By Sandra Emerson, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 10/25/14, 6:41 PM PDT | Updated: 21 secs ago

The 31st Congressional District candidates are donning comfortable walking shoes and hitting the pavement over the next week to gain any last-minute votes leading up to the Nov. 4 election.

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, and military veteran Paul Chabot, a Republican, may differ politically but both are going door to door and meeting with as many voters as they can.

The district spans an area from Upland to Redlands.

“It’s been a crunch time since Day 1. We’ve never let up,” said Chabot. “You’ve got to just pretend that you’re always a half-inch behind so you don’t take anything for granted.”

As of Oct. 23, 14,306 vote-by-mail ballots have been returned out of the 146,289 that were sent to registered voters within the 31st District, according to the county Registrar of Voters’ office.

There are 851,684 San Bernardino County residents registered to vote during the upcoming election, according to the Registrar.

“Our game plan is pretty similar, knocking on as many doors as we can to talk with voters about the middle-class initiative, creating jobs, investing in education and protecting Social Security,” Aguilar said. The candidates are seeking to replace Rep. Gary Miller, R-Rancho Cucamonga, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

After redistricting, Miller’s constituents changed from heavily Republican to a Democratic-leaning district that voted for President Barack Obama in 2012.

Despite winning the most votes during the primary election in June, Chabot said the race could be close.

“We are just going to continue to have a very strong presence throughout the community with our vehicles and our people just consistently letting the voters know that we want to earn their vote and we are not taking it for granted,” Chabot said. “I want to be visible to them. I don’t think anything changes from here to Election Day. We’re just going to keep knocking on doors nonstop. If we knock on the same door three times, so be it.”

Chabot said he has more than 100 volunteers putting campaign materials together, making phone calls and canvassing neighborhoods.

Aguilar said his campaign, which has about 300 volunteers and three campaign offices, has knocked on more than 70,000 doors and made more than 380,000 phone calls.

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