Congressman Joe Baca left. County Supervisor Josie Gonzales right.

BY IMRAN GHORI
STAFF WRITER
ighori@pe.com

Published: 04 May 2012 06:48 PM

Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, is backing San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales’ opponent in the June 5 election in a sign of increased tensions between the one-time allies.

In a campaign news release Friday, May 4, Baca took aim at Gonzales, accusing her of failing to “live up to Democratic principles by supporting candidates that were part of the county corruption scandal.” He also described her as having “lost touch with the everyday needs of families.”

Baca cited his dissatisfaction with Gonzales as his reason for endorsing Silvia Marroquin, a Fontana community organizer and one of two candidates running against Gonzales in the 5th supervisorial district. Marroquin did not return a call for comment Friday.

Gonzales, who endorsed state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, in the 35th Congressional District where Baca is also running, said she was not surprised that Baca isn’t supporting her.

“It’s a bit amusing how much attention he pays to what I do,” she said. “While it’s wonderful that the congressman is taking such an interest in local elections, what the county and the cities really need is his help in Washington.”

Baca’s statement came a week after the county Democratic Central Committee narrowly defeated a resolution urging Democrats not to support Gonzales and declined to endorse her. Both he and some committee members said she had failed to live up to Democratic principles.

Baca supported Gonzales when she first ran for supervisor in 2004 and in her races for Fontana City Council prior to that.

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