Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar called his bid for California’s 31st District the Democrats' best chance to pick up a Republican seat in the midterms.
“It is the most Democratic seat held by a Republican in the nation,” Aguilar told CQ Roll Call in a July 16 interview. “And the Republican decided to retire. So this is a great opportunity, Democrats’ best opportunity for a pickup.” Aguilar will face GOP businessman Paul Chabot in November in a race to replace retiring Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif. President Barack Obama won the district by 57 percent in 2012, and The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Leans Democrat .
The Golden State’s open primary allows members of both parties to compete against one another, and the top two-vote recipients, regardless of party, move on to the general election. Thanks to a crowded field that split Democratic voters, Chabot secured the top spot but Aguilar came in second by a mere 209 votes .
“It’s a jungle for a reason,” Aguilar said, later adding, “It becomes a math issue of a dividing an electorate that was 17 percent of the turnout.”
Aguilar said that Democrats will likely benefit from a higher turnout in the general election, since there are more registered Democrats in the district than Republicans.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz also pointed to this race as an example of where Democrats could gain seats.
Democrats must net 17 seats to take the majority in the House.
Aguilar's team: Douglas Herman, Strategy Group (mail); Kully Hall (media); Anzalone Liszt Grove (polling); Angerholzer Broz (fundraising).
Previous Candidate Interviews:
- Arizona's 7th District: Democrat Mary Rose Wilcox
- New York's 18th District: Republican Nan Hayworth
- Senate in Oklahoma: Republican James Lankford
- Arizona’s 7th District: Democrat Ruben Gallego
- Senate in Alaska: Republican Dan Sullivan
- New Hampshire’s 2nd District: Republican Marilinda Garcia
- Utah’s 4th District: Republican Bob Fuehr
- Massachusetts’ 6th District: Democrat Seth Moulton
- New York’s 1st District: Republican Lee Zeldin
- Senate in Kansas: Republican Milton Wolf
- West Virginia’s 2nd: Republican Alex Mooney
- Georgia’s 1st District: Republican Bob Johnson
- Georgia’s 10th District: Republican Mike Collins
- Senate in Minnesota: Republican Julianne Ortman
- Georgia’s 10th District: Republican Donna Sheldon
- California’s 25th District: Democrat Lee Rogers
- Michigan’s 7th District: Democrat Pam Byrnes
- Nevada’s 3rd District: Democrat Erin Bilbray
- Illinois’ 13th District: Democrat Ann Callis
- Ohio’s 6th District: Democrat Jennifer Garrison
- Michigan’s 1st District: Democrat Jerry Cannon
- Montana’s At-Large District: Democrat John Lewis
- New York’s 23rd District: Democrat Martha Robertson
- Senate in North Carolina: Republican Thom Tillis
- Senate in Alaska: Republican Mead Treadwell
- Senate in South Carolina: Republican Lee Bright
- Senate in Iowa: Republican David Young
- Senate in Kentucky: Republican Matt Bevin
- Illinois’ 12th District: Republican Mike Bost
- Idaho’s 2nd District: Republican Bryan Smith
- Michigan’s 14th District: Democrat Rudy Hobbs
- California’s 45th District: Republican Mimi Walters
- Senate in Iowa: Republican Matt Whitaker
- Senate in Nebraska: Republican Shane Osborn
- Minnesota’s 6th District: Republican Tom Emmer
- Minnesota’s 6th District: Democrat Jim Graves
- Florida’s 2nd District: Democrat Gwen Graham
- Pennsylvania’s 13th District: Democrat Daylin Leach
- Maine’s 2nd District: Democrat Emily Cain