Late last month, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber signed off on new congressional and state legislative maps based on an updated population count from the 2020 census. An independent redistricting commission for the state of California unanimously approved new congressional and state legislative maps a week prior. Maps were re-drawn by a 14-member independent commission comprised of a diverse group of Republican, Democrat, and Independent community leaders throughout the state that had to apply for the position. California’s requirements for this process can be found here.
Key Updates on Congressional Districts
California will lose one congressional House seat in southern Los Angeles County due to a relative decline in population. Under this new map, congressional districts 40 and 47 will combine. The members that currently represent both of these districts, longtime-serving Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-40) and Alan Lowenthal (D-47), have both recently announced that they will not seek re-election. Long Beach Mayor, Democrat Robert Garcia, has announced that he will run in the new district.
Six Republican seats will shift more Democratic. Reps. Tom McClintock (R-04) in the Sacramento area, David Valadao (R-21) in the Central Valley, Mike Garcia (R-25) in northern Los Angeles County, Ken Calvert (R-42) in Riverside, Young Kim (R-45) in San Bernadino, and Michelle Steel (R-48) in Orange County. Of those, Kim, Garcia, and Steel have served just one term and Valadao won back his congressional seat from Rep. T.J. Cox (D) after one term.
McClintock is slated to run in the open 5th congressional district, which is seen as much more reliably Republican than his redrawn 3rd congressional district. Republican State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley has announced that he will run in the lean-Republican 3rd district.
Valadao reclaimed his seat in 2020 in a district that President Biden carried by 10 points. Democratic State Assemblyman Rudy Salas is expected to run against Valadao in the 22nd congressional district.
Garcia is seen as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the state. Garcia won his seat by an extremely narrow majority in 2020 of around 300 votes. Democratic State Assemblywoman Christy Smith, who previously challenged Garcia in both the 2020 special election and general election, is expected to run again in addition to Democrat Quaye Quartey, a retired Navy intelligence officer.
Longtime Representative Ken Calvert will now run in the 41st congressional district. With to the addition of Palm Springs to the district, Calvert faces a tough reelection in a district that Trump would’ve only carried by one point in 2020. Various Democratic challengers have come forth, including former federal prosecutor Will Rollins.
Steel announced that she will run in the 45th congressional district, she will face off against Democratic challenger Jay Chen. While Kim announced that she will run in more Republican-favorable 40th district.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-14) has announced that she will retire at the end of the 117th Congress. Democratic Assemblyman Kevin Mullin is running to succeed Speier and has her endorsement.
Rep. Josh Harder (D-10) has been redrawn into a strong Republican area, moving from +1 to +17 Republican. Harder has announced that he will run in the 13th congressional district. Ricky Gill, a former Trump Administration official, is seen as a potential candidate in the 13th.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-22) announced retirement from his seat in late 2021 after the new 21st congressional district became significantly more Democratic. Under the new map, his seat moves from a +11 Republican lean to a +16 Democratic lean. He will become CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group. California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced a special election for Nunes’ seat on June 7th, 2022, with the primary election on April 5th, 2022.
Longtime Member of the House and Blue Dog, Jim Costa, has announced that he will run in the new 21st congressional district.
Incumbent Rep. Darrell Issa (R-48) received a boost in Republican representation that will bolster his chances of reelection in 2022. Issa is one five districts that pundits have rated as safe for Republicans
Incumbent Democratic Rep. Katie Porter announced she will run in the stronger Democratic 47th district. Former Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda was slated to run in the 47th district as well but has since announced that he will suspend his campaign. Former Republican State Assembly Minority Leader Scott Baugh has announced that he will run against Porter.
Incumbent Democratic Rep. Mike Levin will run in the 49th congressional district against Republican Orange Counter Supervisor Lisa Barlett.
Incumbents Doris Matsui and Ami Bera have announced that they will run in each other's respective districts. With Matsui running in the newly redrawn 7th district and Bera running in the 6th district. Many of Bera’s current constituents have been redrawn into the 6th district.
With Republicans slated to win back the House of Representatives, the new California map represents a chance for Democrats to potentially minimize losses and pick up seats held by Republican incumbents. As a state that has been key in changing majorities in the House, Southern California and the Central Valley represent competitive areas that will be of focus for both parties in 2022. The newly approved map will now be sent to the Secretary of State, where it is expected to be approved and signed into action. The new map will take effect with the 2022 primary elections, which will be held on June 7th. Candidates have until March 11th to file for the 2022 primary.
