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First-Term House Member Opts to Seek Local Office

<p>A freshman congresswoman forgoes the Beltway to run for a county seat.</p>
Image: Gloria Negrete McLeod

Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif., beat a five-term incumbent in 2012 to win a newly redrawn California district. On Tuesday, the freshman congresswoman announced she won't be seeking re-election. Instead, she is running for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

"This was a decision not made lightly. However my desire to represent this community locally, where I have lived for more than 40 years and where I have long served as an elected official, won out," Negrete MacLeod said in a statement. "My federal, state, and local experience will allow me the opportunity to effectively represent the constituents of the Fourth District" of San Bernardino County.

Negrete McLeod, who has 10 children, 25 grandchildren and 29 great-granchildren, has lived in Chino, Calif., for 44 years with her husband Gilbert McLeod, a retired police lieutenant. She also had served in the California Assembly and Senate and on her community board.

Last year, Negrete McLeod told NBC Latino she had issues with the border security aspects of the Senate immigration bill, saying she "resented" that part of the bill, unless it included securing the border with Canada too. She had introduced legislation on veterans and student loans.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent $3 million to defeat Joe Baca, the incumbent Negrete McLeod beat. Baca told The Hill newspaper Tuesday he would not run for Negrete McLeod's seat, saying Bloomberg and others would do the same against him if he did. Because of their spending, the district ended up with "some bimbo who decided not to run again," Baca told the Hill.

However, President Barack Obama and the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus praised her in statements.