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California Primary Sets Up Same-Party U.S. House Contests In November

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
June 6, 2012

California’s new truly open primary held Tuesday could result in single-party matchups in November for eight of the state’s 53 U.S. House seats.

While some results remained unofficial Wednesday morning, five congressional districts were certain to have Democrat-vs.-Democrat races on Nov. 6, while a sixth looked likely; two districts could have Republican-vs.-Republican contests.

The Los Angeles Times has a clear visual representation of Tuesday’s primary results that shows where the intra-party matchups are expected.

On Monday, NPR’s Tamara Keith described the state’s new top-two primary system in detail, which applies to all U.S. Senate, U.S. House and state legislature races.

As she noted, the most prominent same-party fight was expected to be in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, where a pair of Democratic congressional incumbents — Rep. Brad Sherman and Rep. Howard Berman — were battling with several others for the right to represent the state’s 30th Congressional District. And Tuesday’s results did set up a Sherman/Berman general election.

The Los Angeles Times noted Wednesday:

“The contest, sparked when an independent citizens commission last summer drew new political maps that placed the congressmen’s homes in the same district, has split the Democratic Party and prompted hand-wringing from those who liked both men and don’t want to see either leave Congress.”

The newly drawn districts and top-two primary were crafted, the Times reported: “to favor candidates with at least somewhat wide appeal, including those not hitched to any political party, and mute the hyper-partisan rancor consuming Washington and Sacramento.” [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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