While California lost a congressional seat after the 2020 Census, residents in the Sacramento region will see slight gains in representation for its growing suburbs — particularly in the state Legislature — under new redistricting maps approved last month.
“You’re going to end up with more members of the state Senate and Assembly that are actually from Sacramento” or nearby communities, said Matt Rexroad, a redistricting consultant and Republican.
Rexroad points to several large, rural districts which reached into the Sacramento area under the previous state Senate lines, including seats represented by senators Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno), Jim Nielsen (R-Red Bluff) and Brian Dahle (R-Bieber).
A new Senate district covers the meeting place of all three of those boundaries, breaking off the region’s growing suburbs from the larger rural-centric districts and creating an opening for a state senator to represent the area.
The shifts are due in part to the region’s above-average population growth compared to the rest of the state, particularly in Placer and Sacramento counties, which grew by 16.2% and 11.7% respectively over the past decade. The two added a combined 222,574 residents between 2010 and 2020.
Still, California lost a congressional seat due to slower population growth compared to the rest of the country. Under the new maps that loss will end up being felt by residents in Los Angeles. The maps also strengthen opportunities for the state’s growing number of Latino residents to elect candidates of their choice, particularly in the Central Valley.
The California Citizen Redistricting Commission followed a set of criteria in drawing the new maps and accepted more than 36,000 public comments during the line-drawing process.
Commissioners were barred from considering how the maps would affect political parties and incumbent politicians.
In some cases, incumbent state lawmakers were drawn into the same district, setting up intra-party fights. In other cases, lawmakers decide to move to a different district in order to avoid such fights.
But lawmakers in the Sacramento region largely avoided these tough decisions and overall were able to stay in the districts and communities they already represent.
Some Northern California district lines barely shifted, but in other cases, the new lines mean communities will be grouped with new cities and towns which may share different values, concerns and politics.
Here is an overview of new congressional, Senate and Assembly districts that represent counties in the Sacramento region.
1st Congressional District
California’s 1st Congressional district still covers a broad swath of the state’s northeast corner but has shifted south with its new boundaries. Plumas, Sierra, Nevada and a portion of Yuba counties were moved to another district.
Still, the district remains chock-full of Republican voters and will likely stay a red stronghold for years to come.
Members of California’s Citizen Redistricting Commission wrote in their final report that residents of the 1st district are united by “a rural lifestyle and an agriculture- and ranching-based economy” as well as wildfire concerns.
The district is currently represented by Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a Republican who has not yet said whether he will seek re-election this year.
3rd Congressional District
A contender for the longest district in the state, the new 3rd Congressional District runs from Plumas County’s Lake Almanor in the north to south of Death Valley National Park, spanning seven counties along the Nevada border. It also includes the more densely populated suburban cities of Rocklin, Roseville, Folsom and Granite Bay.
The redistricting commission wrote that the district keeps mountainous Sierra communities together, including the entire Tahoe Basin.
“Communities in this region share a more rural lifestyle and have common interests in protecting their undeveloped lands and natural landmarks,” the commission wrote.
While Republicans outnumber Democratic voters in the new 3rd District, former President Donald Trump won among its voters by only one percentage point in 2020.
Republican state Assembly member Kevin Kiley has announced he will campaign for the seat.
4th Congressional District
The 4th Congressional District stretches from western Yolo County — minus the city of West Sacramento — to Santa Rosa in Sonoma County and into the southern edge of Mendocino National Forest. It also includes part of the city of Vacaville and the Sacramento River Delta community of Rio Vista.
The redistricting commission members say they consciously decided to split mid-sized cities of Vacaville and Santa Rosa to include more farming communities. Agriculture and the wine economy are major influences on the district, along with essential workers living in the region.
Voters in this district supported President Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates by a 2-to-1 margin in 2020. Incumbent Rep. Mike Thompson, a Democrat, has said he will seek re-election.
5th Congressional District
The Sierra Nevada makes up the bulk of the new 5th Congressional District, beginning at Placerville in the north and ending in the mountains east of Fresno. It sweeps into the San Joaquin Valley to pick up voters from Modesto and Turlock, splitting those cities in half.
The district resembles the previous 4th district, which included Lake Tahoe and Roseville. Those areas have been dropped as the new boundaries dip further south.
The redistricting commission writes that communities in the 5th congressional district “have tourism-and agriculture-based economies nestled in large swaths of federal public lands. Shared interests include recreation, natural resource management, access to broadband, access to healthcare, wildfires, and forest conservation.”
Rep. Tom McClintock, a Republican, has announced a bid for this district, which includes many of the voters he represented under the previous lines.
6th Congressional District
The majority of Sacramento County was split into two congressional districts for the next 10 years, a big shift that consolidates representation within the county’s borders.
