For Fontana, the recently approved Congressional, Senate and Assembly districts signify imminent new representation for the next decade, and already some political figures have jumped to the challenge.
Districts were completely redrawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission in response to the 2010 U.S Census results. The idea is to come as close as possible to the population target of 702,905 for California’s 53 Congressional districts; 931,349 for California’s 40 Senate districts; and 465,674 for California’s 80 Assembly districts.
Under the new maps, Fontana will now be in the 31st and 35th Congressional District, 20th Senate District, and 47th Assembly District — all dominated by the Democratic Party.
Political analysts forecast a tight potential election for the 31st District between Democrat Joe Baca and Republican Jerry Lewis, who currently serve on the 43rd and 41st Congressional Districts, respectively. However, these two representatives could avoid the head-to-head matchup if they decide to run for different districts which favor their party and political agenda.
The 31st Congressional District includes San Bernardino, Redlands, Colton, Loma Linda, Rancho Cucamonga and the northern end of Fontana and it leans Democratic by a 41 percent to 37.5 percent margin. The district is also heavily Hispanic.
For now, both representatives are analyzing their best options. Lewis has publicly said he would like to run for the 31st District but is also looking at the possibility of running for the newly created 8th district, which includes Highland, Yucaipa, the San Bernardino Mountains, the entire High Desert and sections of Mono and Inyo counties.
Baca, who has not announced which district he will try to seek, could run for the 35th District, which includes the cities of Pomona, Montclair, Ontario, Chino, Bloomington, and portions of Fontana and Rialto, heavily dominated by Democrats.
However, on Sept. 6, Gloria Negrete McLeod announced her campaign for that seat, giving the impression that Baca would seek the 31st District. McLeod, who has more than 15 years of political experience, said she wants to take her brand of independence and common sense leadership to Washington, DC.
“Our next member of Congress needs to focus on job creation and ensure our limited resources are invested in programs that improve the lives of everyday Californians,” said McLeod.
Assemblymember Norma Torres, a Democrat now serving in the 61st District, announced that she is also seeking the 35th Congressional District seat.
THE NEWLY redrawn 47th Assembly District has sparked interest by Cheryl Brown, president of the local NAACP chapter and publisher of Black Voice News, and by Joe Baca Jr., who is a Rialto council member.
The district, which includes Fontana, Rialto, Colton, and the western portion of San Bernardino, is currently represented by Wilmer Amina Carter under a different number, the 62nd. Due to term limits, Carter cannot run for re-election.
Baca Jr. previously served a single term in the Assembly, from 2004 to 2006, but lost to McLeod in a bid for the State Senate.
Brown also has a background in politics, having served as a field representative for Carter and McLeod.
With McLeod running for the 35th congressional district, she leaves the 20th Senate district open. The district, which includes Pomona, Montclair, Ontario, Bloomington, Colton, Grand Terrace, Rialto and Fontana, has no current candidates.