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Friday, June 10, 2011

California Redistricting: First Official Draft

A few days after a staff draft, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission has produced its first official draft of House district lines.

Richard Simon writes at The Los Angeles Times:

David Wasserman, House editor of the Cook Political Report, said the maps could boost the Democrats’ numbers in the state’s 53-member House delegation by four seats, identifying as among the biggest losers in the remapping proposals Dreier, of San Dimas, and fellow Republicans Elton Gallegly of Simi Valley, Gary Miller of Diamond Bar and either Brian Bilbray of Carlsbad or Jeff Denham of Atwater.

Congressional staffs and party officials pored over the maps today, scrambling to crunch the demographic and political numbers in order to get a better understanding of their political prospects.

The new maps promise to cause political migraines for a number of incumbents, including one of Los Angeles’ most enduring Democratic politicians, Howard L. Berman.

Berman could face a challenge from a well-known Latino if he runs in a more Latino east San Fernando Valley district carved from a chunk of the congressman’s current district, or a possible race against fellow Democrat Brad Sherman in a new district that includes Berman’s home and extends through the west San Fernando Valley.

Virtually all of state’s House members gain new territory, forcing them to make themselves known to new potential voters fast before the 2012 election. Some are likely to have to go shopping for a new home. House members are not required to live in their districts but could face charges of carpetbagging if they don’t move into the districts where they run.

"It certainly means there will be a lot of battlefields in California," said Sherman, whose district was extended westward through the west San Fernando Valley into Ventura County to include territory he previously represented.

Old lines.........................................................New Draft Lines

2001 Congressional District Map of California2011 First Draft Congressional District Map of California