Border region becomes one under Senate redistricting proposal

September 01, 2001|By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

The state Senate's proposed redistricting map for the Imperial Valley reaches a long leg into San Diego to bring the entire California-Mexico border region into one district.

The proposed district map was released by the state Legislature yesterday. The district would serve a population that is 60 percent Hispanic. If approved, the changes would be in effect for the March 2002 primary.

Voting boundaries will be redrawn the year after a national decennial census to reflect changes in the population.

The proposed state Senate district is made up of all of Imperial County, extends west to include Chula Vista, parts of San Diego and rural and incorporated parts of south San Diego County, and north to include Riverside County up to Interstate 10 at Cathedral City.

The Imperial Valley's state Sen. Jim Batten, R-La Quinta, does not reside in the proposed new district.

Batten's term is up in 2004. If another senator is elected for the new district in 2002, Imperial County might temporarily have two state senators, said Kim Glassman, Batten's chief of staff.


"Technically, Sen. Batten will always represent the people who voted for him until 2004," Glassman said.

She said the proposed district lines were redrawn but district numbers are not permanently assigned, although the proposed district is No. 40.

Democrat Steve Peace of El Cajon holds the 40th District seat now.

"The Legislature adjourns Sept. 14, so a decision on the proposed maps has to be made by then," Glassman said.

Some locals had been pushing for a state Senate seat similar to the one designed. Former San Diego area Democratic Assemblywoman Denise Moreno Ducheny has indicated she will run for the seat and has been visiting Imperial County in recent months.

The proposed district includes all of Imperial County's population of 142,361, which is less than 17 percent of the district. The people of Imperial County are outnumbered by 525,835 San Diego County residents and 178,596 people from Riverside County. Total population for the district is 846,792.

Registered voters number 288,219 in the district, in which 581,530 are old enough to vote. Of those registered, 47 percent are Democrats and 31 percent are Republicans.

The proposed state Senate redistricting statistics and maps are available online at:

The current 37th Senate district map is available online at:

Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or

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