The 6th district includes the north portion of the county, including Antelope, Citrus Heights, Carmichael, Rosemont and Rancho Cordova. It also includes the section of the city of Sacramento north of the American River, including the communities of Natomas and Arden-Arcade.
The redistricting commission says these communities “have similar socio-economic characteristics and shared community resources,” along with shared concerns about transportation and homelessness.
Democratic Rep. Ami Bera, who lives in Elk Grove but has represented portions of the new district, has said he will seek re-election in the 6th this year. He is being challenged by Republicans, including Tamika Hamilton and Chris Bish.
7th Congressional District
The 7th district includes the bulk of the city of Sacramento — including its downtown— along with West Sacramento, Elk Grove, Isleton and Galt.
It also is home to four incumbent members of congress: Doris Matsui, John Garamendi, Tom McClintock and Ami Bera.
Longtime Rep. Doris Matsui has said she will seek re-election in the district, which includes the bulk of her constituents from her previous district.
Redistricting commissioners noted that rural and suburban residents in the district have shared interest in flood control and protecting green space. “Bringing these communities together into a district enables them to take a more regional approach to issues related to transportation, infrastructure, housing, and economic development,” the commission wrote.
Democrats hold a heavy registration advantage in this blue district. It’s also the most diverse congressional district in the region according to an analysis of data compiled by the firm Redistricting Partners; 60% of residents are Latino, Asian American or Black.
9th Congressional District
Before redistricting, the 9th congressional district was centered around Stockton and San Joaquin County, and that’s still true — even the number stayed the same.
District boundaries have shifted southeast though, dropping most of its eastern Contra Costa County area and picking up the cities of Tracy and Manteca.
San Joaquin community and business leaders pushed hard to have the entire county make up one full congressional district, citing its agriculture-heavy economy, population growth and concerns about decreasing affordability.
Betty Wilson, executive director of the San Joaquin Business Council, said she is happy with the new maps. “The commissioners listened to the citizens of San Joaquin County and the voices of the people were heard,” she said.
Longtime Rep. Jerry McNerney recently announced he would retire after representing the area for 16 years. Fellow Democratic Rep. Josh Harder announced he would run for the seat, opening up the Modesto-area district he previously represented.
State Senate Districts
3rd Senate District
District boundaries stayed largely the same for the 3rd Senate District, which covers Yolo, Solano and Napa counties, along with portions of Sacramento, Contra Costa and Sonoma. The new lines dropped Petaluma and picked up West Sacramento.
It remains a strong Democratic district centered around agriculture, winemaking, the Sacramento River Delta and working-class cities in the north Bay Area.
The district is currently represented by Democratic Sen. Bill Dodd, who terms out in 2024.
4th Senate District
The gargantuan 4th Senate District closely resembles the 3rd congressional district, stretching from north of Lake Tahoe to the southern end of Death Valley. Made up of mostly rural communities, at one point the district reaches into the Central Valley to grab residents from Stanislaus County.
Those voters could help turn the district into a place where Republican voters outnumber Democrats, but liberal-leaning voters in the Modesto metro area make partisan races more competitive.
The redistricting commission noted that obligations to keep Latino populations in the Central Valley together led to the shape of this district. But commissioners argue residents of the 4th district share concerns about land and water management, tourism, and access to broadband, medical and emergency services.
So far, no candidates have announced a run for this seat under the new lines.
5th Senate District
The 5th Senate District makes up the bulk of San Joaquin County and eastern Alameda County. Under the previous lines, the district included the city of Galt and the northern part of Modesto. Those areas now belong to other districts as the 5th moved west to pick up Livermore and Dublin in the eastern Bay Area.
The commission wrote that suburban lifestyle, job centers and commuting routes connect these communities, along with agriculture, water, and concerns about affordable housing.
Democratic Sen. Susan Eggman of Stockton currently represents the 5th district and hits her term limits in 2024.
6th Senate District
Until now, the residents in the 6th District were split between three much larger districts and represented by state senators living in Fresno, Tehama and Lassen counties. The new district groups the suburban areas in eastern Sacramento and western Placer counties together and includes the cities of Lincoln, Roseville, Rancho Cordova and Galt.
The new district has even numbers of registered Republican and Democratic voters but tends to lean red in statewide elections. In 2018, Gov. Gavin Newsom lost by 10 percentage points among District 6 voters, but in 2020, Joe Biden narrowly defeated Donald Trump, 50%-49%.
There is no incumbent state senator living in the district, making it an open seat for the 2022 election. San Juan Unified School Board member Paula Villescaz announced she would run for the seat.
8th Senate District
The new 8th Senate District includes the whole cities of Sacramento and Elk Grove. It makes up most of what used to be the 6th district, represented by Sen. Richard Pan, who is terming out later this year. West Sacramento and the Arden-Arcade area are in separate, neighboring districts.
