Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/25/2012 06:12:56 AM PST
Updated: 11/25/2012 05:37:58 PM PST

State Senate Republican leader Bob Dutton, defeated Nov. 6 in his run for Congress, says he plans to remain active in Inland Empire affairs while making a switch from the public to private sector.

Rep. Gary Miller, a fellow Republican, was the victor in the race to represent the new 31st Congressional District.

The race took place under new California law that allowed members of the same party to run against each other during the general election if they are the top two voter-getters in a primary.

The fortunes of Election Day may mean a return to the real estate industry, said Dutton, who founded Dutton and Associates as a real investment management firm before he had an office at the State Capitol.

Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, said he did not have an active role with company in order to avoid appearances of conflict during the past decade he spent in Sacramento.

“What I’m focusing on right now is really taking care of things at home,” he said. “For the last 10 years, my wife has really carried the burden.”

“Cleaning the garage is definitely on the list,” he added.

Miller, R-Brea, meanwhile, has another term in Congress to consider.

In a post-election interview, Miller said he and other House Republicans are immediately concerned with finding a solution to the “fiscal cliff” problem that does not include taxes or defense cuts.

“We can’t postpone that. It has to be dealt with now,” Miller said in a Nov. 8 interview.

The term “fiscal cliff” refers to a package of sweeping automatic budget cuts and tax hikes set to go into effect with the new year. The Congressional Budget Office has warned that if Congress fails to achieve a more balanced deficit reduction plan, the country could experience a new recession in early 2013.

Although Dutton has campaign committees that would allow him to run for a seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, he said he has no plans to run if it would mean competing against the incumbent in his district, Janice Rutherford.

“Janice was very supportive of me. I wouldn’t want to run against her,” he said.

As he contemplates a return to private business, Dutton said he now has a “lukewarm” relationship with the state Republican Party.

The state GOP endorsed Miller, who already had a seat in the House of Representatives. Dutton wasn’t disappointed too much that his party endorsed his opponent, but took exception to the California Republican Party’s decision to send negative ads that attacked his record in Sacramento.

“I certainly wouldn’t have done a hit piece,” Dutton said.

The state Republican Party sent mail ads accusing Dutton of being a wasteful spender for having agreed to several state budget plans that were negotiated during his years in Sacramento.

Before the campaign ended, California GOP Chairman Thomas del Beccaro told Dutton those mailers did not express the views of the full state party leadership.

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