Former Labor Department Secretary Hilda Solis (D) and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, are splitting with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and backing attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes (D) in a crowded three-way primary.
"Eloise Gomez Reyes is the person for the job," Solis said in a statement released by Gomez Reyes's campaign. "She has spent her entire career fighting for working families and people who can’t fight for themselves. She will bring that same tenacity to the fight to bring jobs to the Inland Empire. Eloise is one tough lady and she will not be intimidated by the extremist leaders of the GOP or their big bank accounts."
Gomez Reyes also has the backing of EMILY's List, which backs Democratic women who support abortion rights. She raised $300,000 last fundraising quarter, more than double what Aguilar brought in, though the two have approximately the same amount of money in the bank at about a half-million dollars apiece.
The Democratic-leaning district east of Los Angeles is a top pickup opportunity, and the DCCC endorsement of Aguilar was designed to make sure a Democrat got through to the general election against Miller.
The congressman's decision to retire has made the district even more likely to flip no matter which Democrats emerge from the all-party primary, which might have made it easier for Solis — and especially for Becerra — to break with party leadership and back Gomez Reyes in the race.
A former Miller staffer has jumped into the race to replace him, giving Republicans a potentially viable candidate, but Republicans acknowledge the district would be very tough to hold onto.