Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Election launches big changes in Calif. delegation in House

Election2012

WASHINGTON — California’s new voting rules contributed to the election of 14 new faces to Congress, but at the cost of nearly 300 years of congressional experience.

The new members – 11 Democrats and three Republicans – include a prosecutor, a consumer attorney, a retired Marine Corps colonel, a high school teacher and two farmers.

The influx of new members – the largest the state has experienced in 20 years – was among the chief aims of those who pushed for the top-two primary system and an independent commission to redraw congressional districts.

The reforms have drawn praise in Washington for shaking incumbents’ hold on power, some referring to California as a “laboratory for democracy.” However, the delegation shakeup could weaken California’s clout in the Capitol, where members of Congress from other states will move up the seniority ladder.

California will remain the House’s largest and the most influential delegation. But it is giving up two committee chairs, several subcommittee chairs, and is losing the most senior member of each party.

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, was first elected in 1972, the same year President Richard M. Nixon won re-election. Six of the 14 members who will not be returning in January served during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

Among the members leaving:

  • Republican David Drier is retiring after 16 terms. He is chairman of the Rules Committee as well as the California Republican Congressional Delegation.
  • Democrat Howard Berman was defeated by fellow Democrat Brad Sherman, after serving 15 terms. He is the highest ranking Democratic member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
  • Democrat Pete Stark was also defeated by a fellow Democrat after serving 20 terms. He is the senior Democrat on the House committee that oversees Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Republican Jerry Lewis, the former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is retiring after 17 terms.

The new members have no congressional experience but they are not novices in the world of politics. Five members have served as state assemblymen and four as state senators. They share 72 combined years of experience in the Legislature.

New district boundaries were drawn up after the 2010 census by the voter-approved California Citizens Redistricting Commission, which was under explicit orders not to consider how the boundaries would affect incumbents.

Moreover, a new primary system that places the top two qualifiers on the general election ballot, regardless of party affiliations, created the opportunity for changes to the state’s delegation.

Of the 530 congressional elections held over the past 10 years, only two incumbents seeking re-election lost their seats. Five incumbents lost Nov. 6.

New Faces of the California Delegation

  • Doug LaMalfa, Republican, 1st District, State Senate
  • Jared Huffman, Democrat, 2nd District, State Assembly
  • Ami Bera, Democrat, 7th District, Physician
  • Paul Cook, Republican, 8th District, State Assembly
  • Eric Swalwell, Democrat, 15th District, Dublin City Council
  • David Valadao, Republican, 21st District, State Assembly
  • Julia Brownley, Democrat, 26th District, State Assembly
  • Tony Cardenas, Democrat, 29th District, Los Angeles City Council
  • Gloria McLeod, Democrat, 35th District, State Senate
  • Raul Ruiz, Democrat, 36th District, Physician
  • Mark Takano, Democrat, 41st District, Teacher
  • Alan Lowenthal, Democrat, 47th District, State Senate
  • Juan Vargas, Democrat, 51st District, State Senate
  • Scott Peters, Democrat, 52nd District, San Diego Port Commission

Among the casualties was Berman, who found himself in the same district as fellow Democrat Sherman. The race was among the most expensive in the nation with more than $13 million spent. Berman leaves Washington, where he arrived in 1983 and served two years as chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

In the Bay Area, 32-year-old Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell defeated Stark, California’s longest serving member. Prior to this year, Stark had won 10 consecutive elections with more than 60 percent of the vote.

California’s 53-member delegation remains by far the nation’s largest. It is only the second time since the state joined the union that it has not gained congressional seats after a census.

With an overwhelming majority of Democrats – the delegation will be comprised of 38 Democrats and 15 Republicans – California’s clout is dependent on which party controls the House.

“The state has more Democratic members now, but until the Democrats retain the majority, their ability to do much will be greatly limited by their minority party status,” said John Pitney, a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College.

“It’s more evolution than revolution,” Pitney said of the high turnover. “If there had been a change in party control, things would be changing more fundamentally.”

The California News Service is a journalism project of the University of California Washington Center and the UC Berkeley School of Journalism. Email the California News Service at [email protected]

Michelle Murphy And Pamela Nonga Ngue

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensNovember 18, 2012 - 11:07 am

    I'm sure this crop of uber-liberal rat party members will fit right into a TEA Party Congress of fiscal conservatives. A Congress that doesn't want to pay California's bills or buy into their bad socialist and economy wrecking ideas. How many jobs will be lost in California this week?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • KFZ WerkzeugJanuary 09, 2013 - 4:11 pm

    You really make it seem so easy together with your presentation but I find this matter to be really one thing which I think I would by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I am having a look forward for your next submit, I'll attempt to get the hang of it!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
1st release for birds with mysterious goo a success

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Sweep by sheriff’s team nets 4 arrests

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

 
 
Travis starts work on Functional Fitness Center

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Boy Scouts to screen award-winning film

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Church makes ready for health, wellness fair

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

4-H Annual Presentation Day returns in February

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville SWAT team serves search warrant

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Real estate occupancy continues to climb

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Council backs beer, wine sales for Vacaville store

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Vacaville police seek help to find sex offender

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

US / World

 
Air Force probing alleged ‘treason’ remark by general

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Expect tiny tuxes but no real puppy love at doggy weddings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Second arrest in student stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Large salmon release planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Violations mount for toxic recycler

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Quake rattles N. California coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Police seek law to alter Google app

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Euro coast guards scramble to locate Syrian ghost ship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Chinese regulators go after online sale of fake goods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Investigation stems from police-involved shooting outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hezbollah missiles kill soldiers

By New York Times | From Page: A6

 
ISIS extends hostage deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Tape: Scientist offers to build nuke bomb targeting New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

India now has 322 billion reasons to fix economy

By William Pesek | From Page: A7

 
Don’t brush off bullying

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 29, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Just be honest and come forward

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
A truly misinformed writer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 10 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscope Jan. 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Deadbeat boyfriend ruined my relationship with my granddaughter

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Theater legend Joel Grey reveals that he is gay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hoping to make All-Star team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Rodriguez wrestlers pull out 34-24 win over Wood

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

GM John Schneider has been architect of Seahawks’ success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Woods returns to Phoenix with plenty of memories

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart acquires national sprint car series tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Solano men cruise past LMC for biggest win of season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Korda, Lewis, Munoz tied for lead at LPGA season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Head of NCAA enforcement: Academic misconduct on rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks statue moved downtown for tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Kobe Bryant has surgery, expected to be out for 9 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '<<' (T_SL) in /www/newspaperfoundation.org/html/wp-content/themes/broadsheet/footer.php on line 101