Redistricting forcing state Sen. Ted Gaines to move to keep seat

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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State Sen. Ted Gaines is planning to pull up stakes in the wake of a redistricting change that places his Roseville home inside fellow Republican Sen. Doug LaMalfa’s District 4. Gaines said that he’ll have to move at least a quarter mile to remain in District 1 and meet state Senate residency requirements. The part of east Roseville he lives in has been shifted into District 4 as part of remapping by the California Redistricting Commission. The redistricting of electoral boundaries was finalized last week. Gaines said that he would have to move from a residence his family has lived in for 18 years and one possibility is to relocate in Granite Bay. But Gaines added that while he believes the newly reshaped district is a good fit – it’s about a 70 percent overlap with the old District 1 lines – there’s a possibility changes could happen if a possible referendum or court battle materialize. “It’s a good district – very similar to District 1 now – and it will be adding Siskiyou and Shasta counties,” Gaines said. “I’m looking forward to working hard and campaigning in the district in 2012.” LaMalfa’s rural Northern California District 4 swaps in the western portion of the city of Roseville and splits off North Auburn, Penryn, Loomis, Lincoln and Rocklin into District 1. Auburn, the eastern part of Roseville and Colfax remain in Senate District 1. Gaines said his options are to find a home and make a short move to a District 1 location. That would allow him to potentially keep his District 1 seat, which he would run for again in 2012. The commission made the changes partly as a result of requests at hearings in Auburn and other locations to reshape districts to reflect foothills and mountain geographical areas as separate from more populous and agricultural valley districts. The commission also attempted to reapportion each of California’s 40 Senate districts to as near an ideal population of 931,349 as possible. Other concerns included minimizing the fragmentation of counties, cities, neighborhoods and communities of interest. In all, 11 counties (including Placer) and 20 cities with populations smaller than a Senate district (including Roseville) were split in Senate district remapping. The commission decided that District 1 will include all of Siskiyou, Shasta, Modoc, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada and Alpine counties, the mountainous portions of Placer and El Dorado counties, a portion of Roseville and part of Sacramento County. Part of Roseville was included in District 1 to help achieve population equality among districts, the report said. LaMalfa’s District 4 will no longer contain the northerly Del Norte, Siskiyou and Trinity counties “The district does change, with a dramatic southward shift,” La Malfa said Tuesday. “I’m happy to be in a position to be able to serve and I’m welcoming the opportunity to get to know the new folks.” La Malfa said that he had no discussions with Gaines on what to do if remapping left them both in the same Senate district. But because LaMalfa’s term isn’t up until 2014 and Gaines’ District 1 seat is part of the odd-numbered districts that will be in the November 2012 election, the Butte County senator said he was anticipating Gaines would shift residences to stay in office. The commission also responded to requests to ensure there would be north-south transportation links in the 1st District, which ranges from Alpine County in the south to the Oregon state line. “It is connected in large part by Highway 395 north and south and Highway 50 and Interstate 80 east and west,” the report states. “Its shared economic interests include timber and recreation.” The “blend” into other areas such as Roseville was made to keep the Lake Tahoe basin and Truckee area whole while keeping Butte County intact in Senate District 4, the report stated. District 4 includes Tehama, Butte, Glenn, Colusa, Yuba and Sutter counties. It also takes in western Roseville and a portion of northeast Sacramento County. “The blending of Assembly districts in this Senate district allows the mostly agricultural and northern Central Valley communities to be reunited in a district without crossing in the mountains to the east,” the report states.