Neil Nisperos and Benjamin Demers, Staff Writers
Posted: 11/27/2011 06:03:44 AM PST
Editor’s note: This is the second of a three-part series looking at the newly redrawn Inland Empire legislative districts for state Senate. Sunday’s installment was Congress; Tuesday will examine the Assembly. Recently redrawn state Senate lines likely won’t see a major shift of power in the Inland Empire from Republicans to Democrats.
Despite being in the minority in Sacramento, GOP senators have enjoyed a majority in the Inland Empire for years and that trend is unlikely to change.
The 14-member California Citizens Redistricting Commission introduced the redrawn maps in July.
“I think the districts that parallel the Democratic districts will continue to be Democratic. The old Republican districts will continue to be Republican,” said Robert Rego, chairman of the San Bernardino County Republican Party. “I just don’t see any of them being that contested.”
Elections for odd-numbered new districts are set for 2012 and for even-numbered districts in 2014.
Senate District 20
District 20 is an overwhelmingly Democratic district that runs from Pomona to Bloomington.
Democrats enjoy a substantial edge over Republicans among registered voters in this district – 49 percent to 29 percent – according to consulting firm Redistricting Partners.
Latinos – who usually overwhelmingly vote for Democrats in most state races – account for close to 70 percent of the population in District 20.
Rego said he has not heard of any GOP candidates who have expressed interest in running for this seat.
District 20 overlaps cities contained in the current District 32, which is represented by state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Montclair.
McLeod is running for the District 35 Congressional seat against Rep. Joe Baca in 2012. Her Senate term runs through 2014.
Assemblywoman Norma Torres, D-Chino, said Friday she would consider running for the District 20 seat in 2014.
District 20 also includes the cities of Montclair, Ontario, Fontana, Rialto, Muscoy, Bloomington, Colton and Grand Terrace.
Senate District 21
District 21 includes all of the Antelope Valley in Los Angeles County as well as Hesperia, Apple Valley and Adelanto in San Bernardino County.
Voters here are more closely split than in most other districts in the region with the GOP accounting for an edge over Democrats among eligible voters of 40 percent to 36 percent.
State Sen. Sharon Runner is expected to run for the seat, Rego said.
Runner currently represents District 17, which includes cities in Ventura, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. She has local offices in Santa Clarita, Victorville and Lancaster.
“I would think that the incumbents in these districts … have a degree of a foothold in those races,” Rego said. “I see no reason why Sharon Runner would not run for re-election in this area.”
Runner was elected in February to fill the seat that was previously occupied by her husband George Runner. He is now on the Board of Equalization representing the Second District.
Senate District 23
This oddly shaped district includes Rancho Cucamonga, a portion of the High Desert, the city of San Bernardino, the San Bernardino Mountains as well as a portion of Riverside County.
Rego said he fully expects state Sen. Bill Emmerson to run for the seat. Emmerson currently represents the 37th District in Riverside County. His local offices are in Riverside and Palm Desert.
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