Eastern Sierra unites post-redistricting


The countdown for the 2022 midterm elections has begun.

The 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission last month approved new boundaries for state congressional districts, with the former uniting the central and southern Eastern Sierra.

A portion of the current Congressional District 1 that includes Nevada County, represented by U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa; and parts of Congressional District 4, represented by U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, will now be entirely contained within Congressional District 3.

The new congressional district’s boundaries extend to nearly the bottom edge of the California-Nevada state border, starting near Lake Tahoe and running down the eastern Sierra. Under the new lines, District 3 will be 39% Republican and 32% Democrat.

Sacramento State Political Science Professor Wesley Hussey said the new district represents a geographically large area that covers a massive amount of California’s inland mountain towns and foothill communities.

Hussey said the conglomeration of the mountain and mountain-adjacent communities was intentional, and that residents of Inyo and Mono counties specifically requested to share the same representative as other residents of the Eastern Sierra.

“They were previously in a more Southern California district and then moved up,” Hussey said. “The residents of that area would rather be in a foothill or mountain district and they can be attached anywhere because, population-wise, they’re such a small amount.”

Although District 3 extends to just two hours outside of Los Angeles, Hussey said experts will observe voter power and observed trends originating out of Roseville and Folsom.

Democratic U.S. Rep. John Garamendi currently represents District 3, which encompasses part of the state’s capital. District 3’s boundaries will move east for the 2022 midterm election to span Plumas, Sierra, Nevada, Placer, Alpine, Inyo and part of El Dorado counties.

According to the final map, 5.9% of District 3’s voters identify as Asian, 1.5% identify as Black, 10.2% identify as Latino, and 79.8% identify as white.

“Population-wise, it’s in the Sacramento suburbs, but the (geographic) center is closer to Tahoe,” Hussey said.

Hussey said the increased number of Bay Area transplants moving out of San Francisco and Oakland looks significant because of the small population of the communities they are moving into, but it is not enough to swing votes from central-Northern California districts.

“It’s a big thing to a small community to have 100 people move in, but in a state of our size, it’s not that much,“ Hussey said.

Hussey said for that reason, Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley’s bid for the new seat will likely be received well.

Kiley unsuccessfully ran for the state Senate seat currently held by Brian Dahle, and more recently in the the gubernatorial recall election.


Hussey said as it was in District 1 and 4, Nevada County will likely continue to vote more progressively than its congressional district.

“It has a connection with technology,“ Hussey said of Nevada County. ”It was doing interesting things with film for a long time, and it was already very different from the rest of the gold mountain communities.“

Hussey said the district needs many more Bay Area transplants if Democrats are looking to flip the district.

“A lot of these people moving from the Bay are like, ‘Wait, there are Republicans around here, how did that happen?’” Hussey said. “Well, they’ve been there for wherever. … if you didn’t like that, you should have known ahead of time where you are moving.”

Hussey said that mentality is why he predicts Kiley would best any Bay Area backed political candidate.

“The 3rd Congressional District is closer to 50-50, but it’s still going to lean Republican,” Hussey said. “In an off year, when the White House loses seats, it’s hard to imagine the district going Democratic, no matter who the candidate is.”

LaMalfa expressed regret at the loss of key team members in counties he will no longer represent in Plumas, Sierra, Nevada and Placer counties, but said he would be running for reelection within his new district’s boundaries.

”It’s a mixture of sadness (and) optimism with our renewed work in the new areas,“ LaMalfa said in a statement. ”The new maps are a bit more focused on the valley’s agricultural areas, where I have experience and many constituent relationships. (We) will remain a friend and keep the open door as we continue to fight for better forestry, more water and the other issues that affect them and all of Northern California.“


California’s new congressional map has 52 congressional districts, one less district than the map established 10 years ago. According to Hussey, redistricting happens once every decade to ensure each district has the same amount of people after the census.

According to, the website describing the work of the 14-member independent commission that redrew the districts’ boundaries, California’s Congressional District 3 now no longer includes Sacramento at all.

Congressional District 1 now includes Sutter, Butte, Colusa, Tehama, Modoc, Siskiyou and parts of Glen counties.

Congressional District 5 reaches through parts of El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Madera and Inyo counties.

These districts take effect with the June 2022 primaries and continue for the next decade.

Nevada County’s majority vote has deviated from that of its congressional district’s majority preference in the past few elections. In the last two elections — 2020 and 2016 — over 50% of the county voted Democratic.

Representation will not change at all change for the county at the state level. Megan Dahle continues to serve the region in Assembly District 1, and her husband, Brian Dahle, holds the state Senate District 1 seat.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at


County nonpartisan offices up for election in 2022

Nevada County supervisor, District 3 (Dan Miller, incumbent)

Nevada County supervisor, District 4 (Sue Hoek, incumbent)

Nevada County assessor (Sue Horne, incumbent)

Nevada County auditor-controller (Marcia Salter, incumbent)

Nevada County clerk-recorder/registrar (Gregory J. Diaz, incumbent)

Nevada County district attorney (Jesse Wilson, appointed incumbent)

Nevada County sheriff (Shannan Moon, incumbent)

Nevada County superintendent of schools (Scott W. Lay, incumbent)

Nevada County treasurer/tax collector (Tina Vernon, incumbent)

Placer County superintendent of schools (Gayle Garbolino-Mojica, incumbent)

Municipal nonpartisan offices

Nevada City, City Council (Duanne Strawser, incumbent)

Nevada City, City Council (Erin Minett, incumbent)

Grass Valley, City Council (Ben Aguilar, incumbent)

Grass Valley, City Council (Hilary Hodge, incumbent)

Truckee, Town Council (Anna Klovstad, incumbent)

Truckee, Town Council (David Polivy incumbent)

Truckee, Town Council (Jan Zabriskie, incumbent)

Nevada County Board Of Education

Trustee Area 1: (Louise Bennicoff Johnson, incumbent)

Trustee Area 1: (Susan Clarabut, incumbent)

Board President, Trustee Area II (Heino L. Nicolai, incumbent)

Grass Valley School District

Trustee-board president (Jeanne Michael, incumbent)

Trustee (Lisa Jarvis, incumbent)

Board clerk (Andrea Bradley, incumbent)

Clear Creek School District

Trustee (Bart Riebe, incumbent)

Trustee (Jerily McCormick, incumbent)

Pleasant Ridge Union School District

Trustee (Deanne Opdahl, incumbent)

Trustee (Angela Arroyo, incumbent)

Trustee (Kelly McKinley, incumbent)

Nevada City School District

Trustee (Sandy Hakala, incumbent)

Trustee (Seth Leishman, incumbent)

Trustee (Jennifer Singer, incumbent)

Twin Ridges Elementary School District

Trustee (Malik Goodman, incumbent)

Trustee (Hilary Hulteen, incumbent)

Tahoe Truckee Unified School District

Trustee Area 1 (Kim Szczurek, incumbent)

Trustee Area 5 (Dianna Driller, incumbent)

Trustee Area 4 (Gaylan Larson, incumbent)

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