Three Democrats will face off in today’s primary in hopes of challenging Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, in the 45th Congressional District.
The Democrats are former Assemblywoman Julie Bornstein, 59, of Palm Desert, an attorney; Paul Clay, 50, of Murrieta, a high school teacher; and David Hunsicker, 69, a real estate appraiser from Palm Desert.
Throughout the campaign, all have worked to link Bono Mack with President Bush and the war in Iraq — a war that she voted for and supports.
The winner of the Democratic primary is likely to square off with Bono Mack in November, since the incumbent’s only opponent in the Republican primary is George Pearne, 59, a retired teacher from Moreno Valley who has raised no money for his campaign.
Bornstein served two years in the state Assembly in the 1990s and was named “Rookie of the Year” in the Legislature by the California Journal in 1994. She also served as chief deputy state controller under Kathleen Connell and was director of community development under Gov. Gray Davis. She is a strong proponent of affordable housing.
Murietta school teacher Paul Clay has been an activist in the Perris Union High School for several years and wants to repeal the No Child Left Behind federal education law.
Hunsicker, a retired Air Force lieutenant, wants to modify portions of the Patriot Act and also supports Salton Sea restoration.
Bono Mack, 46, said she will run on her legislative record in Congress, particularly her gathering of more than $15 million in federal funding for the Palm Springs International Airport and $30 million for the Salton Sea projects.
Bono Mack has also disagreed with Bush on stem cell research and on spending for children’s health insurance. Last month, Bono Mack voted to override a presidential veto on the 2008 Farm Bill.