Redistricting changes 2012 electoral battles

The battle between two Republican congressmen for a local seat in 2012 will not happen, according to the state’s new legislative maps finalized Monday by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) said he plans to run next year for the new 48th Congressional District, a coastal bloc that includes Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and parts of Huntington Beach. The 12-term congressman will not have to face off against Rep. John Campbell (R-Irvine).

“This new district suits me and I’m suited for this district,” Rohrabacher said in a prepared statement. “There is a coastal culture in Southern California that I’ve always identified with, especially in Orange County, and the residents have always identified with me. The new 48th District is a good fit and something that will enable me to serve my constituents and the country well.”

An earlier draft of the state’s revamped legislative districts put Irvine and Costa Mesa together, which would have pitted the two veteran lawmakers against each other in 2012.

The final version, however, draws Campbell’s constituency inland to Irvine, North Tustin, Lake Forest and Villa Park, among other cities.

The new district lines, which will take effect after the 2012 elections, are the first to be drawn by an independent citizens commission in California. Voters created the 14-member commission in the 2008 elections. The group was tasked with creating legislative maps that have less to do with partisanship and ensuring reelection for incumbents, and more with what makes geographic sense and maintains the voting power of under-represented groups.

Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) saw his 68th District moved north. The new 74th Assembly District, which includes Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and portions of Huntington Beach and Irvine, is described in the final report as a district that shares “common recreational and environmental interests, transportation routes and school districts.”

The former Costa Mesa mayor will represent the 68th until 2012 and then run for the new 74th District, said his chief of staff, Chad Morgan.

“Assemblyman Mansoor lives in and represents Costa Mesa,” said Morgan via email Monday. “His district is and will be wherever Costa Mesa is.”

The redistricting commission hosted 34 meetings around the state, with more than 2,700 people from the public speaking to the group and another 20,000 submitting written comments.