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By Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 03/14/16 – 2:33 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The last Democratic presidential debate before California’s June 7 primary might be held in San Bernardino.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-San Bernardino, sent a letter to Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, asking the committee to consider holding its May primary in San Bernardino.

“While San Bernardino recently gained national attention from witnessing the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11, this is also a community that embodies the struggles and concerns faced by people in all parts of the country,” Aguilar’s Feb. 24 letter, sent by the Pete Aguilar for Congress campaign, reads in part. “San Bernardino is a city that serves as a reminder of the resiliency of the American people and our determination to remain united, even in our darkest of hours.”

California’s primary and its 503 Democratic and 172 Republican delegates, in theory could have a massive impact on who will be at the top of the ticket for both parties in November. But historically, the state is an afterthought, with primary candidates having long since sewn up the delegates required to win the nomination before Golden State voters get their say.

This year could be different, depending on how things shake out during Tuesday’s presidential primaries in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, needs to have another great day, similar to his showing in Michigan last week, to keep former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from pulling too far ahead for him to catch in subsequent primaries. Similarly, it’s do-or-die time for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, whose presidential aspirations are in serious question if they don’t win their home states — and a loss to Donald Trump in either could propel him that much closer to being the nominee of a party whose establishment isn’t at all sure it wants him.

Jack Pitney, a professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna College, said Aguilar’s request makes sense.

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