Local politicians say they are generally happy that San Joaquin County will be well represented in the state and congressional districts adopted Monday, but Republicans don't like the advantage that Democrats were given in the realigned districts on a statewide basis.
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission adopted a resolution on Monday certifying new boundaries in the state's 53 Congressional, 80 State Senate, 40 Assembly and 40 Board of Equalization districts.
California Republicans have discussed plans to colleåct signatures in an effort to overturn the commission's work on the June 2012 ballot. However, two local Republicans think it's unlikely that a referendum would be successful.
Republicans would have to raise $2.5 million to pay signature gatherers, former Stockton Assemblyman Dean Andal said. And that's $2.5 million just for one legislative body, such as Assembly or Senate.
And Lodi's Tony Amador, who lost to David Harmer in the 11th Congressional District primary last year and then lost a bid for the Lodi City Council in November, agrees that it will be too costly to put a referendum on the June 2012 ballot.
In the newly named Ninth Congressional District, Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, and Republican Ricky Gill of Lodi have declared their candidacy. Amador and Brad Goehring of Clements are considering a run at McNerney's seat, but neither have made up their mind.
Amador said he will run for Assembly or Congress if there are no strong candidates. His decision isn't expected any time soon since he was named acting chairman of the San Joaquin County Republican Central Committee to replace Dennis Duffy, who resigned a little more than a week ago.
Goehring, who also lost to Harmer in the Republican primary in 2010, said he will consider only Congress and not any state office.
"We're doing our due diligence on it," Goehring said. "It's unfortunate what they've done to bring Antioch into the picture."
Antioch, Oakley and Brentwood, all in eastern Contra Costa County, stand to be in the same district as Lodi.
In the Assembly, Lodi and Galt will be together in District 9, which extends north to Elk Grove and South Sacramento. Lodi will be separated from the rest of San Joaquin County in the Assembly.
In the State Senate, Lodi and Galt were placed with San Joaquin County, which includes part of Modesto. Andal says the Senate seat is likely to be an open contest with a lot of candidates.
Andal, who says he will not seek public office in 2012, said he was pleased that San Joaquin County was kept together in its legislative districts. He credits Republicans and Democrats alike in the county in lobbying the redistricting commission to keep San Joaquin County whole.
He also praised Stockton commissioner Michelle DiGuilio, registered as Decline to State, for her work on her home county's behalf.
However, Andal was critical of the commission's overall liberal leanings.
"I think the Republican Party will lose seats," Andal said. "We might even lose ability to block a tax increase."
That's because with the new lines, the state Legislature might be able to get a two-thirds Democratic majority, which will allow them to place tax increases on the ballot, Andal said.
The 14-member commission consists of five Republicans, five Democrats and four registered as Decline to State. Except for DiGuilio, the Decline to State commissioners leaned on the liberal side, Andal said.
"Michelle was trying to do the right thing," Andal said. "But there were no Republicans on there who had any background in Republican politics."
Goehring and Amador won't decide for a while whether to seek public office.
"I think right people can jump in at a later date and do very well," Goehring said.
San Joaquin County Supervisors Ken Vogel of Linden and Leroy Ornellas of Tracy have been rumored as possible candidates for state or federal office. Vogel said in a previous News-Sentinel interview that he will consider a run for higher office if voters want him to run.
Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Alyson Huber, D-El Dorado Hills, faces a serious decision. Huber wasn't immediately available for comment on Monday, but her chief of staff, Tim Reardon, said that Huber is looking in two directions — running for an Assembly seat outside of El Dorado County or trying Congress.
The new Assembly seat for El Dorado Hills shows a 20 percent Republican advantage, making it impossible for a Democrat to win, Reardon said.
Huber's options include moving to the Lodi area and running for an Assembly seat, or running in a district that includes Rancho Cordova and suburban Sacramento County communities north of the American River. There is no incumbent in the eastern Sacramento County district.
"She has not decided," Reardon said.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.