Campaigns

Sunday, May 25, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.

No matter how you slice it, the contest to replace Congressman Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga), in the 31st Congressional District, has all the ingredients of fiercely competitive contest.

Let’s see. There’s four democrats and two republicans. There’s two female candidates, two Hispanic male candidates, one African-American male candidate and one Anglo male candidate.

It’s a definitely diverse candidate pool.

But it looks like the dynamics of the various campaigns has former Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) playing as the dark horse in the race. Baca could pull the second spot against Paul Chabot (R-Rancho Cucamonga). Chabot is now expected to easily best underfunded, and late-to-the race, Lesli Gooch (R-Rancho Cucamonga), while Baca is threatening to deal Mayor Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands), the party-backed candidate, a second back-to-back lose.

Baca and Chabot share one ingredient the others do not. They bothhave name identification with voters. Obviously Baca is a former congressman and longtime state politico. Chabot narrowly lost to former State Assemblyman, turned State Senator Mike Morrell.

Chabot won’t have any chance against the democrat who emerges from the field. The higher November turnout, and lack of financial suport, will seal his fate.

Eloise Gomez Reyes’ (D-Colton) presence, combined with Baca, has definitely hurt Aguilar. While Reyes was expected to perform better, her numbers haven’t risen, after relentlessly hitting voter mailboxes.

The expected low voter turnout has the final outcome more fluid than usual. There’s just nothing of interest in the up-ballot contests to draw voters to the polls on June 3.