ICYMI: San Bernardino Sun Endorses Pete Aguilar for Congress

October 9, 2014

San Bernardino, CA – Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, Democratic candidate for Congress in California’s 31st district, received the endorsement of the leading paper in the Inland Empire today. In their endorsement the editorial board of the San Bernardino Sun expressed their confidence that Aguilar will, “be able to translate his local and regional experience to effective representation at the federal level,” and will “continue his record of bipartisan problem solving.”

The editorial board questioned Republican Paul Chabot’s readiness to solve the challenges facing the Inland Empire and our nation citing he has “no record of local elected office that most voters would like to see before sending someone off to represent them in Washington, D.C..”

The full endorsement can be seen here or read below:

Pete Aguilar for Congress in 31st District: Endorsement

Pete Aguilar has built a record as a successful mayor of a well-run city, able to work well and productively with Democrats and Republicans alike on the local level.

The editorial board endorses Aguilar for the open 31st Congressional District seat, confident that he will be able to translate his local and regional experience to effective representation at the federal level. In that role, we expect him to make every effort to reach across the congressional aisle and to do his best to reduce the gridlock that grips the nation’s capital.

Aguilar, the mayor of Redlands and a Democrat, faces Republican Paul Chabot of Rancho Cucamonga in the Nov. 4 election. Chabot too has an impressive resume and some good ideas, but no record of local elected office that most voters would like to see before sending someone off to represent them in Washington, D.C. The two are vying for the seat now held by longtime Republican Rep. Gary Miller, who is retiring after this term.

Aguilar was appointed to the Redlands City Council in 2006 and has been elected twice since then. The city had struggled with its budget before his arrival, but then brought it under control by means of some tough decisions by the council. Although he is progressive philosophically, Aguilar and his colleagues presided over a cut of 17 percent in the city’s workforce over five years to deal with tough fiscal times.

He touts Amazon’s siting of three distribution centers in the 31st District, including one in Redlands, noting that “they wouldn’t come here unless we’d made investments in our infrastructure.”

Education and the economy are Aguilar’s emphases in his campaign. He understands that an educational deficit — in terms of college graduates and educational levels — holds back the economic development of the 31st District and the Inland Empire at large. He wants to invest in early childhood education, protect college-financing programs like the Pell Grants that he benefited from when he went to college, and expand job-training opportunities. Protecting the middle class and preparing young people for the kinds of jobs that will make them part of it are his goals.

Our endorsement in this race was a split decision, with nearly half the editorial board favoring Chabot for the seat.

Chabot rose to prominence in the area as an anti-drug crusader. He touts his military background as a Navy veteran who deployed to Iraq in 2008, and his public safety resume as a longtime reserve deputy sheriff and three terms as a member of the state Parole Board. National security is a big part of his pitch to voters. He wants to improve care at veterans hospitals and, to his credit, he was pushing for that before it exploded into a national issue.

Our editorial board majority, though, prefers Aguilar’s fiscal and economic credentials and his experience with the levers of political and civic leadership. And we’ll expect him to continue his record of bipartisan problem solving.

Vote for Pete Aguilar in the 31st Congressional District on Nov. 4.

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