THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE

Published: 29 April 2012 08:19 PM

As the lone Democrat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors for several years, Josie Gonzales has often endorsed and contributed funds to her Republican colleagues, a stance that has irritated some of her party cohorts.

On Thursday, the ill will was out in the open: the San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee voted on a resolution calling on Democrats to actively not support Gonzales in her bid for re-election as Fifth District supervisor in the June 5 election. Critics cited her backing of former Supervisors Bill Postmus and Paul Biane — both later arrested as part of the county corruption scandal — and said she had failed to help other Democrats.

Committee Chairman Ron Wall, who remained neutral, said her critics felt it was important to “make her aware of their dissatisfaction.”

The resolution, calling on party members not to help her financially or work on her campaign, failed by a one-vote margin, 13 for and 14 against.

Gonzales, who was there to defend herself and ask for the committee’s endorsement, said she made no apologies for building relationships with other officials.

“The fact is I need two other votes to get anything done,” she said. “It’s irrelevant to me who gives them to me.”

In a separate vote, the committee voted not to endorse Gonzales either.

This isn’t the first time Gonzales has differed with those in her party. Last fall, she clashed with Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, after she endorsed state Sen. Gloria Negrete McCleod, D-Chino, his opponent in the 35th Congressional District.

Another candidate fared better at the committee meeting. Former San Manuel tribal Chairman James Ramos won the endorsement in the 3rd District supervisorial race despite some criticism over whether he, too, had done enough to support Democrats.

AT THE RACES

There was a lot of action in Inland congressional races last week, with four candidates — a pair of Republicans and a pair of Democrats — getting significant boosts.

On the GOP side, Rep. Gary Miller and San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, got help from SuperPacs, the political action committees allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money through independent expenditures.

Miller was the big winner. The National Association of Realtors Congressional Fund dropped more than $136,000 in support of the Diamond Bar Republican’s bid to represent California’s 31st Congressional District, according to Federal Election Commission reports. The money went toward mailers, polling and consulting expenses.

Meanwhile, the conservative Jobs Opportunity & Freedom PAC spent more than $23,000 on radio advertising and production in support of Mitzelfelt’s campaign in the High Desert’s 8th Congressional District, according to the FEC.

In Riverside County, Democratic candidates Pete Aguilar and Raul Ruiz got new backing from Washington, where national party officials included them in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s annual “Red to Blue” program, an initiative that targets competitive races in traditionally conservative areas.

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