More than 150 Southern California conservatives gathered in Mentone on Thursday night for the April meeting of the Redlands Tea Party Patriots. The group unveiled its endorsements for the June 3 primary election.

By Beau Yarbrough, The Sun
Posted: 04/04/14, 8:48 PM PDT |

MENTONE >> In one of the most closely watched congressional races this summer, the Redlands Tea Party Patriots are endorsing … no one.

More than 150 Southern California conservatives crowded into a restaurant banquet hall on Thursday night for the group’s monthly meeting, which featured the group releasing its voter guide for the June 3 primary.

Most of the endorsements were not surprising — the group endorsed Tea Party favorite Tim Donnelly for governor, for instance — but punted on nominations for two congressional races, making no recommendations for the 31st Congressional District seat, where Gary Miller, R-Rancho Cucamonga, is not seeking reelection, or in the 8th Congressional District, where incumbent Paul Cook, R-Apple Valley, is seeking reelection.

The Redlands Tea Party Patriots cabinet was split between supporting Paul Chabot and Lesli Gooch in the 31st, according to spokesman John Berry.

“We’re underwhelmed with our choices in (the 8th) district. We’re not thrilled with (Paul) Cook; it’s questionable how conservative he really is,” Berry said Friday. “And we don’t think (Paul) Hannosh, he doesn’t really strike us as a viable alternative.”

The 31st Congressional District candidates the group did not endorse Thursday night will be facing off against four Democrats, three of whom were simultaneously gathered less than five miles away, at a University of Redlands College Democrats candidates forum.

The Redlands Tea Party Patriots did endorse a number of candidates Thursday night, in addition to Donnelly:

• Daniel Schnur for secretary of state

• Brian Nestande in the 36th Congressional District

• Matthew Munson in the 20th state Senate District

• Michelle Ambrozic in the 33rd Assembly District

• Marc Steinorth in the 40th Assembly District

• Chad Mayes in the 42nd Assembly District

• Dorothy Pineda in the 52nd Assembly District

• Ling-Ling Chang in the 55th Assembly District

• Lydia Gutierrez for state superintendent of public instruction

• George Runner and Diane Harkey for the State Board of Equalization

• Grover Merritt for San Bernardino County district attorney

• Bob Dutton for San Bernardino County assessor/recorder

• Paul Schrader for San Bernardino County sheriff

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