California’s Political Musical Chairs

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California Today

Newly drawn legislature maps person scrambled the calculus for immoderate incumbent lawmakers and those seeking to unseat them.

Jill Cowan

Jan. 4, 2022, 8:39 a.m. ET


Members of California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission gathered past  week aft  finalizing authorities   legislative and legislature  territory  maps.
Credit... California Citizens Redistricting Commission

As 2021 drew to a close, 1 precise important radical of Californians worked feverishly to deed a precise important deadline.

California’s autarkic Citizens Redistricting Commission finalized caller maps defining authorities legislative and legislature districts precocious past month, sending into overdrive a large governmental reshuffling that had agelong been percolating.

You whitethorn callback that due to the fact that California did not turn accelerated capable implicit the past decennary compared with different states, the state mislaid a seat successful the House of Representatives for the archetypal clip successful its history.

But the crippled of philharmonic chairs that has resulted is acold from simple.


Credit...The New York Times

Political maps are redrawn erstwhile each decade, and, this clip around, the nonaccomplishment of a spot was conscionable 1 of galore factors shaping the process.

As The Los Angeles Times reported recently, the nonpartisan commission’s astir hard task was determining what constitutes a “community of interest.” The mode the maps were yet drawn boosted Latino practice — thing advocates person said is important, fixed that Hispanic residents are now the state’s biggest taste group.

The caller maps besides helped Democrats, which has drawn accusations of foul play by immoderate Republicans.

Nevertheless, the changes person scrambled the calculus for Democrats, too. Some incumbent members of Congress oregon the State Legislature are retiring. Some candidates for the House person backed retired of races upon learning of their caller opponents, portion section elected officials person said they’ll leap into bigger contests.

Here’s wherever immoderate of the astir intimately watched contests are taking shape:

Thanks successful ample portion to redistricting, California’s vast, cultivation heartland has go one of the nation’s past existent governmental battlegrounds.

Representative Devin Nunes, a staunch Trump state from Tulare, officially resigned connected Monday from the seat helium held for astir 2 decades to pb the erstwhile president’s caller societal media company. But according to draught maps released past year, Nunes was besides connected way to person much of his territory displacement into the metropolis of Fresno, which could person made winning much of a challenge. Representative Jim Costa, who presently represents a Fresno-area district, is readying to tally successful the caller 1 this year. (There volition archetypal beryllium a peculiar predetermination to regenerate Nunes until then.)

Representative David Valadao, a Republican from Hanford, could besides person a tougher combat to support his spot in a face-off with Rudy Salas, a Democrat from Bakersfield. Valadao represents a territory that has flipped betwixt parties successful exceedingly choky races.

Late past year, Representative Alan Lowenthal, a almighty Democrat from Long Beach, said helium wouldn’t question re-election. Not agelong after, Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, the archetypal Mexican American pistillate elected to Congress, said she, too, would retire. Her announcement astir coincided with quality that the recently drawn legislature maps had fundamentally merged the territory she represented with Lowenthal’s.

That paved the mode for what is apt to beryllium a combat for the recently created Latino-majority district, which is anchored by Long Beach and includes different cities successful the confederate portion of Los Angeles County.

It’s connected way to beryllium a showdown betwixt 2 Garcias: Robert Garcia, the politician of Long Beach and a rising Democratic star, and Cristina Garcia, a authorities lawmaker who has sought to presumption herself arsenic a successor to Roybal-Allard.

In the bluish portion of the Los Angeles area, Representative Mike Garcia, a Republican who bushed his Democratic challenger successful 2020 by 333 votes, will nary longer person Simi Valley, a heavy blimpish Ventura County enclave, successful his district.

Although Orange County is far from the Republican stronghold it erstwhile was, conservatives anticipation to bent connected to the seats the enactment does person there.

The region is location to Representatives Michelle Steel and Young Kim, 2 of the archetypal Korean American women successful Congress. Both are Republicans propelled by blimpish Asian American voters successful the region.

Both are moving for re-election successful redrawn Orange County-area seats. Steel — who is targeting a territory that encompasses Little Saigon and has a heavy Asian electorate — is acceptable to look a situation from Jay Chen, a Democratic governmental newcomer whose household emigrated from Taiwan.

Orange County was besides connected way to beryllium the tract of a hard intraparty combat among Democrats, until Monday. That’s erstwhile Harley Rouda, a erstwhile congressman who was elected successful the “blue wave” that swept California successful 2018, said he’d back down from a race against Representative Katie Porter, a high-profile Democrat. Her hometown, Irvine, was drawn into the territory Rouda hoped to triumph back.

For more:


Credit...Grant Hindsley for The New York Times


Credit...Jim Wilson/The New York Times
  • Elizabeth Holmes: The Theranos laminitis was found blameworthy of 4 of 11 charges of fraud, with each number carrying a maximum condemnation of 20 years successful prison.

  • Return to school: Few schools successful California were closed this week contempt a surge successful coronavirus cases.

  • Lawmaker resigning: Lorena Gonzalez is resigning from the State Legislature to go the enforcement secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, The Associated Press reports.


  • Bradbury megamansion: Lynsi Snyder, an In-N-Out proprietor and heiress, sold her mansion for $16.25 million, The Los Angeles Times reports.

  • Little India: Revenue has plummeted during the pandemic, making the aboriginal of the vicinity uncertain, The Los Angeles Times reports.

  • Crime rise: The homicide complaint successful Watts has astir doubled successful the past year, The Los Angeles Times reports.

  • Betty White: The “Golden Girls” histrion died connected Friday astatine her location successful Los Angeles. She was 99.


  • Next measurement to cleanable energy: Floating offshore upwind farms could let California to execute 60 percent renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045, according to The Atlantic.


  • Balcony collapse: Aoife Beary, a subsister of a balcony illness that killed six students successful Berkeley successful 2015, has died successful a infirmary successful Dublin.

  • Record snowfall: Andrew Schwartz of the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory astatine the University of California, Berkeley, discussed the interaction of Northern California’s important snowpack with NPR.


Credit...Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Tostadas with smashed achromatic beans.


Credit...Peter Bennett/Alamy

Today’s question extremity comes from Caroline Inouye, a scholar who lives successful Los Osos:

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Tell america astir your favourite places to sojourn successful California. Email your suggestions to We’ll beryllium sharing much successful upcoming editions of the newsletter.

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