by Leslie Layton
CHICO, Calif.—For the past 24 years, Republican Congressman Wally Herger has represented a swath of Northern California, seldom facing opponents who have had the financing or support to present a serious challenge. Yet, throughout the Northern Sacramento Valley, residents say they’re eager for competitive campaigns that address high unemployment and poverty rates, immigration reform and health care.
Redistricting, now underway by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, has given some hope to Democratic Party strategists that they might be able to better compete in conservative central California. But the voting maps released last week by the redistricting commission would also reduce the number of Latino voters in the district represented by Herger. That concerns some Democrats, who see ethnic diversity as the future of the party.