Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis endorsed attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes on Monday in the crowded primary field in California's open 31st District.
Gomez Reyes is one of four Democrats running for the seat of retiring GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller — a race that's splitting the party establishment. Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, another Democrat in the race, has the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
"In this day and age when the powerful special interests are gaining even more power, the working families that make our country strong need a strong voice and their own tenacious fighter in Congress. Eloise Gomez Reyes is the person for the job," Solis, who represented the area from 2001 through 2009, said in a statement. "She has spent her entire career fighting for working families and people who can’t fight for themselves."
The DCCC backed Aguilar before Miller announced his retirement earlier this month. At the time, Miller was one of Democrats' top targets in a district that voted for President Barack Obama by a 17-point margin in 2012.
Since Miller announced his retirement, the stakes of the top-two primary have lessened — since two Democrats are likely to advance to the general — and more Democrats have come out in support of Gomez Reyes' candidacy.
The race is even splitting the support of the current California delegation.
On Friday, Gomez Reyes earned the endorsement of California Rep. Xavier Becerra, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and one of the highest-ranking Democrats in the House. Solis is now running for L.A. County supervisor.
Aguilar, too, has the endorsement of a number of members of the California delegation, including Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Other Democrats running here include former Rep. Joe Baca and local school board official Danny Tillman.
Three Republicans have also announced bids for the seat: Paul Chabot, a retired Navy officer; San Bernardino City Councilman John Valdivia; and Lesli Gooch, a former Miller aide.
California's 31st District is rated a Leans Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.