California’s Congressional delegation has a bumper crop of 14 new freshmen. But most have lots of legislative experience.
Nearly 2/3 of California’s freshman Congressional class have served in the state legislature. All three Republicans -- Paul Cook, Doug LaMalfa, and David Valadeo -- were Assemblymen, with LaMalfa also serving two years in the state Senate.
Six Congressional Democrats -- Julia Brownley, Alan Lowenthal, Jared Huffman, Juan Vargas, Tony Cardenas, and Gloria Negrete McLeod -- are also veterans of the California statehouse.
Brownley is thankful for that Sacramento training. She says that with everything freshmen have to think about, "it’s really great to have had the experience and to know a little bit know about what I need to know and when I need to know it."
Term limits have prompted many California lawmakers to consider life after Sacramento. A combination of citizen-drawn districts and the new “top-two” law made it easier for state legislators to challenge Congressional incumbents.