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Riverside, Calif., Thrust Into Spotlight With New Congressional Seat

Alexis Miller |
September 13, 2012 | 11:25 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

(Dawn Megli/Neon Tommy)
(Dawn Megli/Neon Tommy)
For the first time in two decades the city of Riverside, Calif., will have a local representative in Congress. Last year's redistricting produced the 41st Congressional District, encompassing Riverside, Perris, Moreno Valley and Jurupa Valley.

With no incumbent and a partisan dogfight ensuing, the 41st district has become the new prize to win for both parties. Top ranking Democrats have already endorsed candidate Mark Takano, a teacher and a California Community College Trustee. Republicans have endorsed John Tavaglione, the Riverside County supervisor. 

Both men are Riverside residents and have a wealth of experience under their belts. Takano has, according to The Press-Enterprise, been a teacher since 1988, in addition to running for Congress twice in the 1990s.

Tavaglione, on the other hand, comes into this race with 18 years of experience on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and as president of the California State Association of Counties.

To win a majority in the House of Representatives this November, Democrats must win 25 new seats. This contest ranks high in importance among California state seats, and both parties have made it a priority to win Riverside. 

Jesse Ferguson, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee speaker told The Press-Enterprise, “We’ve made it clear that California is key to our national strategy — and this race is key to California. It’s a top priority, there’s no doubt about it.”

Historically, Democrats have outnumbered Republicans in this area with 42 percent of the population, while Republicans only make up 35 percent. Another 18 percent are undecided. President Obama won the Riverside area in 2008; however, for the past 20 years, Riverside has been represented by a strong Republican base.

As a Democrat, Takano has expressed that he would support local infrastructure and transportation projects, as well as protecting Medicare and cutting the Bush-era tax cuts. Meanwhile, Tavaglione, who is known as a moderate Republican, vowed to reduce spending, revamp the tax code and lower the federal deficit.


Click here for full congressional race coverage.

Reach Staff Reporter Alexis Miller here.



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