Lots of candidates need a Rob Katherman this year.
He was a Democrat. Then he was a Republican. Now he’s unattached.
The South Bay area he lives in, bordered by sparkling ocean on the west and gritty manufacturing sites on the east, is much the same. Voters here have toggled for decades across the political divide.
Such swing districts and Californians like Katherman — who sits smack in the political center — are exactly what reformers had in mind when they pushed in recent years to change state elections. New voter pools and a different primary system would give more weight to middle-roaders, they said, easing gridlock in Washington and Sacramento.
This year, in the first full test of those changes, a handful of new, politically balanced congressional and legislative districts could produce pitched battles between Republicans and Democrats. The 66th Assembly District, where Katherman lives, is one of them, drawn for the first time by an independent citizens commission rather than by lawmakers choosing voters who would reelect them.
With the new top two system in the June primary election, it is very likely that Craig Huey who recently lost a Congressional race to Janice Hahn (spending almost a $ million in the losing process) will be facing the Democrat Al Maratsuchi.
Craig Huey will be viewed as the Tea Party conservative in the assembly district, while engineer Nathan Mintz will be seeking a more moderate constituency.
Craig Huey has to be considered the front-runner in June and in the November general election and will spend what it takes from his own personal resources.