John Duarte, the Democratic candidate for California’s 13th Congressional District

John Duarte, the Democratic candidate for California's 13th Congressional District

Your guide to the California Congressional District 13 race: John Duarte vs. Adam Gray for the seat up for grabs in November.

(CNN) — John Duarte, the Democratic candidate for California’s 13th Congressional District, talks about his campaign and why he believes his supporters are willing to stand up for their beliefs when it comes to their elected official.

It’s the last week of October, and it’s a pivotal point in voters’ minds.

As he waits for his party’s presidential candidate to win, who will be his opponent on November 6, we’ll have a special look at the district’s congressional race through the eyes of John Duarte, who may have come from an unproven, but familiar, pool of Democratic voters.

He was a state assemblyman and lieutenant governor of Michigan, he was the vice president of the California Democratic Party and he served as a Democratic state assemblyman for almost five years starting in 2004, but now he’s the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House seat held by Republican incumbent David Valadao.

The seat is a toss-up between Democrats, and there are four Republican candidates in all to compete.

“I grew up in San Diego, and I’m from southern California, so the majority of the 13th is southern California,” says Duarte. “I know how important the 13th is in the state of California to our state. People in the 13th, and especially people in the south side of the district, just feel like they have been left behind by the rest of the state.

“They feel like they have a lot more on their plate and they are trying to get ahead of everybody.”

The district stretches from San Diego to Baja California, and includes all of coastal California north of Los Angeles County. It includes parts of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The last time a Democrat ran for this seat was in 1986 and was defeated by the incumbent, Republican Valadao, who was re-elected in 1988 and again in 1992.

On the Republican side, there is a man, former state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who has done well in this district in his previous campaigns and is well-known in the area.

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