The 51st District in San Diego County includes portions of both representatives’ current districts.
The shuffling of the district borders already has resulted in changes in the delegation.
Long-serving California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress, announced Monday she will not seek reelection in her Los Angeles-area district. The decision by the 80-year-old Democratic congresswoman came as her district was largely dismantled by the commission.
Shifting district boundary lines appear to have played a role in other House departures. Among them: Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, who was one of former President Donald Trump’s most ardent loyalists in Congress, is leaving the House at the end of this year to join Trump’s fledgling media company, and Democratic Rep. Alan Lowenthal, who represents a district anchored in Long Beach, south of Los Angeles, announced he would retire at the end of his term.
The ripple effects continue, and some candidates in key races could shift to nearby districts in search of a more favorable political climate. Republican U.S. Reps. Young Kim and Michelle Steel, who captured Democratic seats all or partly in Orange County in 2020, have yet to announce their plans.
However, the shifting lines had little effect on the state’s marquee names in the House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s overwhelmingly Democratic district anchored in San Francisco remained overwhelmingly Democratic. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy’s district, anchored in Bakersfield, became more solidly Republican in the new maps.
While most attention has focused on California’s loss of a congressional seat, analysts said the legislative maps drawn for 40 state senators and 80 state Assembly members mark big wins for Democrats.
The maps essentially lock in Democratic supermajorities for the next 10 years, said Rob Pyers, research director of the nonpartisan California Target Book, which closely tracks redistricting.
Republicans have been teetering on the brink of irrelevance in the heavily Democratic state for years, and Democrats control every statewide office and dominate the Legislature and congressional delegations. Republicans make up less than a quarter of registered voters, and have lost support in what used to be Republican-leaning suburbs, said Mitchell, of Redistricting Partners.
The new lines will have a “chilling effect” on Republican hopes of gaining ground in the Legislature, Mitchell said.
The new lines also recognize the state’s increasing diversity.
Mitchell said Latinos, the largest racial or ethnic group in California, now represent majorities in 16 House districts. Three districts group together areas with large Asian populations, and two do the same for communities with large numbers of Black residents.
The borders of Fresno area districts represented by Democratic Rep. Jim Costa and Republican Reps. David Valadao and Devin Nunes shifted significantly. Costa on Tuesday announced he would run in the new 21st District, anchored in the Central Valley.
Associated Press Writer Don Thompson in Sacramento contributed to this report.