Another swing district, which could be dubbed the Democrats "Miller" seat, is now looking less likely to swing back to the GOP.
Congressional District 36, nestled right in the heart of the Inland Empire, at first looked like a pretty easy hold for Mary Bono Mack.
She ended up losing the seat by a slim margin, and she declined to run again for the seat.
In steps Assemblymember Brian Nestande, who has sparked the interest and gained the support from a number of prominent state and federal officials, including Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Vista, CA)
The June 3rd primary results for the 36th, however, suggest more of a fight for the Republican challenger than initially predicted:
(Party Preference: DEM)
(Party Preference: REP)
(Party Preference: REP)
Even when combining both Republicans' final tally, the final sum still does not surpass the Democratic results.
Democratic incumbent Raul Ruiz has played very strongly toward the center for his first term in office. Recognizing that his district remains majority Republican, he voted with Congressional Republicans a number of times during the 2013 government shutdown, including support for bills that would delay Obamacare or open up federal parks in spite of the federal impasse.
Because he broke with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi on several occasions, Ruiz has brandished credible independent credentials, and this stance against the party may have benefited him in the primary, and help him to keep his seat in 2014.
If Nestande intends on recapturing the 36th for the GOP, he will have to tie Ruiz as much as possible to his Washington affiliation with ultra-liberal Nancy Pelosi. South Carolina Congressional candidate Mark Sanford debate a Nancy Pelosi cut-out every he campaigned, instead of focusing on Democratic challenger Susan Colbert-Busch.
Demonstrating that no matter how he votes, Ruiz' presence is one more vote for Pelosi as a minority leader or even Speaker, Nestande can argue that Ruiz by his affiliation supports the same lady who declared "We have to pass the bill to see what's in it" and other noteworthy flubs. Her outrageous votes and remarks demonstrate a Washington elitist mentality out-of-step with Riverside County conservative values.
Why would they send to Washington one more Pelosi supporter? the Republican challenger could argue.
Following the June 3rd, primary, though, Nestande has nothing to be confident about, and much cause for concern.