Thursday, January 19, 2012 – 08:05 a.m.

The latest candidate to jump into the election fray is State Senator Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga).

After toying with the prospect of challenging Assemblyman Mike Morell, Dutton will now take on Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar) for the 31st Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Redlands).

Miller, who sports a $2 million campaign war chest and the backing of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is the odds on favorite here.

Dutton, starts out with zero dollars and a long road to raising the needed cash to make it a horse race against Miller.

Federal law prohibits the transfer of funds from Dutton’s state senate committee to his federal committee.

So basically Dutton, a staunch republican, is mounting a name identification campaign in trying to leverage his raised profile from state budget negotiations with Governor Jerry Brown.

It likely won’t be enough.