Last night, the House of Representatives voted to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Five Republicans voted yes on the measure, but Mary Bono Mack wasn’t one of them. Her vote is very relevant because she is the only Republican to represent a district with more 10% LGBT population. CA-45 voted 51-46 for Obama in 2008 and is on the DCCC target list. Bono Mack has not faced a formidable challenge in past election cycles, her lowest total victory was 58% in 2008 against former Assemblywoman Julie Bornstein.
One could attribute her vote against the repeal to the fact that she received a Tea Party, Palin backed primary challenge. The Democrats fielded a good candidate in Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, who is making serious challenge for this seat. Now is the time to start paying attention to this race, as Bono Mack’s vote will be an issue with many of her constituents. CQ Politics rates the race as Likely Republican, which means there was a good chance of a pickup even before the vote.