The redistricting commission said the 8th district is united by shared transportation systems as well as shared interest in flood control and supporting local businesses.
“This district also honors various communities of interest including an LGBTQ+ community, a growing immigrant community, and California State University, Sacramento,” the commission wrote in its final report.
While Pan is not running for re-election, a host of candidates have lined up to replace him, including Sacramento Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby, former insurance commissioner Dave Jones, law enforcement officer Matt Burgess and attorney Rafa Garcia. Two candidates — Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra and Re. Tecoy Porter — initially announced bids for the seat but have since said they will run for the state assembly.
Democrats are favored to do well in the deep blue district, where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans more than two-to-one.
State Assembly Districts
1st Assembly District
The 1st Assembly District remains in the northeast corner of the state, but the new lines have swapped portions of Butte County and picked up portions of El Dorado, Amador and all of Alpine County on its southern end.
It also remains a strong conservative area. Assembly member Megan Dahle lives in the district boundaries and is term-limited in 2030.
4th Assembly District
Like the congressional and state senate districts in this farming-heavy region, redistricting resulted in only minor boundary changes. The 4th Assembly District still covers Yolo, Napa, Lake, Colusa and parts of Sonoma counties. West Sacramento is now included in the boundary lines, while portions of Sonoma County have shifted in and out.
Democratic Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry of Winters represents the district and is term-limited in 2028.
5th Assembly District
The new 5th Assembly District includes much of what anchored the former 6th district: the suburban cities of Roseville, Rocklin and El Dorado Hills. But the new boundaries have shifted further south and east, losing Folsom and picking up the cities of Auburn and Placerville.
The redistricting commission said the suburban communities in this new district “a distinct economic area and share school districts, a community college district, and their own independent water agency.”
Republican voters outnumber Democrats by nearly 10 percentage points in this suburban-rural district.
The area is currently represented by GOP Assembly member Kevin Kiley, though he has said he will likely run for congress. Rocklin City Council member Joe Patterson has said he will run for the Assembly seat.
6th Assembly District
The 6th Assembly District makes up much of what used to be the 7th district, represented by Democratic Assembly member Kevin McCarty of Sacramento. It still includes most of the city of Sacramento, including downtown. The Arden-Arcade area and some of Carmichael are now included in the district. It no longer includes West Sacramento.
It also remains a reliably Democratic district. Newsom won among 6th district voters in 2018 with 66% and Biden won with 70%.
7th Assembly District
The 7th district includes much of northeast Sacramento County, including Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Citrus Heights – communities that run along the American River from Folsom Lake to the William B. Pond Recreation Area. The commission noted the residents in this area share school districts and shopping centers
This new district received one of the most dramatic partisan makeovers in the region. Incumbent Assembly member Ken Cooley saw the lines shift eastward to pick up more GOP-leaning voters in suburban areas while dropping Democratic voters in some of unincorporated Sacramento County’s working-class neighborhoods.
Cooley told CapRadio he will seek re-election in the seat, despite the tougher path forward. Republican Josh Hoover, a Folsom Cordova school board member and chief of staff to Assembly member Kevin Kiley, has also announced he will run for the seat.
9th Assembly District
The 9th Assembly district includes less-densely populated portions of Sacramento County, along with portions of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. It includes the cities of Lodi, Manteca and Isleton.
The redistricting commission wrote that the hodgepodge of county splits serve to “balance population while considering communities of interest” in order to keep rural communities in other districts together.
Republican voters outnumber Democratic voters in the district. GOP Assembly member Heath Flora of Ripon lives within the new district’s boundaries and has said he plans to stay in the Assembly.
10th Assembly District
The 10th Assembly District is anchored in what used to be the 9th District, including Elk Grove and the southern part of Sacramento. But the boundaries have shifted north, dropping Lodi and picking up the Fruitridge and Vineyard areas in Sacramento County.
It remains a heavily diverse district where half of its residents are Asian or Latino. It’s also a place where Democratic candidates hold a strong numbers advantage.
The area is currently represented by Democratic Assembly member Jim Cooper, who is weighing a run for sheriff and has not announced his plans for 2022. Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra has announced a bid for the seat.
13th Assembly District
Like the congressional and state Senate districts in the San Joaquin County area, the 13th Assembly district closely resembles the previous boundaries. It still contains the larger cities of Stockton and Tracy but has dropped some suburban areas on the outskirts of Stockton and rural land near the delta.
The district has a large Latino population and 50% of its voters are registered Democrats, according to the firm Redistricting Partners.
Assembly member Carlos Villapudua was elected to represent the area in 2020 and is seeking re-election this year.
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