Census, term limit change means big turnover for lawmakers

Oct 12, 2022, 10:03 AM | Updated: 10:46 am
FILE - Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, left, of Lakewood, and Assemblyman Robert Rivas, D-Holliste...

FILE - Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, left, of Lakewood, and Assemblyman Robert Rivas, D-Hollister, walk to a meeting of the Democratic caucus at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Rendon said afterward that Rivas has the support of the majority of the Democratic caucus to be the next speaker into his final term. Lawmakers will sort out the issue after the new Legislature takes office Dec. 5. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — An unusually high number of California lawmakers will be gone after the November election due to a collision between redistricting in 2020 and changes to term limits that voters approved a decade ago.

The turnover has groups cheering the opportunity to increase lawmakers’ gender and ethnic diversity. Advocacy group Close the Gap celebrated what executive director Susannah Delano called ” the Motherlode of open seats” and a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to reshape the Legislature over the next six years.

A quarter of the 40-member Senate is being replaced this fall, with seven members termed out of office and three others not seeking reelection. No members of the 80-member Assembly are termed out, but 22 members who will reach their 12-year term limit to serve over the next six years opted not to seek reelection this year.

Half of the Senate is up for election every two years, while all Assembly members run every two years. But this year even the incumbents are running in legislative districts that were redrawn after the census.

Gone due to term limits, for instance, is Sen. Bob Hertzberg, a former Assembly speaker and Senate majority leader perhaps best known recently for unsuccessfully pursuing bail reform. Assemblyman Brian Maeinschein, a fellow Democrat, is among those endangered by redistricting after just authoring a law prompted by Britney Spears’ bad experience with California’s conservatorships law.

Still, Democrats’ overwhelming majorities in both chambers seem safe.

Senate Republicans gave away one seat (see below). And six Assembly members — five of them Republicans — were drawn into three districts, guaranteeing losses for three incumbents, including at least two from the GOP.

Here’s a look at some of the top races:


Republicans hold just nine Senate seats. But they helped Democrats when six GOP candidates split the primary vote to replace retiring Sen. Andreas Borgeas in this rural Central Valley and Eastern Sierra district. Two Democrats prevailed under California’s primary system, which advances the top two vote-getters no matter their party affiliation. The Democratic Party is backing labor leader Tim Robertson over charter school administrator Marie Alvarado-Gil.


Sen. Melissa Hurtado moved into this southern San Joaquin Valley district to avoid a primary contest with fellow Democratic incumbent Anna Caballero. Hurtado defeated two Democratic rivals, but now faces Republican David Shepard. Democrats hold a 13 percentage point voter registration advantage, but the California Target Book, which tracks legislative contests, puts that within Republicans’ reach because Central Valley voters tend to be more conservative.


Hertzberg is termed out, but is trying to pass the torch to son Daniel Hertzberg. The San Fernando Valley district is safely Democratic, but Hertzberg finished neck-and-neck with fellow Democrat Caroline Menjivar in the June primary. The elder Hertzberg is meanwhile running for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.


Democratic Assemblyman Ken Cooley is a top target for Republicans in his suburban Sacramento district where the Democratic voter advantage narrowed to 5 percentage points after redistricting. Cooley’s primary campaign focused television ads on an obscure member of the extremist Proud Boys in what Republicans called an effort at misdirection. The GOP’s endorsed candidate still advanced: Josh Hoover, an Assembly aide to congressional candidate Kevin Kiley.


Redistricting was not kind to Republican Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares. She flipped what had been a Democratic seat two years ago, but 42% of voters in the redrawn Los Angeles County district are registered Democrats to Republicans’ 29%. She received less than half the vote in a three-way primary race, a subpar “flashing warning sign” for November, says the California Target Book that tracks legislative contests. She faces labor organizer Pilar Schiavo.


Maeinschein was a Republican before he switched parties in 2019, criticizing then-President Donald Trump. Now he’s seeking reelection in a San Diego County district that’s slightly less friendly after redistricting, though Democrats still hold a 6 percentage point voter registration edge. His “anemic showing” with just under half the primary vote “could set off alarms,” says the Target Book, but he faces Republican Kristie Bruce-Lane, whose “strident, red-meat campaign” may be too conservative for the moderate district.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - An election worker verifies a ballot on a screen inside the Maricopa County Recorders Office...
Associated Press

Arizona counties face deadline to certify 2022 election

Six Arizona counties must decide Monday whether to certify 2022 election results amid pressure from some Republicans not to officially approve a vote count that had Democrats winning for U.S. Senate, governor and other statewide races.
8 hours ago
Associated Press

The Righting deciphers conservative media for outsiders

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly six years into monitoring the content of conservative media outlets for his website and newsletter The Righting, Howard Polskin hasn’t lost the capacity for surprise. Case in point: when Donald Trump announced his 2024 presidential candidacy, and many of his long-time media allies let fly with anger and insults. Two […]
8 hours ago
This photo shows Charles Graves dressed as Santa Claus in Austin, Texas on on Sept. 3, 2022. Graves...
Associated Press

Santa’s back in town with inflation, inclusion on his mind

NEW YORK (AP) — Don’t look for plastic partitions or faraway benches when visiting Santa Claus this year. The jolly old elf is back, pre-pandemic style, and he’s got some pressing issues on his mind. Santa booker HireSanta.com has logged a 30% increase in demand this Christmas season over last year, after losing about 15% […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and wife Gisele arrive to vote in Braddock, Pa, Tuesday...
Associated Press

Pennsylvania campaign wildcard Fetterman turns to governing

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — When John Fetterman goes to Washington in January as one of the Senate’s new members, he’ll bring along an irreverent style from Pennsylvania that extends from his own personal dress code — super casual — to hanging marijuana flags outside his current office in the state Capitol. Pennsylvania’s unique lieutenant governor, […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

This Week: Consumer confidence, consumer spending, jobs data

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: CONFIDENCE CHECK The Conference Board delivers its latest index of U.S. consumer confidence Tuesday. Economists expect the reading fell in November to 98. That would follow a reading of 102.5 in October. A reading of 90 or better reflects a […]
8 hours ago
People shop for bottled water after a boil water notice was issued for the entire city of Houston o...
Associated Press

Water boil order issued for more than 2 million in Houston

HOUSTON (AP) — More than 2 million people in the Houston area were under a boil order notice Monday after a power outage caused low pressure at a water purification plant, officials said. The order — which means water must be boiled before it’s used for cooking, bathing or drinking — also prompted schools in […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Census, term limit change means big turnover for lawmakers