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State GOP Chairman Slams Remap Plan as Favoring Democrats

La Mesa moves west in Assembly and Congress district but stays with East County neighbors in likely state Senate boundaries.

Joe Mackey’s letter did no good.

Mackey, chairman of the 800-member East County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, wanted the state’s Citizens Redistricting Commission to keep Alpine, Borrego Springs, El Cajon, La Mesa, Lakeside, Lemon Grove, Jamul and Santee in the same Assembly district.

On June 16, he wrote:  “We … believe that keeping all our East San Diego County communities together within one state Assembly district achieves all the goals of the Voters FIRST Act.”

But the latest (and likely final) boundary maps for the new Assembly districts showed La Mesa moving west, added to districts associated with the city of San Diego. La Mesa stays with other East County cities in the new state Senate district, however.

New draft redistricting maps released Thursday show significant changes throughout San Diego County.

The maps, released by the 14-member Redistricting Commission, include changes to Assembly, Senate and congressional districts.

La Mesa has more voters registered as Democrats than Republicans, so GOP Rep. Duncan D. Hunter may not miss La Mesa from his congressional district. (Hunter also is losing parts of El Cajon.)

But Republican leaders are crying foul over the panel’s overall distribution of voters.

Ron Nehring, California Republican Party chairman, said the panel created 40 districts where the Democrats are the largest party (75%), and 13 where Republicans hold the plurality (25%). 

“While Democrats were given the greatest number of total seats (40 vs. 13), Republicans were given greatest number of competitive districts, both in absolute and relative terms,” he said in a statement. 

But Hunter could have the safest seat in California, Nehring said.

 “The most heavily Republican district in the state will be the 52nd district, represented by … Hunter,” he said. “The district has a Republican registration advantage of 21.6%. Rep. Barbara Lee will hold the state's most Democratic district. Her party enjoys a 55.3% advantage in the 13th district.”  

Nehring also said: “Of the 40 districts where the Democrats are the largest party (‘Democrat districts’), only two (5%) have a party registration advantage of under 5%, and 4 (10%) have an advantage of under 10%. Among the 13 districts where Republicans hold the plurality ('Republican districts'), 4 (30%) have a registration advantage under 5%, and 8 (62%) have an advantage under 10%. 

The average registration advantage in the Democrat districts is 22.4%, he said. In the Republican districts it is 12.1%. 

“No incumbent Democrat was drawn into a Republican district,” Nehring said. “Four Republicans were drawn into or are expected to run in districts where the Democrats are the largest party: Mssrs. Dreier, Lungren, Gallegly and Denham.”  

Here are the major changes to county districts.

State Assembly Districts:

  • The 78th Assembly District would be renamed the 79th Assembly District, which would include La Mesa, and include less of South County as the area is pushed to a new district.
  • The 79th Assembly District would be renamed the 78th Assembly District. The proposed district would split the city of Imperial Beach and would include the city of Coronado and the community of La Jolla.
  • The 74th Assembly District would be renamed the 76th Assembly District and include the cities of Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside (Oceanside is currently in the 73rd Assembly District).
  • The 75th Assembly District would be renamed the 77th Assembly District and wouldn’t reach to the coast, stopping at Interstate 5. It would still include the cities of Poway and the communities of Rancho Bernardo and 4S Ranch.
  • The new 80th Assembly District would include the cities of Imperial Beach, National City and Chula Vista.

State Senate Districts:

  • The 40th Senate District would extend into South County all the way to the coast and include the cities of Imperial Beach, National City and Chula Vista.
  • The 39th Senate District would include the cities of Coronado, Del Mar and most of the city of San Diego, including La Jolla and part of Rancho Bernardo, and it would lose Imperial Beach.
  • The 36th Senate District would be renamed the 38th Senate District and include Ramona, Poway, Santee, La Mesa, El Cajon and Escondido. The district would become more central to the county and would no longer extend to the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • The 38th Senate District would be renamed the 36th Senate District and include the cities of Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside. That district would not include Escondido.

Congressional Districts:

  • The 50th Congressional District would be renamed the 49th Congressional District and include Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside. It would no longer extend inland, but move north toward San Clemente.
  • The 51st Congressional District would include Chula Vista and National City, and add Imperial Beach.
  • The 52nd Congressional District would be renamed the 50th Congressional District and include Ramona, Escondido, Santee and Alpine, and it would no longer include La Mesa and Poway.
  • The 53rd Congressional District would be renamed the 52nd Congressional District and include Coronado, La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo and Poway.
  • The new 53rd Congressional District would include central San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and parts of Chula Vista and El Cajon.

The final maps will be released on Aug. 13 with a final vote scheduled for Aug. 15.

For more information, visit Wedrawthelines.ca.gov.

Swimmer John July 30, 2011 at 03:09 PM
As a La Mesa moderate, I like the idea of no longer being in a district represented by such hard right idealogs as Hunter and Joel Anderson. Only time will tell if this redistricing will help the state get past the extreme partisan politics that is damaging this country.
Ted July 30, 2011 at 04:06 PM
The Republicans are being placed in the grave they helped to dig. They helped facilitate the massive immigration that has changed this state into a solidly Democratic stronghold. Had they looked after the interests of their constituents rather than their big business bankrollers, they might have done something to stop the invasion. Then again, if they had done that, they wouldn't be Republicans, would they?
F. Dunn August 02, 2011 at 02:43 PM
Good. I don't want to be associated with the people who keep putting the Hunters in office.

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