rough day and I want to feel happy and get uplifted, I come and visit my nieces and nephews."

With just a few days to go until election day, Ruiz works to make every vote count.

"We are doing very well in the polls and we are getting a lot of support we have the momentum on our side and what some people thought was an inspiring possibility, is now a very pragmatic probability.  We are very excited about November 6th," said Ruiz.

Ruiz says if he wins Tuesday he still plans to practice medicine when his schedule allows, mostly volunteering his time.

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