California losing a House seat for the first time in history could spark political tumult as incumbent Democrats and a few Republicans jockey to survive the decennial redrawing of congressional boundaries by the state’s independent redistricting commission.
Democrat-held congressional districts in and around Los Angeles County are most endangered, party insiders say, threatening to end the careers of veteran Reps. Alan Lowenthal, Grace Napolitano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, and Maxine Waters, who range in age from 79 to 84. California’s 15-member Citizens Redistricting Commission, divided equally among Democrats, Republicans, and independents, is prohibited from drawing maps that benefit or disadvantage any particular politician. But redistricting observers believe such an outcome is likely.
“The loss of a congressional seat will throw the line-drawing into some turmoil,” said Garry South, a Democratic strategist in California. “It is probably inevitable that there will be one or more cases of two incumbents being thrown into the same seat — and it may