Sunday, July 31, 2011

BREAKING: Assembly Member Betsy Butler moving to WeHo District

As I reported earlier, final maps drawn by the CA redistricting committee has upended Congressional districts all over the state, including our own CA-36, where newly-elected Congresswoman Janice Hahn finds herself in the luckless position of being drawn out of the district she won just two weeks ago.

What's gotten less attention, however, is the state of play going on in the newly drawn Assembly districts. The WeHo news is reporting this weekend that Assembly Member Betsy Butler, who currently serves AD53 - which stretches from Venice to Torrance - is already planning to move out of the district to run for an open seat in the new AD50.

According to political observers, the Democratic Party has two goals; keeping incumbents from facing one another and to shoot for a two-thirds majority in the legislature to craft budgets that befit Democratic ideals.

Insiders report that Assembly Speaker John Perez is making calls to ask incumbents to move into new districts.

One such Assembly member to receive a call from the Speaker, according to sources, is Betsy Butler, who currently resides inside a district in which Steven Bradford, another Assembly member, now holds a seat.

Ms. Butler is expected to move a few blocks north and to announce for the newly-created district.

It's an interesting choice for a couple of reasons.

Butler could have chosen to move south, in the new AD66, which includes the Beach Cities and Torrance, areas she already represents. But this new district will be more conservative than AD53 - Democrats have only a 3-point registration advantage over Republicans. Without Butler competing for the seat, her move means a likely Republican pickup in the Assembly.

The new AD50 is far friendlier to Democratic candidates, with an overwhelming Democratic registration advantage.

However, those friendlier demographics don't guarantee Butler will be reelected to the Assembly.

Although a sitting Assembly Member, Butler won't have the benefits of incumbency in her chosen district. She'll be facing off against against a number of candidates already running for the seat who have strong ties to the district, including front-runner Torie Osborn, who's reportedly raised nearly 300K, and has been endorsed by the district's termed-out Assembly Member Julia Brownley, former Assembly Member Sheila Kuehl, LA Mayor Antonio Villagairossa, and a number LA Councilmembers, including Counclilman Bill Rosendahl, who previously endorsed Betsy Butler in 2010.

The Commission will be voting on the final maps on August 15.

1 comment:

  1. And so we bid a fond adieu to Ms. Butler. She could have been a contender.