Freshman Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif., announced Tuesday she will not seek re-election in California’s 35th District, instead opting for a bid for county supervisor back home in the Golden State.
“I have chosen to seek election to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and not reelection to Congress,” Negrete McLeod said in a news release. “This was a decision not made lightly. However my desire to represent this community locally, where I have lived for more than forty years, and where I have long served as an elected official, won out. My federal, state, and local experience will allow me the opportunity to effectively represent the constituents of the Fourth District.”
CQ Roll Call reported last month that Negrete McLeod, 72, was mulling a bid for San Bernadino County supervisor. Democratic officials said the position, which oversees one of the largest counties in California, has arguably more power than a sophomore member of Congress in the minority.
Negrete McLeod’s announcement came minutes after fellow Democratic Rep. Rush D. Holt of New Jersey announced his own retirement . They are the latest two in a long list of House members who will not be returning next cycle .
Last cycle, Negrete McLeod defeated former Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., in a messy general election enabled by the state’s brand-new top-two primary, which allowed for members of the same party to advance.
After initially eyeing a rematch a year ago, Baca switched to run in the neighboring 31st District in a crowded Democratic primary.
Local Democratic operatives speculated that Baca could move over to the 35th District. However, Baca told CQ Roll Call on Tuesday that he will continue his bid in the 31st.
“Not that I know of,” Baca said in a Tuesday phone interview. “I’m running in the 31st congressional seat. I’ve been running there. That’s where I’m at.”
Another early name mentioned as a potential successor to Negrete McLeod is state Sen. Norma Torres.
Candidates have until March 7 to file the necessary paperwork for a bid. A top-two primary, in which the two highest vote recipients regardless of party affiliation advance to the general, will be held June 3.
California’s 35th District is rated a Safe Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. President Barack Obama carried it by a 37-point margin in 2012.