Editors of the California Target Book, which I publish, has recently finished and placed online their analyses of the 80 Assembly districts and 53 Congressional district that will be up for reelection in 2012.
We are holding off on the state senate analyses until it is determined, whether or not the referendum to overturn state Senate lines – funded by the CA Republican Party and a $1 million donation by Mercury Insurance CEO George Joseph – qualifies or not.
Much has been written on the impact the new lines drawn by the new Citizens Redistricting Commission will have on Congressional races next year – particularly placing into the same district of Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman, and GOP Reps. Gary Miller and Ed Royce, but that’s for another article.
The biggest story of Campaign 2012 will be the impact redistricting will have on Assembly races.
When the November 2012 election is behind us and the newly elected members of the state Assembly are sworn in the following month, the new Freshman class will be huge and could conceivably be as large as 42 members – more than half of the 80-member body.
First, twenty-two members – 17 Democrats, 5 Republicans – won’t be able to return due to term limits.
As of this writing, no fewer than 14 Assembly Members who are not termed out have announced – or are seriously considering – that they will give up their Assembly seat to run for one of the newly drawn Congressional or state Senate districts, bringing the potential number of open Assembly seats to 36, each electing a new member.
Next, there are 5 Assembly Members – Democrats Michael Allen and Betsy Butler, and Republicans Tim Donnelly, Mike Morrell, and Allan Mansoor – who will be facing serious challenges in the June 2012 Open Primary from a well-funded candidate of the same party. If the five should lose, that brings the number of new members to 41.
Then there is GOP Asm. Nathan Fletcher. He is not termed out, but he is running for mayor of San Diego. Even if he should change his mind and wants to seek reelection, redistricting placed him in the same Assembly district as Democratic Asm. Toni Atkins, which has a 41% – 27% Democratic registration advantage.
That’s how I get to a 42-member freshman class.
So, to all those who have been decrying the gridlock we’ve seen for so long in the state Assembly and are calling for change, this is the time TO GET INVOLVED.
We may not get to 42 new members, but the turnover in the Assembly will still be massive.
And we have not started counting the number of incumbents that may be defeated by a member of the opposition party in the November 2012 General Election.