BY JIM MILLER
SACRAMENTO BUREAU
jmiller@pe.com

Published: 20 May 2012 05:38 PM

In San Bernardino County’s safely Democratic 47th Assembly District, Joe Baca Jr. wants to return to the job he held for a single term several years ago.

And in the county’s safely Republican 33rd Assembly District, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is trying to avoid becoming a one-term lawmaker himself.

Opposing Baca Jr. and Donnelly are a mix of elected officials, business owners and others running on the June 5 ballot. The districts’ strong partisan leanings and new, top-two primary system make it possible that the November elections will be a repeat of the primary campaigns.

The redrawn 47th Assembly District closely resembles the current 62nd Assembly District and includes Rialto, Colton, Fontana and part of San Bernardino. The new district, though, picks up Grand Terrace, drops the area around San Bernardino International Airport and reaches north to Devore.

Baca Jr., the son of Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, represented the 62nd from 2004 through 2006, when he lost the Democratic primary for state Senate. He successfully ran later that year for the Rialto City Council, where he still serves.

In his candidate questionnaire for The Press-Enterprise, Baca Jr. said his top priorities as a lawmaker would be to encourage the creation of jobs through repealing “overly burdensome” regulations, increasing funding for community colleges, and approving public-works projects.

Newspaper publisher Cheryl Brown, of Rialto, a fellow Democrat, is Baca’s main rival. Brown is backed by the lawmakers who represented the area in the Assembly before and after Baca Jr.: John Longville and Assemblywoman Wilmer Amina Carter, D-Rialto.

Fixing the state’s chronically imbalanced budget is paramount, Brown said in her candidate questionnaire for The Press-Enterprise. She said she also wants to attract businesses and improve education and health care in the district.

Also running for the 47th are two Republicans, Thelma E. Beach, of Grand Terrace, a retiree, and Jeane Ensley, of Rialto, a retired fraud investigator.

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