Mayor James "Stew" Stewart

James "Stew" Stewart moved to Temecula in 1991 with his wife and 3 children from Oswego, Illinois. He opened his first Stews barbershop in California in Murrieta in 1991 and has opened 7 more since then.  He has attended Sunridge Community Church since 1993 and has been involved in many areas of service there.  Stew has taken mission trips all over the world and has served others in many ways, including working as a Dentist in Haiti pulling teeth and conducting eye glass clinics in Ethiopia.  His wife, Lisa, has been on over 40 mission trips, many of them to Nepal, where she has changed many lives.

Rotary has been a very important aspect of Stew’s life.  As the mentor for Great Oak High School Interact Club, his goal is to have kids think and do things outside of their world. The Club raised over $2000 for water filtration in Nepal and then made Christmas stockings for kids in Project Touch (a homeless outreach).  They have been involved in projects for the Boys and Girls Clubs and many other projects at home and around the world.  He is very proud of the kids that he has had the pleasure to mentor for the last 7 years.

Stew's tenure on the Board of Directors of Rancho California Water District was a valuable experience and has prepared him for dealing with infrastructure projects, labor contracts and the budget process.  He served as Executive Vice President in 2015. While at RCWD, Stew was instrumental in persuading the Board to approve a project that saved the District more than $20 million. 

Stew and Lisa have been married for 43 years. They raised their three children and seven grandchildren here in Temecula.  They lived on the south end of town for 17 years and moved to Meadowview 11 years ago.  He has seen a lot of change in the last 28 years and is looking forward to keeping the quality of life here in Temecula at the highest level possible.  

Stew’s primary goals as a Council Member are to lead with common sense, foster transparency and to keep the public informed about the City’s activities and issues.

Elected and Appointed Offices

  • Mayor: 2020, 2024
  • City Council Member Terms: 2016-2020, 2020-2024
  • Elected Member of Rancho California Water District:  2011-2015
  • Executive Vice President of RWCD: 2015
  • President, Temecula Community Services District: 2022, 2023
  • Vice President, Temecula Community Services District: 2021

City Council Assignments:

  • City Sustainability Program Committee
  • Economic Development Committee
  • Finance Subcommittee
  • Infill Land Use and Project Review Subcommittee
  • Move I-15 Through Temecula Valley / Southwest Elected Collaborative Subcommittee
  • Public Works Subcommittee
  • Surplus Land Act Subcommittee
  • Altair Property Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • Franchise Agreements Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • French Valley Parkway Interchange Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • General Plan Update Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • Murrieta Creek Project Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • Old Town Civic Center Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • Police Base of Operations Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • Promenade in Temecula Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • Public Recognitions Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • Seraphina Property Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • Service Level Assessments Ad Hoc Subcommittee
  • TVE2 (Small Business Incubator) Ad Hoc Subcommittee


  • League of California Cities, Representative
  • National League of Cities, Representative
  • Southwest Riverside County Energy Authority JPA, Alternate
  • WRCOG Executive Committee and Zone Committee, Representative
  • Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (RCA) Representative
  • Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) Representative
  • Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency Board Representative
  • Member of the Old Town Rotary Club for 10 years.  President 2012 and 2015
  • President of Oak Haven Estates HOA for 5 years
  • Great Oak High School Interact Club Mentor since 2011
  • Sponsored CYT for 20 years, along with youth sports teams since 1991
  • Have been involved with many projects for the Boys & Girls Club, Project Touch and many other local charities

Key Objectives:

  • Repair and enhance City’s roads and infrastructure
  • Foster a higher police presence by basing our officers in the city limits 
  • Maintain the highest level of community service
  • Create a favorable environment for businesses to bring in high paying jobs
  • Stop high density housing until infrastructure can support it
  • Maintain and create open space areas

Occupation & Education

  • Owner of Stews Barbershops
  • Education: Graduated from Oswego High School 1978 and University of Barber Styling 1978 
  • Studied at Trinity International University 1979
  • Mt San Jacinto College:  Water Distribution Class


  • Married over 40 years to Lisa, 3 grown children (Brittny, James and Brooke), six grandchildren
  • Favorite activities: Hiking, bungee jumping and anything with the grandkids