New election rules have the top two vote-earners in the primary contest moving to the general election.
Kenny Coble, a Republican owner of a construction company, and Assemblywoman Norma Torres, D-Chino, will face off to represent a district that includes Pomona, Montclair, Chino, Ontario and parts of Fontana.
Torres has represented the 61st Assembly District since 2008 and is finishing her second term.
Job creation and local control for the L.A./Ontario International Airport are considered major issues for the district. Ontario officials have been trying to regain control of the airport from its owner and operator Los Angeles World Airports.
"I feel very strongly about local control for the Ontario airport," Coble said.
"When Ontario gave up control to Los Angeles, it made sense, for L.A. to handle. But it's grown into a position now where that is not the case. The Ontario Airport is a key element of the infrastructure in this region."
Torres said local control of the airport is key to economic development for the area. She also said she carried legislation that allows for a member of SANBAG, the San Bernardino Associated Governments, to be on the Gold Line board. The Gold Line board is dominated by Los Angeles County officials.
"I think that has been my focus to encourage job growth," Torres said.
"If you look at my legislation, that has been our primary focus to ensure we grow the economy in the Inland Empire. One example is the Gold Line extension to the Ontario airport. Those are real jobs and a real benefit, not just to the Assembly, but to the benefit of the region. My plans are to continue to work with (Los Angeles and San Bernardino) counties to ensure that goal becomes a reality."
Recent legislation that has been a sore issue for local officials has been the loss of redevelopment money with the dissolution of redevelopment agencies.
Gov. Jerry Brown and the majority Democrats in Sacramento decided to do away with the state's redevelopment agencies this year in order to divert property tax money to schools and public services as the state faces major budget shortfalls.
"That was obviously a very difficult decision for me, especially coming from local government," Torres said.
"However, when you are faced with a $32 billion deficit and when you are having to cut 75 percent of the budget spent on education, we have to set priorities ... we can no longer continue to back pay school districts, so cities can have money to give away to their developer friends."
Local officials have derided the decision because issues of borrowed money and remaining revenue for existing projects stays unresolved.
Regional leaders said they now lose the ability to finance major development projects, attract businesses and create jobs.
Coble, chairman of the Pomona Planning Commission, called attention to an unfinished mixed use project on Second Street and the loss of a street widening project in Montclair.
"Norma voted to take away the RDA funds and that hurt us," Coble said.
"Our redevelopment train was starting to roll and she voted against that."
Reach Neil via email, call him at 909-483-9356, or find him on Twitter @InlandGov.