First, a brief note. Did you know that if you are a registered Democrat, you have a say in who gets the endorsement of your party? Fill out the form here and snail mail or scan and email it to the address shown. This is part of the little known caucus system that doles out endorsements, since primaries were made into a "top two" system by a recent California ballot proposition. Or attend the caucus on Sunday at 3 pm, at the Ontario teachers union offices - this will be the best opportunity to meet all viable candidates. If I attend I'll make sure to tweet my thoughts and impressions, and maybe even vote on a candidate for my personal endorsement. (Disclaimer - I am a registered Democrat who has no idea who to pick at this point.)
Now onto the final list of candidates (if you missed my preliminary look, click here) and my capsule impressions of them.
Paul Vincent Avila
Ontario City Councilmember, former school board member, perennial candidate - has interesting ideas but has a tendency to speak off the cuff. Endorsed Paul Leon in the State Senate election, which caused grumblings from some Democrats that wanted to kick him out of the party (he is running as a Democrat). No website or social media presence.
Chino councilman. Runs an insurance agency. No other information available. Chino elects their councilmembers at large. Web site does not work, which is not a good sign.
Pomona councilman, southwest Pomona district. Paramedic by training. Endorsed by Norma Torres and a bunch of other Latino Democrats. Touts business friendliness which may not actually be the case. Fundraising a possible concern - not very much for his mayor's race.
Pomona school board member and instructor at Cal Poly Pomona. Well liked by students. Endorsed by Faculty Association, California Teachers Association next? (Was endorsed by Pomona teacher's union in school board election.) Liberal/progressive - former Green Party member.
Engineer by training, former district director for Norma Torres. Worked to help high school kids enter university, and legislative staffer dating back to the Nell Soto days. Endorsed by Joe Baca, three Pomona councilmembers (the most out of any candidate), and supported by former Senator and champion of immigrant rights Gil Cedillo. Nothing on the web site about any issues he might focus on or support - even vaguely.
Former Pomona councilwoman. Currently public affairs specialist at the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and has a legislative interest in environmental issues. Granddaughter of Nell Soto. Endorsed by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod. Lost council election by 2:1, possibly due to trash station issue. But, at least had the decency to finish her term.
Union organizer. Not much known about her - I don't even know if this is the same person that ran in a Rancho Cucamonga district over a decade ago
Business owner. The only Republican on the ballot, which might be good for at least a few percentage points on its own, but has no Internet presence.
Mayor of Ontario. Website doesn't work. The Facebook works, although the campaign seems to like to tease its viewers like the local TV news. The Senate website works though, which gives you insight in his issues. Thinks that going "decline to state" may help get more voters, because he is not tarred with the scarlet "R" next to his name, but has pledged that his values remain the same, which are "Christian Conservative".
It may be helpful, from a pure positioning perspective, to rank the candidates from left to right, or from "progressive" to "conservative". After talking to various individuals and doing some research, you generally could rank the candidates in the following order from left to right: Rothman, Soto, Rodriguez, Saucedo, Leon - with Avila on an orthogonal compass to this and not enough information on Haughey, Wallace, or Pineda (and neither of those three likely to make the runoff).
The problem with Sacramento lobbyists analyzing the ground game here is that they often get it wrong. Rudy Favila and Kenny Coble never qualified; while her grandma might have called her "Dani" no one I know calls Danielle Soto that, professionally or personally; and there are nine candidates, not ten, and two on the list did not qualify (Paul Vincent Avila was the person omitted.)