Joe Baca, Jerry Lewis Showdown Won’t Happen

Posted September 14, 2011 at 8:10pm

Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) announced this week that he will run in the newly drawn 35th district in San Bernardino County. He doesn’t live in the new district, but it includes much of his current territory.

The 35th is far more Democratic than the 31st district, in which he could have faced Rep. Jerry Lewis (R) in a competitive general election.

However, Baca’s decision sets up an interesting Democratic primary against state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, who made her candidacy for the 35th district official last week.

In a 2006 state Senate Democratic primary, Negrete McLeod defeated Baca’s son, Joe Baca Jr., by more than 20 points.

Last week, before Baca’s announcement, Lewis told Roll Call he doubted he would run in a district to the east to avoid a showdown with Baca.

“There’s a district in the desert I could run in, but frankly I’m not inclined to,” Lewis said. “Even though you technically don’t have to live in your district to run there, I think you really should. Getting my wife to consider selling our home in Redlands is a pretty big stretch in the meantime.”