Campaigns

Greg Cappis, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/26/2013 09:05:14 PM PDT
Updated: 04/26/2013 09:54:17 PM PDT

Last year, voters in the 31st Congressional District chose between two Republicans in the general election.

Next year, their choice could be between two Democrats.

The fact that two people from the same political party can run against each other in the general election was made possible by California’s new blanket primary system – passed by state voters in 2010 as Proposition 14. It replaced party primaries with a single primary in which the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

Nearly one in five elections regulated by Prop. 14 – congressional, Assembly and state and U.S. Senate races – had single party general elections in 2012. It happened in two Inland Empire congressional races.

Then-Rep Joe Baca, D-San Bernardino, won the 35th Congressional District primary election, but lost to then-state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, in the general election. And in the 31st District, which spans an area from Rancho Cucamonga to Redlands, Rep. Gary Miller, then R-Brea, defeated then-state Senate Minority Leader Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, in the general election after four Democrats, including Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, split the primary vote.

Even though at least three Democrats, including Aguilar and Baca – in a district switch -are expected to challenge Miller next year, Allen Hoffenblum, publisher of California Target Book, a nonpartisan publication that handicaps and analyzes elections in California, thinks Miller could be in trouble next year.

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