California’s final redistricting map was released on Thursday and a San Bernardino County businessman has said he would run for a proposed district that would be favorable for Democrats.
Rancho Cucamonga businessman Russ Warner said he would run for the congressional district that stretched from Upland to Redlands. Warner failed to unseat San Bernardino County Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas) in 2008 and 2010 in a district that was mostly in Los Angeles County. The district he said he would run in now would be entirely within San Bernardino County and would be more favorable for him to win.
“I am running for Congress because the Inland Valley needs a common-sense approach to get our county moving again,” Warner said in a statement. “San Bernardino County needs jobs, not political rhetoric. And our county’s seniors deserve an unwavering fighter for Medicare and Social Security.”
The proposed congressional district would be 41 percent Democratic, almost 38 percent Republican and 17.3 percent decline-to-state.
Warner’s announcement makes him the second San Bernardino County Democrat who has announced a run for Congress. State Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) also said she would run. She currently lives in the heavily Democratic district, which extends from Pomona to south Rialto. If both Warner and McLeod were to win their races, it would increase the Democratic representation San Bernardino County would have.
Right now, Rep. Joe Baca (D-Rialto) is the only Democrat representing the county. Both he and Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Redlands) have not said whether they would run in the district Warner has said he would compete for, but both could also run in neighboring districts that would be more favorable in their chances of winning – Baca could run in a heavily Democratic district to the south and Lewis could run in a heavily Republican district to the north and east.
Even though Warner and McLeod have made their intentions known, they cannot officially begin campaigning for the districts until the California General Assembly approves the new lines. That will not happen until the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission, which consists of five Democrats, five Republicans and four independents, approves the political boundaries based on public feedback.
The commission was created a couple of years ago after voters decided to turn over the job of redrawing district lines for Congress and the state legislature from politicians to the people. The commission’s task was to create more competitive and compact districts.
The commission will vote Friday on whether or not to advance the maps to a final public review period. The Citizens’ Redistricting Commission then has until two weeks from Monday to approve the maps.
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