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Democrats Set To Win 2 Of 3 In Redrawn Northern California Congressional Districts

Aaron Liu |
November 7, 2012 | 2:00 a.m. PST

Assistant News Editor

In October 2011, Gill outraised every non-incumbant Republican in the country. (Dawn Megli/ Neon Tommy)
In October 2011, Gill outraised every non-incumbant Republican in the country. (Dawn Megli/ Neon Tommy)
Redistricting gave once-predictable congressional elections in Northern California new life. Here's a round up of how sone of the races panned out on Nov. 6:

9th District:

Jerry McNerney defeated Republican Ricky Gill 54-46 for California’s newly-formed 9th Congressional District seat.

In October 2011, before Gill was even old enough to qualify constitutionally for office – the newcomer raised more money for his campaign than every other non-incumbent Republican in the country. The 25-year-old candidate finished law school at UC Berkeley in the spring before going on to address the Republican National Convention in the fall. His meteoric rise as a politician caught the eye of GOP leaders, who saw an opportunity in Gill and his fundraising prowess to unseat a Democratic congressman.

Despite all the hype about Gill, McNerney had beaten Gill in the primaries by about 9 percentage points. McNerney himself unseated a congressional incumbent in 2006 to gain a seat in the House of Representatives -- a rare feat considering that members of the house have almost always won in recent Californian congressional races. Since then, the self-proclaimed moderate Democrat had successfully fended off Republican challengers in 2008 and 2010.

10th District:

19th Congressional District Rep. Jeff Denham defeated Democrat Jose Hernandez for California’s 10th Congressional District.

Hernandez may have flown to space, but months ago a Sacramento law firm with ties to conservative lawmakers tried to prevent the candidate and former NASA employee from describing himself as an “astronaut” on the November ballot. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Allowing a candidate out of nowhere to use the profession of 'astronaut' when he hasn't served in that profession recently is akin to allowing someone to use a title of 'sailor' when they no longer own or operate a ship," said Jennifer Kerns, a California Republican Party spokeswoman. 

A judge ruled against the firm and allowed Hernandez to use “astronaut/scientist/engineer” on the ballot.

Despite the small victory, Hernandez faced an up-hill battle against the sitting Republican congressman in a congressional district that had said “no” to gay marriage and “yes” to Meg Whitman.

As for Denham, the Air Force veteran and former state senator succeeded Republican Rep. George Radanovich in 2010 after Radanovich called upon Denham to take his place. Denham had won 49 percent of the vote during the primary, with Hernandez grabbing only 28 percent by comparison.

Neither candidate hails from the 10th district.

7th District:

Democrat and physician Dr. Amerish “Ami” Bera narrowly defeated 3rd district Republican Rep. Dan Lungren for California’s newly-mapped 7th Congressional District seat, according to ballots counted by early Wednesday. But Bera's 184-vote lead could be challenged by absentee ballots counted in the next few days.

Lungren, a former gubernatorial candidate, had crossed paths with Bera before -- in 2010, Lungren beat Bera in a race for the 3rd district seat by a margin of about 8 percent.

Two years have passed, the maps were redrawn and Democrats saw the new district as an opportunity to paint a red seat blue.

During the race, both had made the accusation that the other is some sort of doppelganger of a scarier politician from the opposing side. When Missouri Rep. Todd Akin said women rarely get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” Bera jumped to the occasion to compare Lungren with Akin, as both of them co-sponsored the same legislative bill to cut federal funds for abortions. Meanwhile, Lungren had ran ads calling Bera a “Pelosi clone.”



Northern California: Congressional Elections To Watch

San Diego County Important For House Of Reps.

Long Beach Congressional Race Mirrors The National Scene


Reach Assistant News Editor Aaron Liu here. Follow him on Twitter.



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