Wednesday’s California Supreme Court rejection of Republican-led challenges to the state’s new electoral maps has reignited talk that Republican strongholds in the San Gabriel Valley will give way to new Democratic majorities.
The scenario couldn’t be more apparent for Congressman David Dreier, R-San Dimas, who is currently serving his 15th consecutive term in the House of Representatives, representing Monrovia in the 26th District since 2002.
The approved redistricting maps splits Dreier’s district, which includes Glendora and most of the San Gabriel Valley, into multiple, more Democratic and minority-based districts.
Republicans contend that the Senate and congressional maps drawn by the citizen-led redistricting commission did not adhere to Voting Rights Act criteria, nor did the maps keep communities together.
In the congressional maps, – one that includes the western San Gabriel Valley cities and one that encompasses mostly eastern cities.
But the Supreme Court decision keeps the new redistricting maps intact for the 2012 elections.
According to analysts, the maps will give Democrats a better chance of reaching the critical two-thirds majority in the Senate. Republicans fear the new majority power will enable Democrats to approve tax increases without Republican support.
Although California won’t see new elected officials under the new maps until 2013, Democratic candidates have wasted no time declaring their candidacy in the new districts.
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park, to run in the new 27th district, which includes South Pasadena, San Marino, Rosemead, Arcadia, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Glendora, and parts of Monrovia and Claremont. Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge), who currently represents Monrovia in the Assembly, could make a run at Dreier in the eastern SGV district.
Dreier, however, has kept quiet about his future in Congress and his lackluster fundraising has sparked questions of possible retirement.
Even if Dreier decides to run for reelection in the 27th district, he faces a tough campaign in an overwhelmingly blue district.