District lines change for Assembly after election | TahoeDailyTribune.com

District lines change for Assembly after election

Armed with data collected from the U.S. Census 2000, the Legislature in 2001 redrew district lines for the the Assembly and the Senate to address changes in the population of California.

Changes set for the Assembly district, that includes South Lake Tahoe, will make it more compact, removing three of its rural counties in exchange for a portion of Sacramento County. Changes to be made in the Senate district, which covers a much larger chunk of the state, are similar.

El Dorado County is represented by the 4th District of the Assembly, as are Alpine County and most of Placer, Mono, Calaveras and Amador counties.

Redistricting will remove El Dorado Hills, the most western part of El Dorado County which is experiencing a large amount of growth, from the 4th District and put it in the 10th District. The 4th District also will lose all of Mono, Calaveras and Amador counties.

An eastern portion of Sacramento County, Rio Linda, will replace the areas cut from the district.

“The district is one of the fastest growing areas in state,” said Jedd Medefind, chief of staff for 4th District Assemblyman Tim Leslie. “Because of that, they had to shrink its borders to capture the right number of people. The lines shifted slightly, but we lost almost half our geography. It’s a pretty big shift.”

The goal of redistricting is to keep the population of the 80 Assembly districts in the state about equal at 423,000. The number of people in the 4th District now is about 460,000.

Change brought by redistricting will take effect in December, after incumbent Tim Leslie, or Scott Warren, a newcomer to politics, is elected and sworn in.

“I didn’t have enough people so they had to give me some back,” Leslie said. “Rio Linda … the Democrats are a little stronger in that area.”

The Senate district that represents El Dorado County is the 1st District. It will remain unchanged until after the election in 2004.

Sen. Thomas “Rico” Oller represents the district. He was elected in 2000. His district contains the largest number of registered voters in the state at nearly 1 million.

“Sen. Oller used to have 13 counties in his district, from Mono to Modoc,” said Tom Hudson, Oller’s legislative director. “The district was basically the mountain counties.”

But when redistricting takes effect, it will lose Butte County, Yuba County, the western part of Nevada County and the western part of Placer County, lowering the number of residents it represents to about 900,000.

About 70 percent of Sacramento County will be added to the district.

“The change for (Oller) is much smaller than for most from a partisan point of view,” Hudson said. “Change was smaller in this district than any other in the state. Every county in this district is a Republican stronghold.”

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com

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