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September 2, 2014

Posts in "Calif.-31"

August 26, 2014

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

Democrat Describes Race as Partys 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.” Full story

June 26, 2014

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.

The recount started Wednesday — three weeks after the Golden State’s primary. Gooch’s campaign is responsible for the cost of the recount under local election rules.

In California’s primary, the two highest vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Gooch trailed Democrat Pete Aguilar by 209 votes for the second-place spot in the top-two primary. 

Full story

June 19, 2014

Republican Calls for Recount in Targeted California Race

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.

Gooch trails Democrat Pete Aguilar for second place by 209 votes and therefore faces long odds to victory in the recount. Her campaign had until Wednesday to determine whether to call for a recount — a costly endeavor they must pay for out of pocket.

In California’s primary, the top two vote recipients proceed to the general election, regardless of party. Democrats need Aguilar to advance to the general election to have any shot at competing here this fall, as businessman Paul Chabot has already secured the first-place spot in the top-two primary.

Full story

June 6, 2014

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.

It is unclear how many ballots have yet to be counted in the 31st District race. But Gooch’s campaign manager said the candidate is not conceding, offering a stinging criticism of the National Republican Congressional Committee for not helping their campaign.

“The NRCC did nothing,” said campaign manager Jeff Stinson. “The NRCC has failed this campaign. Not only that, they failed the party because they did not step in when they could have. A dollar would have won this seat. That’s an embarrassment to the party.”

In California, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. GOP businessman Paul Chabot is in a secure first-place position, so Democrats need Aguilar to maintain his second-place spot or else get shut out of the general election.

Full story

June 5, 2014

Democrats Claim Victory in California’s 31st District Primary

Democrats Claim Victory in Californias 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.

He currently leads former Capitol Hill aide Lesli Gooch, a Republican, 17.35 percent to 17 percent.  But there are about 5,200 provisional and other “emergency” ballots yet to be tallied in San Bernardino County. Officials have not set a date to count those ballots.

Jeff Stinson, Gooch’s campaign manager, said Gooch will “absolutely not” concede the race until all of the remaining ballots are counted.

Full story

June 4, 2014

Primary Results: California House Races (Updated)

Primary Results: California House Races (Updated)

Ose will face Bera, above. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:33 a.m., 2:15 p.m. | The race for California’s coveted 31st District remained too close to call Wednesday morning, with just 390 votes separating the second- and third-place finishers.

The results will make or break the race for Democrats, who have invested significant resources in this competitive district and named it one of their top targets of the cycle.

In California, the top two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election.

Full story

June 3, 2014

Primary Preview: 7 Things to Watch on Tuesday

Primary Preview: 7 Things to Watch on Tuesday

Cochran and his staff make their way to their bus after a tour of City Hall in Olive Branch, Miss. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tuesday is the busiest primary night of 2014, with voters heading to the polls in Alabama, California, Mississippi, Iowa, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota.

It’s a big night, with the tea party’s last chance to save face in the Mississippi Republican Senate primary, a close contest in Iowa’s Republican Senate primary, plus highly competitive House races in California, New Jersey, Iowa and Alabama.

(For a full list of the contests this cycle, check out Roll Call’s handy primary calendar, or our June cheat sheet.)

After the polls close, Roll Call’s Politics Team will have a live blog of the results. In the meantime, here are seven things to watch in Tuesday’s primaries:

Full story

June 1, 2014

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in June

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in June

McDaniel is challenging Cochran in the June primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After a relatively unsurprising series of primaries this month, June brings another collection of intraparty contests. More than half of the states will have selected their nominees by the end of the month.

Republicans will pick nominees in key Senate races in Mississippi, Iowa and South Dakota. Down the ballot, House primaries in several open seats will likely determine the future members of Congress from both parties.

Here is Roll Call’s comprehensive look at watch to watch in June. Bookmark this page, and check out our primary map for results from past primaries.

June 3
With primaries in eight states, this date marks the busiest night of the cycle.

Alabama: In the 6th District, seven Republicans are running in an open-seat race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus. This district is located in and around Birmingham. State Rep. Paul DeMarco is the front-runner, followed by Club for Growth-backed surgeon Chad Mathis and businessman Will Brooke. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will continue to a July 15 runoff. Polls close at 8 p.m. EST. (Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Safe Republican)

California: In this House race battleground, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Republicans will also pick a gubernatorial nominee who could have an impact down the ballot in November. Polls close at 11 p.m. EST. Here are the primaries to watch in the Golden State:

Full story

May 29, 2014

DCCC Reserves $43.5 Million in TV Airtime for Midterms

DCCC Reserves $43.5 Million in TV Airtime for Midterms

Israel is the current chairman of the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $43.5 million in television airtime in dozens of targeted House districts this fall — a signal the party is attempting to play defense and offense in a challenging midterm cycle.

The money is split across 36 districts, including 17 pickup opportunities, according to a DCCC aide. More districts and more money could be added to the reservations as the cycle progresses, the aide said.

The DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank at the end of April and has raised more than its Republican counterpart by large margins this cycle. The committee ended April with an $11 million cash-on-hand advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee.

These ad reservations give insight into which members Democrats see as vulnerable, and which seats the DCCC sees as the best possibility to take in November. They also signal to outside groups where the the party might need help on the airwaves this fall.

