The pro-gun California Democrat who was defeated last year because he was targeted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC is running for Congress again.
Joe Baca announced on his website Monday that he’ll run in California’s 31st District to take on GOP Rep. Gary Miller, a top Democratic target for 2014. Baca had previously indicated he would seek a rematch against Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, also a Democrat, in the 35th District.
Negrete McLeod, then a state senator, was aided by more than $3 million in last-minute advertising last fall from Independence USA, the super PAC Bloomberg launched with his own money. Bloomberg wants Independence USA to back candidates who support tougher gun laws and same-sex marriage and want to improve schools. Baca, who had supported the NRA in the past but didn’t have the group’s endorsement in 2012, didn’t mince words when he lost.
“At the end of the day, I was defeated by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his super PAC,” said Baca, who was first elected to Congress in 1999.
It’s too early to say if Bloomberg’s super PAC, which played a role in the special election of Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., this month, will take an interest in the California race. Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, had already announced he wants to run in the 21st District. (Candidates of the same party in California can now meet each other in the general election because the state imposed a “jungle” primary system in which the top two finishers move on to the next round of balloting — regardless of the party label next to their name.)