The maps are out. Now the speculation begins.
California’s proposed redistricting plan, released this morning, condenses the Coachella Valley into the same Assembly, senate and congressional districts.
The proposal shows that the 14-member commission clearly listened to the residents who testified at last month’s hearing in Palm Springs, where both Republicans and Democrats made strong arguments for defining the entire Coachella Valley as a community of interest.
But apparently they dismissed Democrats’ argument to include Imperial County in the new legislative districts, as not one map links the desert with the blue county.
Still, the maps have sparked some interesting political discussions about which candidates might be vying for office.
Republican Sen. Bill Emmerson moved to Hemet in late 2009 to run for the current 37th Senate seat, but the boundaries excludes most of his new hometown from the senate district that encompasses the Coachella Valley.
The valley’s two Assembly members also are in a quandary.
Democrat V. Manuel Perez and Republican Brian Nestande have shown an ability to work together in Sacramento, but are now facing the prospect of running for the same Assembly and or Senate seats.
Our hunch is that Rep. Mary Bono Mack let out a huge sigh of relief this morning.
Many had speculated that the 45th Congressional District may be dramatically revamped into a Democratic district, setting up a potentially tough re-election campaign in 2012.
Officials are still crunching the voter registration data, but both Republican and Democratic campaign consultants told The Desert Sun that they expect her to bode well in the new district.
“The commission has made Mary Bono Mack’s day,” said Matt Rexroad, a managing partner of Meridian Pacific in Sacramento who has led a number of local Republican campaigns.
“She should have a pretty nice seat to run for.”