"I made some great friendships earlier this year and I wanted to stop in and wish them happy holidays. Just trying to spread some holiday cheer from sunny Southern California," he said in an email to The Hill.

Aguilar was a top Democratic recruit in California's 31st district, but he failed to make it to the general election due to California's new all-party primary system, which dictates that the top two vote-getters in the primary move on to the November general election regardless of party.

Aguilar finished third in the primary, behind Miller and Republican state Sen. Bob Dutton, after three other Democrats on the ballot split the Democratic vote.

Though Miller won reelection, President Obama won his district, and Democrats have a 5 percentage point registration advantage there, indicating this could be a top pickup opportunity for Democrats in 2014. 

Aguilar demurred when asked whether he planned to run again, but he didn't close the door to the option.

"I continue to be interested in serving my community. I'm just privileged to be serving currently as Mayor in Redlands. Nothing else at this point of interest," he said.