John Tavaglione

Political Empire

10:00 PM PDT on Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Press-Enterprise

Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione already is gearing up for his congressional bid in a new district centered on Riverside and Moreno Valley.

Not only did he host a kick-off fundraiser last month at the Mission Inn, but he has made the rounds in Washington, D.C., getting his name out and pushing for support.

In July, Tavaglione, a Republican , made the trip to the nation’s Capitol and met with the Republican leadership, according to emails obtained by The Press-Enterprise through the Public Records Act.

In one exchange, Tavaglione’s chief of staff asked how things were going in Washington.

“Extremely well!” Tavaglione responded, before explaining that he met with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House majority whip, and Rep. Pete Sessions , chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“They were both very encouraged and supportive,” Tavaglione wrote.

“They seemed to like me.”

Tavaglione added that he also had a “great dinner” with Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, and the congressman’s chief of staff, Dave Ramey.

Endorsement battle

The San Bernardino County supervisorial elections are about nine months away, but Supervisor Neil Derry and San Manuel tribal Chairman James Ramos already are in campaign mode.

In the five months since Ramos, a member of the San Bernardino Community College board of trustees, announced that he is running for the 3rd District seat, he has been regularly issuing news releases trumpeting his endorsements.

Supporters of Ramos include the mayors of San Bernardino, Yucaipa and Redlands, council members from Highland and Big Bear Lake, and Dennis Hansberger, the former supervisor Derry unseated in 2008. In August, Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, announced his support in what Ramos described as a “big endorsement.”

Derry has countered with his own announcements in the past month. His supporters include the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, and the mayors of Loma Linda and Grand Terrace and two Loma Linda council members.

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