If the trend continues, and there is no reason at this time to believe it will not, the top two vote-getters in the race for Senate District 32 are Democrat assembly member Norma Torres and Republican Ontario mayor Paul Leon. The special election to fill the seat vacated by Gloria Negrete-McLeod, after her successful bid for a seat in the United States House of Representatives, was held today.
Leon, one of two Republicans in the race, did not receive the endorsement of the Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Janice Rutherford. Rutherford, a Republican, instead endorsed Democrat County Tax Collector Larry Walker. Walker is on track to finish in third place, thus eliminating his chances for the seat.
This is not the first time the highest ranking Republican in a county-level seat has thrown her party aside to endorse a Democrat. Last year Rutherford endorsed challenger Democrat James Ramos for Third District supervisor over Republican incumbent Neil Derry.
Rutherford was facing possible charges of money laundering at the time. Unlike Derry, who was charged with a felony for a lesser offense than what Rutherford was accused of, Rutherford threw her weight towards the hand-selected choice of District Attorney Mike Ramos. Although not related, the two Ramoses have a long-standing relationship.
Mike Ramos, a Democrat-turned-Republican, also endorsed Walker. When Ramos decided to run for higher office in San Bernardino County, what was then a Red county, he switched parties but has endorsed Democrats from time to time since his conversion.
Walker's Republican endorsements did nothing to help him. The runoff will take place May 14, 2013, and he will not be a part of it.
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