In a campaign that could see close to $2 million spent by candidates and independent expenditures, the ink is not even dry on the filing documents but the battle cries have been sounded. Assemblyman Curt Hagman and Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod are the two big names with the lesser known James Na all vying for the Fourth District seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.
Negrete McLeod waited a week to pull papers. Upon her announcement, Hagman wrote, "I welcome Congresswoman Negrete McLeod to the race. I look forward to hearing how she can make the county safer after she voted to release 20,000 dangerous inmates and voted to release even more through realignment.” Hagman was referring to her votes on SB 18XXX and AB 109, the controversial prisoner release and realignment bills that resulted in tens of thousands of prisoners being dumped on streets of California.
Not long after her announcement, www.BigGovernmentGloria.com was launched to inform the public of Negrete McLeod’s congressional votes. The website is the creation of the California Next Generation PAC, an organization of young California conservatives.
The Fourth District seat is currently held by Gary Ovitt. Ovitt is one of three county supervisors who voted in favor of a $102 million settlement with Colonies Partners over a disputed flood control district in Upland. Ovitt’s chief of staff, Mark Kirk, is currently under indictment for accepting a bribe to obtain Ovitt’s vote on the settlement. Ovitt is an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
Ovitt reluctantly chose to retire from the seat only after polling showed he could not win over potential challengers such as Hagman. Insiders say Ovitt is supporting Negrete-McLeod due to her being considered the weaker of the two.
Ovitt was instrumental in bringing Greg Devereaux on board as the County Executive Officer. Devereaux is known for his micromanagement of the members of the Board of Supervisors, including getting them to pass a “non-interference” clause as part of the County’s municipal code. Negrete McLeod is considered to be too weak to challenge Devereaux whereas Hagman is known for his aggressive approach to constituent needs.
Hagman is one of only a handful of Assembly Republicans who has been successful in getting bills passed in the Democratic-controlled California Legislature. Although he takes strong positions on conservative issues, he is able to work with the Democrats to accomplish common goals.
Negrete-McLeod is a strong supporter of President Obama. She voted 31 times to uphold Obamacare including voting against a bill to allow consumers to keep their current insurance policies. The bill, HR 3350, passed 261-157 (Roll Call vote 587)