Two former state legislators from Southern California switched political teams, so to speak, last week.
Former Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, a Ventura County Republican who made a strong bid for Congress last year, challenging Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley, was chosen by Eric Garcetti, the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, to be a deputy mayor handling homeland security and public safety issues.
Joe Baca, who was a a Democratic assemblyman, senator and congressman for several decades, representing San Bernardino County, announced that he was switching parties and becoming a Republican.
Gorell brings his experience as a Ventura County prosecutor and a military intelligence officer to his new position, which pays $182,768 a year. By accepting Garcetti’s appointment, he passes up an opportunity to run for the Ventura County Board of Supervisors next year.
Baca was a “blue dog” Democrat in Congress, often at odds with liberals. He said his switch of parties “follows my core Christian values and how I voted the majority of the time.”
It also follows two losses to Democratic rivals in congressional races in 2012 and 2014.