Touting GOP Ties, Leon Aims To Break Democratic Gridlock In State Senate Race

(April 19) Having outdistanced four other candidates vying to succeed  Gloria Negrete-McLeod as State Senator in the 32nd District, Ontario Mayor Paul Leon is now looking to best former Pomona mayor and current assemblywoman Norma Torres in a run-off election May 14 to move into the California Legislature’s upper house.
A Republican, Leon is seeking to propound the conservative fiscal principles of his party in a campaign against Torres, a Democrat whose party enjoys a 48 to 28 percent registration advantage over Republicans in the 32nd District.
On March 12, Torres and Leon fought to the top of the heap of six candidates in the special election that was held because Negrete-McLeod, who was reelected to a four-year term in the state Senate in 2010, resigned that post to depart to Washington D.C. after she was elected to Congress in November.
Torres proved the top vote-getter with 13,295 votes or 43.6 percent throughout the district, which spreads into both Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Leon polled 8,064 votes or 26.4 percent in both counties. Since no candidate captured a majority of the vote, the run-off will be held on May 14.
Torres and Leon bested Democrat Larry Walker, with 13.9 percent; Joanne Gilbert, also a Democrat, who received seven percent; Ken Coble, a Republican, who polled 6.5 percent; and Paul Vincent Avila, a Democrat by registration who was disowned by his own party after he engaged in the highly unorthodox move of endorsing Leon, who garnered 2.6 percent.
Despite the voter registration numbers in the 32nd District favoring Democrats, Leon believes he can make a successful electoral appeal based upon what he insists is the Republicans’ more level-headed approach to governance and his demonstrated success in applying those Republican principals to Ontario, which is the most successful city in San Bernardino County in terms of economic performance and revenue generation based upon sales tax inflow.
“The way this state has of creating overregulation kills jobs,” Leon said, noting that what he called the tax and spend philosophy of the Democrats, who now have a supermajority in both the state Senate and Assembly, is to blame for the overregulation.  The tide is turning against the Democrats, Leon said, despite the political upper hand they now hold. “People have this idea there will be this groundswell and  all of the things the Democrats are pushing will end in one swoop,” he said. “That isn’t true. We [the Republicans] need to take each seat we can back to change the face of politics in the state to California.”
Leon cited the experience Ontario had in fighting off challenges to a WalMart superstore that is supposed to be built at Fifth and Mountain in Ontario at the site of the old White Front Department Store. He said the delay in that project is directly attributable to the overregulation mentality typical of Democrats and the legislation they have put in place allowing for the proliferation of lawsuits against development of commercial uses on environmental grounds.
“In Ontario we fought for nine years to allow a WalMart to come in,” Leon said. “That WalMart represented more jobs and an increase in local business and tax revenues but it was challenged for years by a California Environmental Quality Act lawsuit. Becaue of the holdup, the city of Ontario lost into our general fund over $8 million and that does not include the increase in business that would  have taken place around that center. That is just one example of what is going on in the state of California. Businesses are leaving the state or never opening up in the first place because they don’t want to pay what the state of California imposes on them in terms of taxes and regulations.”
Leon said he represents a superior choice to Torres because of both his party affiliation and basic political orientation.
“The Democratic Party, in my mind, has not remembered what it takes to run local municipalities,  and having one more Democratic senator will exacerbate the problem,” Leon said. “My intention is to balance the scales in Sacramento and help undo the mismanagement and bring fiscal responsibility. My main objective is to put California back to work so our citizens have the money to pay for goods and services, so we can rejuvenate the economy.”

Leave a Reply