calif-31

Former Democratic Rep. Baca To Run As Republican

Baca wants to return to Congress as a Republican. (CQ Roll Call)

Former Democratic California Rep. Joe Baca is running for a seat in the House, this time as a Republican.  

Baca previously served in Congress as a Democrat from 1999 to 2013, before losing to fellow Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod. In 2014, Baca ran for a seat in California's 31st district but failed to make it out of the primary. California has a top-two primary system, where voters can choose any of the candidates in any party and then the top two candidates square off in the general election.  

GOP House Hopeful Lends Hand to Widow of San Bernardino Attack

The San Bernardino shootings hit home for House hopeful Paul Chabot, who is raising money for Renee Wetzel, the wife of one of the 14 people killed during Wednesday's mass shooting at Inland Regional Center.  

"It is with great sadness that I just learned my fraternity brother from Cal State San Bernardino, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Mike Wetzel was killed in the attack. He leaves behind his wife and six-young children,”  Chabot told supporters in an email blast featuring a link to a fundraising page for the suddenly fatherless family. Chabot is seeking a rematch against incumbent Democrat Pete Aguilar in California’s 31st District. Aguilar beat Chabot 51-49 percent in 2014. “He joined in 1997, the same year I graduated from college and fraternity, and became an advisor to the chapter,” Chabot said of Wetzel via email.  

Vulnerable House Democrats Side With GOP on Refugee Bill

Ashford voted against the Republican bill to add an extra layer of bureaucratic certification to security checks for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nearly every member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program for vulnerable members voted Thursday for a Republican bill that would add bureaucratic security checks for Syrians and Iraqis hoping to enter the U.S. as refugees.  

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Democratic strategists say the vote was good politics for those 13 Democratic incumbents, who represent competitive districts of varying degrees. The vote gave them an opportunity to appear tough on national security, an issue they often struggle with.  

Exclusive: DCCC Announces 14 Incumbents in Frontline Program

Luján, right, is a Democrat from New Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will announce Thursday the first 14 members who will join its Frontline program for the party's most vulnerable incumbents, according to an early copy of a news release obtained by CQ Roll Call.  

The incumbents represent competitive districts, making them likely GOP targets in 2016 . The Frontline program,which Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., is chairman of,   provides these members with fundraising and organizational support for their re-elections.  

10 Uncalled Races Remain as Democrats Pick Up California Seat (Updated)

Aguilar is a Democrat from California. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:39 p.m. |  Democrats picked up their third House seat late Thursday, stemming the party's losses to 13 seats — for now.  

After more absentee and provisional ballots were counted, Democrat Pete Aguilar maintained a lead over Republican Paul Chabot, 51 percent to 49 percent, in California's 31st District. Aguilar declared victory and Chabot conceded; the seat was open because Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller is retiring.  

Democrat Describes Race as Party's Best Pickup Opportunity (Video)

Aguilar, Democratic candidate for California's 31st District. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call)

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 .

Republican Drops Recount in Targeted California Race

Former Capitol Hill aide Lesli Gooch, the Republican who called for a recount in California's 31st District, has dropped her request and conceded the race Wednesday night.  

"My team of polling data experts has reviewed the results of today's recount and we have decided not to ask the Registrar of Voters to continue with a second day of recounting ballots," Gooch said in a statement.  

Republican Calls for Recount in Targeted California Race

Miller, a California Republican, is retiring. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Lesli Gooch's campaign called for a recount Wednesday evening in California's 31st District, a top pick-up opportunity for Democrats in 2014.  

"We have been in consultation with campaign attorneys and polling data experts over the past several days. They feel a recount is warranted and have identified precincts that will be recounted," Gooch's campaign said in a news release.  

In California's 31st District, Democrats Hold on to Second Place

In California's 31st District, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar maintained a 181-vote lead over Republican Lesli Gooch Friday, after the San Bernardino County Elections Office released an updated vote tally.  

Aguilar currently leads Gooch, 17.36 percent to 17.01 percent. Gooch knocked into Aguilar's lead by two votes on Friday.  

Democrats Claim Victory in California's 31st District Primary

In California's 31st District, Miller is retiring, leaving a competitive race for his seat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:18 p.m. | Democrats have claimed victory in California's 31st District primary, with the party's candidate holding on to a  183-vote lead ahead of the third-place Republican, and more ballots yet to be counted. Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, maintained his second-place standing in the top-two primary Thursday, after state election officials tallied more than 30,000 outstanding mail-in ballots.  

"I am honored that Inland Empire families have given me the chance to move on to the November election and ultimately represent them in Congress," Aguilar said in a statement shortly after results were released.