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- - - - Mark Twain (Roughing It)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Race heats up to replace GOP Rep. Gary Miller

Councilman John Valdivia

Interesting race shaping up for GOP-held congressional seat in San Bernardino. Dynamo black Republican female mayor may be up against a popular Hispanic Republican councilman.

San Bernardino County, California has some of the most intense politics in the country. Fontana, one of the county's largest municipalities has a black female mayor. She's outspoken on a host of issues, and she's even led drives to oust some allegedly less-than-honest local politicians. Now, she is heavily rumored to be on of two or three candidates who will seek the seat of retiring Republican Congressman Gary Miller (31st District). 

From the San Bernardino Sun, "San Bernardino Councilman John Valdivia announces bid for Rep. Gary Miller’s seat".

Word circulated Wednesday that Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren may also consider a run for Miller’s seat, but Warren said Thursday it wasn’t in the cards. “The Lord hasn’t moved me in that direction yet,” Warren said. 

She said she received about 20 phone calls Wednesday and Thursday from her constituents urging her against running in the congressional race.

Acquanetta, as she is known in Fontana and as she prefers people to call her, is Ms. Personality. She hosts a weekly local cable TV show as Mayor, spotlighting local Fontana businesses, and urging Los Angeles-area business to move into the medium-sized city. But wait, there's more.

Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren
Her likely opponent if she jumps in, is a well-respected and loved Hispanic GOP Councilman.

Meet San Bernardino Councilman John Valdivia.

On Thursday became the first Republican candidate to announce he would be running for Rep. Gary Miller’s 31st Congressional District seat. “The bottom line is somebody needs to fill the seat and I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Valdivia said. “I think I’m good on issues and best reflect the demographics of the district.”

Former Assembly candidate Paul Chabot announced he’ll be seeking another office: the 31st Congressional District.  He had been seriously discussing with family, friends and colleagues about switching gears and running for Miller’s seat to prevent a Democrat from being elected to the highly coveted seat reports the Daily Bulletin.
“We really have to hold that seat for the Republican Party,” Chabot, 39, of Rancho Cucamonga, said. “If a Democrat gets that seat, we may see a domino effect of other Democrats beating Republicans in state and local elections throughout the district in the years to come.”

Chabot, an outspoken opponent of medical marijuana, founded several local nonprofits promoting American values and the deterrence of drug abuse including the Inland Valley Drug Free Community Coalition, Drug Free RC, Freestyle Foundation Inc. and the Coalition for a Drug Free California. He is an Iraq War veteran and served in the Clinton White House as a Presidential Fellow and later in the Bush White House as a senior adviser.
Chabot has a bachelor’s degree from Cal State San Bernardino, a master’s degree in public administration from USC and a doctorate in executive leadership from George Washington University.

Paul Chabot
Paul Chabot California
Though he has never served in public office, Chabot said he would be willing to take on the fight for Miller’s seat, although he said it would be much more challenging than the Assembly race.

“I’m committed to holding the congressional seat for the Republican Party, whether I do that in my current capacity as a candidate for state Assembly or a candidate for Congress is the question my family and I are deciding,” Chabot said.

Chabot’s release included his first official endorsement, from former GOP Rep. Jerry Lewis:
“He has what it takes to make a real difference in Washington and knows that we need to live within our means, stop playing politics, maintain a strong national defense and ensure that every child receives a good education,” Chabot’s press release quotes Lewis as saying.

On Thursday, former State Sen. Bob Dutton — whom Miller beat out for the 31st Congressional District in 2012 — threw his support behind Chabot as well:

“I think he’s the right man for the job,” Dutton said.

Miller’s district is one of the most competitive in the coming election cycle and a “top target” by Democrats because a majority of the registered voters in the district are Democrats. That Democratic majority was the result of redistricting in 2010.

Money has flown in from around the country for Democratic candidates including Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, Colton attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes, San Bernardino school board member Danny Tillman and former Rep. Joe Baca.

31st Congressional District
Currently held by retiring GOP Congressman Gary Miller, the district covers
the greater San Bernardino area in Southern California.

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