San Joaquin County supervisors will send a clear message to the citizens' committee that will draw new legislative lines this year — they want a unified county voice in Sacramento and Washington and not to have their representatives' attention diverted by other counties in their districts.

The Board of Supervisors voted 3-0 on Tuesday to ask the California Citizens Redistricting Commission to place San Joaquin County within one congressional, one state senate and one assembly district.

The recommendation goes against projections by Republican consultant and longtime reapportionment expert Tony Quinn, who told the News-Sentinel during a meeting in Stockton two weeks ago that San Joaquin County would likely be carved into two assembly districts.

Supervisor Ken Vogel acknowledged after Tuesday's board meeting that the county would be divided into two assembly districts, but the important thing is to not be carved up into four districts.

"I think the thing we were trying to emphasize is that we want to be as whole as possible," Vogel said.

Since the 2002 elections, San Joaquin County has been divided into four assembly, two state senate and two congressional districts. Quinn said the county population would likely warrant a single senate and congressional district, plus two assembly districts.

The main idea is to separate San Joaquin County from the East Bay and Morgan Hill in Congress, for example. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, represents most of San Joaquin County, the San Ramon Valley, parts of the Livermore Valley and the southern Santa Clara County community of Morgan Hill.

And Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Atwater, has narrow slivers of Democrat-based central Stockton and a small part of Fresno County, but his base is in Stanislaus and Merced counties.

San Joaquin County shares congressional, state senate and assembly districts with Alameda, Amador, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Sacramento, Solano, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Yolo counties.

The redistricting commission is scheduled to complete boundaries for California by Aug. 15. A public hearing will be held after the maps are drawn.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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