However, parties can cancel or change these reservations until shortly before the advertisements air in most cases.

Here are the districts where the DCCC has reserved airtime:

Full story

May 23, 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow, Mr. Spock Pick Sides in Beverly Hills House Race

The old slogan for MGM during the 1940s was that the studio had “more stars than there are in the heavens.”

The same could be said of the fresh fundraising reports from the upcoming primary in California’s 33rd District — which covers Beverly Hills and Malibu. Dozens of Hollywood stars and executives donated during the past six weeks in this race to replace retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman.

There are at least six serious candidates running for the seat, and all filed pre-primary reports by Thursday’s deadline. These are the final comprehensive campaign financial reports ahead of the June 3 primary. The top-two finishers will proceed to the general election.

These reports reflect spending and fundraising from April 1 to May 14. Stars crowded the race’s first quarter reports as well.

Here is a rundown of 33rd District reports and other high profile June 3 House races: Full story

How the California Governor’s Race May Be a Boon for House Democrats

A controversial Republican gubernatorial candidate in California could cause the GOP headaches in down-ballot House races in a state crucial to the party’s hopes of increasing its House majority.

State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly led Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official and the establishment-preferred candidate, by 5 points in a poll this month from the Public Policy Institute of California. That has top Republican operatives in California and Washington, D.C., concerned that Donnelly’s controversial comments and ties to the California Minutemen, a group that fights illegal immigration on the border, could mobilize Hispanic and other Democratic-base voters who otherwise might fall off in this midterm year.

Their fear is that the increased turnout to oppose Donnelly could boost the re-election hopes of vulnerable House Democrats and perhaps even improve the party’s chances to add to its ranks in the already Democrat-heavy delegation. A consultant with ties to Kashkari is among the Republicans sounding the alarm. Full story

May 16, 2014

Congressman Backs Ex-Hill Staffer for California Seat

Congressman Backs Ex Hill Staffer for California Seat

Royce endorsed a former Capitol Hill staffer on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce has endorsed former Capitol Hill aide Lesli Gooch, becoming the latest Southern California congressman to back the Republican seeking her former boss’ open House seat.

Gooch, one of several candidates vying for the seat of retiring GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller in California’s 31st District, worked for Miller as a senior policy adviser in the district, which is a top Democratic pick-up opportunity in November. Royce’s endorsement follows that of Miller and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Lesli Gooch and our delegation in the United States Congress to get things done for Californians,” Royce said in a statement Friday. “The Inland Empire needs Lesli Gooch’s strong conservative leadership in Congress to beat back the failed policies of Reid and Pelosi that are hurting our economy and crippling our national security.”

Full story

May 14, 2014

For Democrats, It’s Déjà Vu in California’s 31st District

Democrats may have reason for concern about a replay from 2012, when the party fumbled a sure pickup opportunity in Southern California thanks to the state’s new top-two primary.

According to a poll conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and obtained by CQ Roll Call, former Democratic Rep. Joe Baca, who has raised little money and is not backed by the national party, is gaining on the two Democratic front-runners in the 31st District open-seat race. With a 5-point rise since last month, Baca is now tied for third with attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes, behind Republican businessman Paul Chabot and Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, who is backed by the DCCC.

Chabot led the primary field among likely voters with 23 percent, followed by Aguilar with 15 percent, and Reyes and Baca with 13 percent apiece. Should the three top Democrats splinter the vote nearly evenly in the primary, there is a possibility one of the other Republicans finishes second — again.

“This dynamic leaves the door open for a scenario in which two Republicans clear the primary and Democrats are shut out of the general election, as they were in 2012,” pollsters for California-based Tulchin Research wrote in a memo.

The pollsters found Baca was unlikely to finish in the top two, but “this development has further diluted the Democratic vote…”

Full story

May 13, 2014

Super PAC Touts Joe Baca as ‘Reagan Fiscal Conservative’

Super PAC Touts Joe Baca as Reagan Fiscal Conservative

Baca hopes to again be a member of the California delegation. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A super PAC in California backing former Rep. Joe Baca sent three mailers in the district touting Baca’s credentials for his comeback bid for a Southern California open seat.

The mailers, obtained by CQ Roll Call, tout Baca endorsements — including some who are backing multiple candidates in the race — and one even paints the Democrat as a “Reagan Fiscal Conservative.” That mail piece features a letter written and signed by Baca, alongside an image of President Ronald Reagan.

Baca is one of four Democrats running in the June 3, top-two primary, which also includes three Republicans. Democrats are heavily targeting the seat, which is open with the retirement of GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller.

Full story

April 9, 2014

Democrat Starts Mail Campaign in Targeted California House Contest

Eloise Gomez Reyes, one of four Democrats vying for a highly targeted district in California’s Inland Empire, is kicking off a direct mail campaign this week ahead of the upcoming top-two primary.

The pair of mail pieces, provided first to CQ Roll Call, are tantamount to an opening bio ad in the 31st District, located east of Los Angeles. They describe the attorney’s background as a field worker who went on to college and later law school.

Mailers are the most popular form of voter communication in California House contests, as TV airtime often comes at a premium in the major metropolitan media markets of L.A. and San Francisco.

Full story

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