Etiwanda & Fontana School Board Members In AD 50 Electoral Final

A board member with the Etiwanda School District and a board member with the Fontana Unified School District will face one another in a run-off election to determine who will succeed Eloise Gomez Reyes in representing State Assembly District 50 in California’s lower legislative house.
An unknown number of mail ballots yet remain to be counted, but the difference between Perez, in second, and the third place finisher renders the Garcia-Perez match-up an inevitability.
As of 4 p.m. on Friday March 8, with all 6,905 votes from the 50th District’s 358 precincts counted and 30,798 mail-in ballots which had come in so far and were counted, Garcia had 11,709 total votes, equal to 42.35 percent of the total, compared to Perez’s 8,309 votes or 30.06 percent. A third candidate, DeJonaé Shaw, had collected 7,386 votes or 26.72 percent.
Garcia, of Rancho Cucamonga, outperformed Perez, of Fontana, both at the polls and with mail-in ballots, with 1,681 votes at the district’s polling places and 10,028 votes cast by mail, to Perez’s 1,439 votes and 6,870 votes, respectively.
Of note is that all three of the candidates, Garcia, Perez and Shaw, are, at least ostensibly and officially, Democrats. That this is the case and that the Republicans did not field any competitors in the 50th Assembly District is entirely logical given the voter registration numbers in the jurisdiction. The district, which covers all of Bloomington, Colton and Loma Linda along with parts of Fontana, Ontario, Redlands, Rialto, Rancho Cucamonga and San Bernardino, has 254,975 voters, 115,918 or 45.5 percent of whom are registered Democrats, in contrast to the 62,417 or 24.5 percent who are registered Republicans. Of the remaining voters in the dictrict, 55,580 or 21.8 percent are unaligned with any political party and 8.2 percent are members of the American Independent, Green, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom or more obscure parties.
Republicans thus deemed running a candidate from their party to be futile. Rather, the GOP has coalesced around Perez in an effort to get him into office, out of the perception that he more than the others is in line with their philosophy. He was endorsed by Republican officeholders in the local area, including Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren, San Bernardino City Councilman Ted Sanchez and Mt. San Jacinto Community College Trustee Brian Sylva. Accordingly, many Democrats consider him to be a closeted Republican and he has been referred to as DINO – a Democrat in Name Only – and a wolf among the sheep, a Republican in Democrat’s clothing.
Looking toward November, there has been hope expressed by some that Perez can overcome the advantage Garcia was able to demonstrate over Perez on Tuesday in which he outgunned him with voters by a better than ten to seven margin by having several deep-pocketed donors support an aggressive campaign by which Perez will emphasize with the 50th District’s high propensity Democrats that he is a registered Democrat, while simultaneously, an independent expenditure committee with no ostensible ties to Perez carries out an attack campaign against Garcia targeting Democrats and independents and a Perez promotional campaign with Republicans. This would replicate in precise detail the handiwork of Warren’s machine’s political operatives in the past.
Meanwhile, Warren, who over the course of two decades built up her reputation as San Bernardino County’s leading African American Republican, has found herself in the GOP doghouse. Last September, after members of the Republican Central Committee raised her support of several Democrats, including Congresswoman Norma Torres and her son, Robert Torres, who this week vied unsuccessfully for the California legislature in the 53rd Assembly District, Parliamentarian Ben Lopez offered his assurance that Warren would no longer be active within the San Bernardino County Republican Central Committee.
-Mark Gutglueck

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