Ex-Rep. Baca bashes 'bimbo' Negrete McLeod, won't run for seat

Former Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) won't switch districts to run for Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod's (D-Calif.) seat.

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"No, I'm running for the 31st Congressional seat," Baca told The Hill when reached by phone shortly after Negrete McLeod's announcement that she'll leave Congress after one term. "That has no bearing on me making any kind of decision, I've already made my decision to run in the 31st which is my old district and a vacancy. There's no incumbent in that seat, I'm a veteran with a proving track record and experience and seniority matters."

Baca lost to Negrete McLeod in a nasty all-party race in 2012, and is now running for retiring Rep. Gary Miller's (R-Calif.) seat. National Democrats have sought to block him from winning the nomination in that seat; the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has endorsed Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D).

The former congressman lost his race to McLeod partly because then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent nearly $3 million attacking him on environmental and gun issues, and has raised a paltry sum so far for his comeback attempt, with approximately $20,000 in the bank.

He slammed both Bloomberg and DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) for meddling in California politics, and said they'd work against him no matter where he ran — and took a final shot at McLeod, his longtime foe, calling her a "bimbo."

"What's the difference? They've conspired to work against me in one, they'd turn around and do the same in the other, right? Would you roll the dice and hope they wouldn't?" he asked rhetorically.

"Look at what we wound up with: Some bimbo who decided not to run again. ... Here we go again now with another New Yorker trying to tell us who's going to be the representative of the 31st. It's up to the people to decide."

Negrete McLeod declined to respond to Baca when reached by phone Tuesday afternoon.

"I have no comment on the infamous Joe Baca," she said.

UPDATE: 

Baca called back Tuesday evening to apologize for his "poor choice of words."

"I was just upset the district lost a representative in a short period of time. To me, that's a disservice to the area. I do apologize for my poor choice of words," Baca told The Hill.

This post was last updated at 6:10 p.m.