Tis the season. No, not the holiday season, it is the opening of political season; or the vernacular of the cynical—the silly season.
Yes, candidates for San Jose mayor and City Council can officially begin raising money. The solicitations have begun and the lines are now drawn, literally and figuratively.
Much credit goes to Councilmember David Cohen for his compromise redistricting proposal. Reapportionment of any political jurisdiction is fraught with winners and losers, but Cohen was able to thread the needle so that most are satisfied, if not happy.
The new county supervisorial districts were very contentious as District 1 lost Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Almaden Valley to District 5 which includes Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto. Evergreen went from District 3 to District 1, which includes South County. The big winners are the AAPI community in District 3 and the Latino community in District 2.
The result being that San Jose will probably continue to dominate the Board of Supervisors, with a large number of San Jose residents and politicians in Districts 2, 3 and 4.
Not surprisingly the new county map passed on a 3-2 vote, with District 5 Supervisor Joe Simitian and Los Gatos resident and District 1 Supervisor Mike Wasserman voting no.
The initial congressional lines divide San Jose, with Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s district picking up farmland all the way to Salinas and Rep. Jimmy Panetta’s district losing much of its rural area and picking up more of San Jose.
But both Panetta, a Santa Clara University School of Law graduate, and Lofgren should be able to hold their seats comfortably, though they will have a challenge in introducing themselves to new voters.
Lofgren’s work on immigration, key to Salinas’ economic interests, should bode well for her.
As the lines are now finalized, Devin Nunes’ decision to resign from Congress makes a lot of sense as he could see the writing on the wall.
Because of California’s changing demographics and overwhelming Democratic majority, California is one place where Democrats can pick up seats, even and especially with an independent commission.
The state Legislature also will stay in the hands of a super-majority Democratic Party for the foreseeable future, lest some major change in voting patterns.
That said, it will make for some interesting changes. Republican Congressmembers Mike Garcia, David Valadao and Michelle Steel will all likely lose.
And there is a chance Trumpites Tom McClintock and Ken Calvert could be beaten. Les Francis, SJSU booster and former advisor to President Jimmy Carter and Norm Mineta, looks forward to those efforts.
So let the silly season begin and to all a good night.
San José Spotlight columnist Rich Robinson is a political consultant, attorney and author of “The Shadow Candidate.” His columns appear every fourth Wednesday of the month.
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