Newly Drawn Assembly Districts Could Lead to Competitive Races

Many of our state's newly drawn legislative districts are under fire. As I previously wrote here, here, and here, those who oppose the new districts have launched a twofold attack against the legislative lines.

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Opponents are going both to the ballot box (regarding the State Senate lines) and to the courthouse (regarding the Congressional lines). It remains to be seen whether newly drawn legislative districts -- drawn for the first time in the state's history by an independent redistricting commission -- will stand, or whether they will change as a result of either a judicial decision or the voters' decision.

However, despite uncertainly mainly surrounding the state senate and congressional lines, a number of soon-to-be candidates have kicked off the races for our state's lower house.

In the Los Angeles-area, as a result of a new political battleground, a number of Assembly races are already heating up. This is early in the election cycle, as the period for candidate filings has not yet started.

So what are these eager beaver candidates doing? They are doing the two things that make the political world go round: raising money and securing endorsements.

Many of the soon-to-be official candidates are local officials. Put another way, many of the candidates are already in government.

One such district is the new 49th Assembly district located in San Gabriel Valley. There a former local mayor, John Tran, has started lining up supporters and key endorsements from local political players. In southeastern Los Angeles County a number of politicians have already declared their intent to run in the 51st Assembly district. In the 58th district a former Assemblyman, Tom Calderon (D), will attempt to return to Sacramento and is lining up endorsements from current legislators including State Senators Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) and Ted Lieu (D-Torrance).

Voters, of course, will have the final say in electing the winners of these newly created Assembly districts.

Jessica Levinson writes about the intersection of law and government every Monday. She is a Visiting Professor at Loyola Law School.

Photo by Why Tuesday? on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons License.

About the Author

Jessica Levinson is an Associate Clinical Professor at Loyola Law School. She focuses on the intersection of law and government.
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