CULAC Candidate Aguilar Advances
CUNA-backed congressional candidate Pete Aguilar, mayor of Redlands, Calif., has reportedly advanced to the general election after taking second place in the CA-31 primary.
Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.), who currently holds the seat, announced his retirement earlier this year.
Republican Paul Chabot received the most votes with Aguilar taking the second spot. Democrat Eloise Gomez Reyes has conceded and endorsed Aguilar, a former Arrowhead Central Credit Union executive.
“I called Pete Aguilar this afternoon and congratulated him on securing a spot in the General Election. I told Pete that he has my full support and that I am going to work hard to help him get elected because the stakes are important,” said Eloise Gomez Reyes.
In California, every congressional candidate, regardless of party, runs on the same ballot in primary elections. The top two candidates that garner the most votes face off in the general election. The results of the CA-31 primary have not been officially certified.
Aguilar lost to Miller in the 2012 election. Miller had expressed disappointment in the California Credit Union League for supporting Aguilar.
CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins told CU Times the choice between Aguilar and the other candidates in the primary was crystal clear for the trade association’s PAC.
“We believe his background working at a credit union, and hence understanding of the unique role credit unions play for working families in their communities, will give him unique insight into the challenges faced by the constituents he hopes to serve if elected this fall,” Hawkins said.
He added that the decision to support Aguilar was made jointly with the California Credit Union League.
CULAC contributed $10,000 directly to the Aguilar campaign and conducted an independent expenditure consisting of direct mail pieces, digital ads, Pandora online radio ads, and a website aimed at likely voters.
Hawkins said CULAC spent slightly more than $197,000 on the IE.
“We are proud to support Mr. Aguilar, who as a former credit union executive has a strong history of advocating for working families in the Inland Valley of California, and we look forward to his success in November,” Hawkins said.