Thursday, September 18, 2014
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 cns@ucdc.edu.

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

 
Suisun council candidates all voice business-friendly platforms

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Theatre DeVille in Vacaville closes

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

Focus on school attendance now, always

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
Pepperbelly’s for sale

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Jury selection begins in 2011 Fairfield murder trial

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Seniors get help at Kroc Center health fair

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Drug court success stories tell their tales

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Suisun City Senior Center seeks holiday donations

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Lunafest returns to Fairfield in November

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Weather for Sept. 18, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Sept. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
.

US / World

Emotions mount on final day of Scottish campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
More than 2,000 homes threatened in California fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Maps provide early warning of California fire risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
House grudgingly approves arms for Syrian rebels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ex-VA doctor: Phoenix report a ‘whitewash’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
School district police stock up free military gear

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

NASA’s Maven spacecraft reaches Mars this weekend

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US military role in Iraq raises combat questions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Police: Ambush suspect was military re-enactor

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

 
AP Interview: Iraq premier says no foreign troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Doctor says Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
US scientist: Ebola unlikely to become airborne

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Liberia president praises US for Ebola help pledge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama reaffirms opposition to US combat in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

 
Give new crime report a chance

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

 
Homeless find welcome in Vallejo

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 18, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My brother fails to make an effort to when it comes to my kids

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

U2 returns to iTunes Top 100 — 26 times

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: B4

 
Directors Guild finds TV diversity hiring stalled

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
.

Sports

Giants snap tie in 9th, beat Arizona to narrow gap in West to 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers’ Kaepernick fined for inappropriate language

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Rodriguez gets 1st MEL soccer win since return to league

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Umpire West suspended 1 game for grabbing jersey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
After making ‘mistake,’ Vikings bench RB Peterson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sharks sign D Braun to 5-year, $19 M extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rockets acquire Jason Terry, picks from Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Panthers remove DE Greg Hardy from active roster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Barry Bonds appeal heads back to court

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL, union agree to new drug policy, HGH testing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders rookie Derek Carr focuses on job at hand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Pegulas’ bid to buy Bills OK’d by NFL committee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
FSU benches Winston for 1st half of Clemson game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Brown signs ride-sharing insurance legislation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
US homebuilder confidence soars in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Anthem, hospitals join to offer new insurance plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Drag queens dress down Facebook over names

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Wells Fargo pays $290,000 in sex harassment case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Fed signals plan to keep key rate at record low

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

Margaret King

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

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

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

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

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9