Two members of Congress from Southern California endorsed Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, who is part of a growing field of Democrats hoping to defeat Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif., in 2014.
On Monday, Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Gloria Negrete McLeod endorsed Aguilar over former Rep. Joe Baca, who was planning for a rematch with Negrete McLeod before switching to the 31st District last month. Not surprisingly, both members have unpleasant histories with Baca. (See also in Roll Call: 'Blood Feud' Between Baca, Negrete McLeod)
"Pete Aguilar is a proven public servant and problem solver who puts the interests of Inland Empire residents first," said Negrete McLeod, who ousted Baca last year in the neighboring 35th District.
Miller is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country, and national Democrats have already indicated he is one of their top targets this cycle. Last year, national Democrats recruited Aguilar, who failed to advance beyond the top-two primary. But this year, his candidacy has not dissuaded other Democrats from running.
Along with Baca, the other Democrats in the race include attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes and Danny Tillman, a San Bernardino school board member.
In addition to the two House Democrats, several other local party officials announced on Monday that they were backing Aguilar: Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman, Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson, state Assemblymember Cheryl Brown and Laurie Stalnaker, a Central Labor Council officer in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.