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Republican Assemblyman Jeff Miller is touting an unusual new endorsement in his bid for the targeted 31st Senate District: a former Democratic rival.

Miller's campaign announced today that Steve Clute, the former Democratic assemblyman who came in third in the June 5 primary for the Inland Empire seat, has endorsed him over Democratic candidate Richard Roth.

"Although our party of preference means ideologically we may not agree on every issue, one thing I know is Jeff Miller will stand up for Riverside County," Clute said in a statement released by the Miller campaign. "Voters can trust that Jeff will stand up for us when it comes to ending government waste; funding our local schools and most importantly getting our local businesses growing again. In these difficult times, supporting the best candidate is more important than party preference."

Clute, who was endorsed by the state Democratic Party, won 20 percent of the vote in the primary. Labor unions spent heavily to help Roth, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's preferred candidate, make the top two runoff.

The 31st Senate District is one of this election's most competitive races. A win for Democrats could deliver a two-thirds majority in the upper house.


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