California was truly the home of Congressional competition this cycle, as more than one-fifth of its House delegation will be new in the next Congress.
With several races still to be called, the state could elect as many as 12 new Members. That’s stunning movement for the country’s largest delegation, which has seen remarkably little turnover in the past decade.
Democrats hoped to net several seats in the Golden State this cycle, though gauging their success was still difficult Wednesday morning because several races remained too close to call.
The turnover can be pegged to a wave of retirements, California’s new “jungle” primary system and the state’s independent redistricting commission, which for the first time reconfigured the Congressional map without consideration for incumbents, which led to two Member-vs.-Member races.
Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Laura Richardson won’t be returning to Capitol Hill; both were defeated by 20 points by a fellow Democratic incumbent. Berman lost to Rep. Brad Sherman in the San Fernando Valley, and Richardson lost to Rep. Janice Hahn in a south Los Angeles district.
Two other Democratic incumbents lost to challengers from their own party. Rep. Pete Stark, the dean of the Democratic delegation, lost by 6 points to Democratic challenger Eric Swalwell, a Dublin city councilman. And Rep. Joe Baca lost to state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod by 8 points.
At least three other incumbents were still in danger of losing as the sun began to rise on the East Coast: Republican Reps. Dan Lungren, Mary Bono Mack and Brian Bilbray.
Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D) race had not been called either, but unlike those incumbents, he was leading his challenger with a quarter of the vote still out. State Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D) held a small lead for an open, Republican-held seat against state Sen. Tony Strickland (R).
Here are the notable races that have been called, with some of the vote still out in many districts:
- 3rd district: Rep. John Garamendi (D) 53 percent, Kim Vann (R) 47 percent
- 9th district: Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) 54 percent, Ricky Gill (R) 46 percent
- 10th district: Rep. Jeff Denham (R) 54 percent, Jose Hernandez (D) 46 percent
- 15th district: Eric Swalwell (D) 53 percent, Rep. Pete Stark (D) 47 percent
- 21st district: State Assemblyman David Valadao (R) 61 percent, Jose Hernandez (D) 39 percent
- 24th district: Rep. Lois Capps (D) 55 percent, Abel Maldonado (R) 45 percent
- 30th district: Rep. Brad Sherman (D) 60 percent, Rep. Howard Berman (D) 40 percent
- 35th district: State Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D) 55 percent, Rep. Joe Baca (D) 45 percent
- 41st district: Mark Takano (D) 57 percent, John Tavaglione (R) 43 percent
- 44th district: Rep. Janice Hahn (D) 60 percent, Rep. Laura Richardson (D) 40 percent
- 47th district: State Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D) 55 percent, Gary DeLong (R) 45 percent