Musical districts: Latina congresswomen won't run against each other

Lakewood Democrat Linda Sanchez
Lakewood Democrat Linda Sanchez Kitty Felde/KPCC

Now that a citizens’ commission has approved new Congressional districts, many veteran politicians find themselves running against each other. But a pair of southern California Latinas found a way out of their conundrum.

Democrat Grace Napolitano of Norwalk was one of the first to announce which newly drawn Congressional district she wanted to run in. She picked the 38th. It includes Norwalk, a city she represents now.

The new district also includes La Mirada and Cerritos; its representative is fellow Democrat Linda Sanchez of Lakewood. Sanchez says she'd "talked to Grace directly about it and early on had let her know if the 38th included my home and the majority of territories that I had previously represented that I would be running. I think she was very aware of my intentions."

This week, Napolitano changed her mind and picked a district to the east of hers. She said she “felt that it would be better to have two strong Latina Congresswomen representing the people of this area instead of just one.”

Now, Napolitano will run in the newly drawn 32nd. It includes growing Latino communities like Baldwin Park and El Monte. The district also includes San Dimas, whose representative is Republican David Dreier. Dreier has not announced whether he’ll run in the 32nd.

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