Fresno-based Asm. Jim Patterson announced Thursday that he is running for the newly-drawn 8th Assembly District.
Patterson’s decision will pit him against fellow Republican Frank Bigelow, if the O’Neals lawmaker chooses to run for reelection.
The new 8th District is centered on north Fresno and Clovis and spans through gold country in the north to Calaveras County, through the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east and Inyo County to the south.
“Representing the foothill and mountain communities in the Central Valley has been a challenge and a privilege,” Patterson said in a statement.
“So often, the needs of our rural areas are overlooked and even ignored at the state level. I look forward to continuing to shine the bright light of accountability on our state government on their behalf.”
Currently, Patterson represents District 23, which covers much of Fresno, Clovis, eastern Fresno County and northern Tulare County.
While the new district represents a sizable geographic shift for Patterson, he will retain 65 percent of the new District 8 are currently his constituents in District 23.
Patterson, 73, was the mayor of Fresno from 1993-2001 and has served in the Assembly since he was first elected in 2012.
The new 8th district is home to a 14.29 percent Republican advantage over Democrats in voter registration.
Patterson’s current district sees Republicans with a much smaller edge, coming in at 2.55 percent.