Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Money race on in San Bernardino 2014 Congressional district race

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It's still eleven months until the primary, but the cash is adding up for candidates in the 31st Congressional district in the Inland Empire.

Republican Gary Miller won the newly redrawn district last year. He's had a target on his back ever since. The Democratic political action committee House Majority PAC labeled Miller "the most endangered Republican incumbent" in the country.

Miller raised more than $150,000 in the past few months, increasing his campaign war chest to more than half-a-million dollars. 

But Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat backed by the national party's fundraising arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, raised twice that amount that same quarter, more than $300,000. Most of that comes from individuals. Only about one dollar in five comes from political action committees.

Aguilar ran for the seat last year, but failed to make the runoff in which Miller defeated fellow Republican Bob Dutton.

Another Democrat, attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes, is also running. This is her first political battle, but she's backed by EMILY's List, the PAC that supports female candidates. Reyes raised more than $100,000 in the second quarter. 

Former Congressman Joe Baca is also running for the seat, but he raised just under $40,000 last quarter. Baca lost his re-election bid last year to fellow Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod in another Inland Empire district, the 35th, which includes Ontario.

Registration in the 31st Congressional district is 41% Democrat, 36% Republican, with the rest independents or declined to state. Nearly half the population is Latino.


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