The Citizens Redistricting Commission on Friday voted to adopt the state's new political boundaries, sealing its decision to bind the fate of two longtime congressmen.
Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, whose residence would now be in Rep. Joe Baca's district, will have a decision to make - move into a new district similar to the area he currently represents, or face off against Baca, D-San Bernardino, in Baca's home district.
A new Latino district is drawing candidate interest as Rebecca Kimitch reports in the Pasadena Star-News:
The new congressional district maps released Friday are already creating potential races that six months ago would have been unthinkable.
El Monte Councilwoman Norma Macias has become the latest elected official considering a run in a new San Gabriel Valley-centered district.
Already Assemblymen Anthony Portantino and Roger Hernandez have expressed interest in representing the same district.
Macias announced Friday, hours before the California Redistricting Commission tentatively approved its new maps, that she has opened a campaign committee and begun raising money for a congressional bid.
"I'm exploring it right now, and doing my due diligence," said Macias, stressing that she has not yet made an official declaration.
Though Macias' political experience is limited - her election to the El Monte City Council in 2009 was her first - she has some heavyweights backing her bid: Congresswomen Loretta and Linda Sanchez are her cousins.
While the Sanchez sisters have served as role models, Macias said it was the sheer opportunity provided by redistricting that inspired her to run.
The district Macias, Hernandez and Portantino are interested in representing is made up of a block of cities including all or part of El Monte, Baldwin Park, West Covina, Covina, Azusa, La Puente, Duarte, and San Dimas, incorporating much of the East San Gabriel Valley. Politics there are dominated by Latino Democrats. The only incumbent currently living in the district is Republican Rep. David Dreier of San Dimas.
Dreier has so far largely been seen as a loser in the redistricting game. His current district stretches from along the foothills into San Bernardino County and includes San Dimas, Glendora and La Verne. And the new district would be almost entirely new territory for him.
The Los Angeles Times reports on Democratic incumbents:
Democrats Xavier Becerra and Lucille Roybal-Allard issued separate news releases announcing their plans to run for two Eastside-area and Southeast districts, the 34th Congressional District for him, the 40th for her.
A little farther north, Democratic Rep. Lois Capps of Santa Barbara, already in Republicans' sites in her newly drawn district, reaffirmed she's running again in what will be the new 24th.
And Rep. Howard Berman, whose San Fernando Valley home will be in the same district as that of Rep. Brad Sherman, a fellow Democrat, also said he's running in that new district, the 30th.
The new lines will get a final commission vote Aug. 15 but are unlikely to change. They are posing a real dilemma for recently seated Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro).
Her current 36th Congressional District, which basically runs up the coast to Venice, has been divided among three new districts.
Her home is in territory traditionally represented by African Americans, long allies of the Hahn political family, and there already is some concern among black leaders that Hahn might try to take one of "their" seats.
"Ten days ago, I took the oath of office as a new member of Congress," Hahn said in a statement early Friday afternoon. "Today that district was taken away from me and split into three very different districts."
What's she going to do? If she has decided, it wasn't apparent from her statement:
"Regardless of which district the voters of the old 36th were placed into under these lines, they should rest assured that I will fight for the very issues I campaigned on each and every day," she said in the statement.
Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman, who gained much of Hahn's turf in a new district that runs from his Beverly Hills base and Malibu down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, said he expects the new maps to lead to expensive campaigns and put California's political clout in Washington at risk.
"some of our senior people will be forced into costly and difficult election campaigns," Waxman said in a Capitol interview Friday. "Many of them won't return, which I think will hurt the clout of the state in a Congress where seniority matters as much as it does."