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|Pete Aguilar, candidate for Congressional District 31, and Mayor of Redlands, CA|
Pete Aguilar and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee claimed victory in Congressional District 31 (CD-31), holding on to a 181-vote lead ahead of the third-place candidate, Lesli Gooch. At this time, there are about 3,000 provisional and other “emergency” ballots yet to be tallied in San Bernardino County, with only a fraction of them from CD-31. County election officials have until July 1 to count every last ballot cast in the primary.
Most observers concluded there are not enough ballots left to deny Aguilar the opportunity to compete in the Nov. 4 general election. The ultimate victor will face republican businessman Paul Chabot. Aguilar—who has been identified as a rising star in politics, repeatedly on the national level—is also a former employee of Arrowhead Credit Union in San Bernardino, CA, and an active advocate for credit unions.
The Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) launched an “independent expenditure” in support of Aguilar’s candidacy, spending $197,189.03 on direct mail and digital advertising, both in English and Spanish. CULAC had previously contributed $10,000 to Aguilar’s campaign. Aguilar also has strong support from the California Credit Union League and local credit unions.
As expected, republican Paul Chabot, a military officer and businessman, secured the other spot with 26.79 percent of the vote. Congressional District 31, located entirely within San Bernardino County, is 40.7 percent democrat and 33.8 percent republican, giving Aguilar and the democrats the edge in the November general election.
Former state senator and League-supported candidate Tony Strickland will also be advancing to the general election. Strickland garnered 29.4 percent of the vote in the republican-leaning Congressional District 25—which includes Santa Clarita and Palmdale—to fill Rep. Buck McKeon’s seat. He will be facing off against republican State Senator Steve Knight, who received 28.3 percent of the vote.
Credit union champion, League-supported candidate and State Senator Norma Torres easily locked her spot in the general election for Congressional District 35 with 67.1 percent of the vote. CD-35 is the race to fill the seat of Congresswoman Gloria Negrete-McLeod (D-Chino), who has announced her retirement.
In Congressional District 45, State Senator and League-supported candidate Mimi Walters secured her spot in the general election with 44.7 percent of the vote. This Orange County seat became an open seat after Rep. John Campbell announced his retirement.
State Senator and League-supported candidate Mark DeSaulnier also easily secured his spot in the general in the 11th Congressional District race to represent Contra Costa County. DeSaulnier garnered 59.1 percent of the vote in the seat of Rep. George Miller, who has also announced his retirement from Congress.
Political Action Committees are organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates, representing business, labor or ideological interests.