Key Legislature Updates: Assembly & Senate
Not only are congressional districts impacted by the redistricting process in California, lines for the State Assembly and Senate are also redrawn for 2022. Thus far, 16 incumbents across both the state Assembly and Senate have announced that they are retiring. In 2022, all 80 seats in the Assembly and 20 seats in the Senate will be up for election, providing the potential for a large freshman class. The key caveat for Assembly members is that they must live in the district that they represent, therefore with the redrawing process Members often change districts.
Democrats' control of the Assembly could increase under the new maps, while their majority in the state Senate could shrink in 2022. In the Assembly, pundits have projected that 63 of the 80 seats are solid Democratic. In the Senate, three districts are flipping from Democratic to a Republican-lean, while only one district has been flipped to favor Democrats.
Retiring Assembly Members include:
Democrat Marc Levine, who represents the 10th district in San Rafael, is retiring to run for the California State Insurance Commissioner. Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra has announced he will run for the seat.
Democrat Jim Frazier, who represents the 11th district in Solano, recently retired at the end of 2021.
Democrat David Chiu, who represents the 17th district in San Francisco, resigned to be appointed as San Francisco City Attorney.
Democrat Bill Quirk, who represents the 20th district in Hayward, is retiring.
Democrat Kevin Mullin, who represents the 22nd district in South San Francisco, is retiring to run for the House of Representatives in retiring U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier’s district.
Democrat Rudy Salas, who represents the 32nd district in Bakersfield, is retiring to run for the House of Representatives against Republican David Valadao in the redrawn 22nd congressional district.
Independent Chad Mayes, who represents the 42nd district in Yucca Valley, announced that he will not see reelection. Mayes left the Republican party in 2019 and has not ruled out whether or not he will run for the House against Rep. Ken Calvert in the 41st district.
Democrat Richard Bloom, who represents the 50th district in Santa Monica, is retiring to run for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Democrat Jose Medina, who represents the 61st district in Riverside, is retiring.
Democrat Cristina Garcia, who represents the 64th district in Bell Gardens, is retiring to run against Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia in the open 42nd congressional district.
Democrat Patrick O’Donnell, who represents the 70th district in Long Beach and chairs the Assembly Education Committee, has announced that he
Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, who represents the 80th district in San Diego, has announced that she won’t seek reelection to lead the California
Key updates on the Assembly seats:
Republican Phillip Chen, who currently represents the 55th district in Brea, has had his district shift towards a Republican majority.
Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris, who currently represents the 74th district in Orange County, has had her district shift towards a Republican majority.
Republican Janet Nguyen, who currently represents the 72nd district in Huntington Beach, has had her district shift towards a Democratic majority.
Republican Marie Waldron, who currently represents the 75th district in Escondido, has had her district shift towards a Democratic majority.
Key Updates on State Senate seats:
Republican Jim Nielsen, who currently represents the 4th district in Red Bluff, has termed out of office and is retiring.
Democrat Richard Pan, who currently represents the 6th district in Sacramento, has termed out of office and is retiring.
Democrat Bob Wieckowski, who currently represents the 10th district in Fremont, has termed out of office and is retiring. Wieckowski has endorsed Hayward City Councilwoman Aisha Wahab to succeed him. Fremont Mayor Lily Mei is also running in the district and has the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17).
Democrat Robert Hertzberg, who currently represents the 18th district in Van Nuys, has termed out of office and is retiring. Hertzberg’s son, Daniel, has declared that he will run in the district and has the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas (CA-29).
Democrat Connie Leyva, who represents the 20th district in Fontana and chairs the Senate Education Committee, has announced that she will retire.
Republican Melissa Melendez, who currently represents the 28th district in Lake Elsinore, has termed out of office and is retiring. Republican Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto is running to succeed Melendez and has her endorsement.
Republican Patricia Bates, who currently represents the 36th district in Laguna Niguel, has termed out of office and is retiring.
Democrat Ben Hueso, who currently represents the 40th district in San Diego, has termed out of office and is retiring.