California Redistricting

Redistricting breakdown: A look at the Valley’s new Assembly districts

With California finally wrapping up the redistricting process on Monday, capping a process that took well over a year, the Central Valley’s Assemblymembers can now prepare for the new districts.

While the Valley will have nine Assembly districts, not all of the incumbents have a clear path to victory if they seek reelection.

Here’s a look at the Assembly districts for the Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the incumbents who line up closest to them, with data provided courtesy of the California Target Book:

The new 8th Assembly District

Nickname: “SSAC-STANIS”
Incumbent with most overlap: Jim Patterson (R–Fresno)

Although Assm. Jim Patterson current 23rd district makes up the majority of the new 8th district, his path forward to reelection could be a little murky. 

That’s because the California Redistricting Commission also drew fellow Assm. Frank Bigelow (R–O’Neals) into the same district. 

Patterson, though, would seemingly hold an advantage by maintaining a population base in north Fresno and Clovis. 

If Bigelow ends up challenging Patterson for the seat, the winner would come away with a heavily Republican district. 

Republicans hold a 14.29 percent edge over Democrats in the new 8th district and supported Donald Trump at a 13.69 percent advantage over Joe Biden in 2020. 

It would be a large jump into a safer area for Patterson since his current district holds a 2.55 percent Republican advantage. 

The new 9th Assembly District

Nickname: “SSAC-STANIS”
Incumbent with most overlap: Heath Flora (R–Ripon)

Moving from the 12th district to the new 9th district, Ripon Republican Heath Flora will find himself in a much stronger Republican seat. 

Currently Republicans in Flora’s district hold a 2.51 percent lead over Democrats, but that difference will jump to 9.63 percent in the new district. 

While Republicans will gain 3.7 percentage points, Democrats will lose 3.42 points, further strengthening Flora’s position. 

Trump carried a 14.25 percent lead in 2020 from voters in the new district. 

The new 13th Assembly District

Nickname: “STOCKTON”
Incumbent with most overlap: Carlos Villapudua (D–Stockton)

Stockton Democrat Carlos Villapudua is in line for a similar seat to the one that he was first elected to last year. 

While his current district already has a 27.03 percent lead for Democrats, that advantage will increase ever so slightly to 27.66 percent. 

Following that lead, voters in the new 13th district favored Biden by 30.51 percent in 2020.

The new 22nd Assembly District

Nickname: “STANISLAUS”
Incumbent with most overlap: None. Newly-Drawn.

The new 22nd district holds a unique place in the Central Valley: It is the only newly-drawn district across the region. 

It also figures to host one of the more competitive battles for whoever decides to take a shot at this seat. 

As is quite different from the above districts, the new 22nd district will see Democrats with 6.12 percent edge, but Biden only carried the area with a 4.62 percent lead in 2020. 

The new 27th Congressional District

Nickname: “MercedFresno”
Incumbent with most overlap: Adam Gray (D–Merced)

Moving back toward the middle of the Valley, Merced Democrat Adam Gray will have a very similar district voter registration-wise compared to the one he has represented for most of the last decade. 

Gray’s current District 21 has a 15.62 percent advantage for Democrats, while the new 27th district will boast a 15.15 percent edge for Democrats. 

Biden held a 13.57 percent advantage last year. 

The new 31st Assembly District

Nickname: “Fresno”
Incumbent with most overlap: Joaquin Arambula (D–Fresno)

Democrat Joaquin Arambula will maintain his strong population base in Fresno in the new 31st district. 

Having enjoyed a 22.64 percent Democrat edge in his current seat, the new district will have a 24.07 percent advantage for Democrats. 

Voters in the new district were even more supportive of Biden in 2020, giving the president a 30.14 percent lead over Trump. 

The new 32nd Assembly District

Nickname: “Tulare-Kern”
Incumbent with most overlap: Vince Fong (R–Bakersfield)

Similar to how the redistricting commission packed Republicans into what is presumably going to be House GOP speaker Kevin McCarthy’s new district, Bakersfield Republican Vince Fong will also pick up members of his own party. 

Fong currently enjoys a 14.1 percent Republican lead in the 34th district, but the new district will see the GOP have a 23.44 percent advantage. 

Trump performed even greater than the district’s Republican registration total as he held a 27.84 percent lead over Biden. 

The new 33rd Assembly District

Nickname: “KINGS-TULARE”
Incumbent with most overlap: Devon Mathis (R–Porterville)

Visalia Republican Devon Mathis will face a new district that has less Republican support than his current district has. 

Republicans in his 26th district currently have a 5.15 edge over Democrats, but that lead shrinks to 1.18 percent in the new 26th district. 

While those numbers point to the new district being one of the most competitive in the Central Valley, Trump outperformed party registration by grabbing a 4.41 percent lead over Biden last year. 

The new 35th Assembly District

Nickname: “WBAKERSFIELD”
Incumbent with most overlap: Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield)

Outgoing Democrat Rudy Salas is choosing to not run for a district that will have wide Democrat support as he instead will challenge David Valadao (R–Hanford) for Congress. 

That leaves another Democrat, whether it’s Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez or someone else, in prime position to hold onto a strong seat. 

Democrats hold a 24.31 percent lead over Republicans in the new 35th district, and Biden led Trump by 21.08 percent in 2020. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.