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Patterson Nixes House Bid. Will He Battle Bigelow to Stay in Assembly?

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Assemblymen Jim Patterson (left) and Frank Bigelow are drawn in the same district. Will that change? (GV Wire Composite/Jahz Tello)
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Jim Patterson will run for a final term in the state Assembly and not for Congress. But, it could lead to a re-election battle against a fellow Republican assemblyman.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

In an announcement Tuesday, Patterson, R-Fresno, endorsed Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig in the congressional race to replace Devin Nunes.

“Nathan and I have a great history of working together during his time serving on the Clovis City Council and the Board of Supervisors. He works hard for his constituents and he has the right set of values and convictions we need now more than ever in the United States Congress,” Patterson said in an email statement.

Nunes announced last week that he is stepping down in the midst of his 10th congressional term to run former president Donald Trump’s media company.


Also in Politics 101: 

  • District line changes could pit Patterson vs. Bigelow.
  • Fresno County votes on final electoral map.

District Lines Change

In the new lines proposed by the independent California Citizens Redistricting Committee, Assembly District 23 — represented by Patterson — would expand to include parts of Madera County and several mountain communities stretching to the Nevada border.

As it stands, the new boundaries would overlap the district represented by Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals. Unless the lines change between now and the Dec. 27 deadline, Patterson and Bigelow could run against each other.

Patterson and Bigelow were first elected in 2012. Under state law, both are allowed to serve 12 years, thus the 2022 election would be the final term (if elected).

Bigelow has not announced his plans for 2022.

“Until the lines are finalized by the commission, it’s premature to comment on the Assemblyman’s plans. He remains committed to serving his constituents in California’s 5th District,” his campaign staff told Politics 101.

Campaign filings, as of June 30, show Bigelow with $1 million cash on hand. Patterson reported $370,000, with approximately $30,000 raised since then.

The proposed district (above) and (below) the current Assembly districts 5 (left, Bigelow) and 23 (right, Patterson) lines.

County Map Approved Amid Controversy

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved a electoral map for the next decade, on a 4-1 vote, at its Tuesday meeting. Supervisor Sal Quintero was the lone dissenting vote.

 “(It) is the same status quo incumbent protection map introduced by Republican operative Alex Tavlian, a partisan advantage map that completely disregards the tsunami of authentic public input to the contrary. This Board has failed in its Constitutional duty to fairly allocate political power in Fresno County.” — Equitable Maps Coalition

An 11th-hour effort from several speakers did not dissuade the board from changing its mind from its preliminary vote on Nov. 16.

Speakers criticized the map, saying it did not change much from its current form, leaving some residents without a voice.

“We have been monitoring the Fresno County redistricting process throughout and approached the board, disappointed at the decision to move forward with a status quo map that does not respect the many communities of interests,” Luis Huerta-Silva of California Common Cause told the board.

Several groups called for the county to establish an independent redistricting committee for next time.

County attorney Daniel Cederborg confirmed to the board that the map met all legal standards.

“I believe, that this map provides effective and fair representation for all of these communities of interest. So I don’t think we’ve denied that. I think we’ve given a lot of thought to that.” —Supervisor Steve Brandau

The final map, designated D2, included slight changes of three areas to “smooth” out the map. A handful of zero-population census blocks were changed to allow for straight lines.

“I believe, that this map provides effective and fair representation for all of these communities of interest. So I don’t think we’ve denied that. I think we’ve given a lot of thought to that,” Supervisor Steve Brandau said.

The Equitable Maps Coalition criticized the adopted map in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

“(It) is the same status quo incumbent protection map introduced by Republican operative Alex Tavlian, a partisan advantage map that completely disregards the tsunami of authentic public input
to the contrary. This Board has failed in its Constitutional duty to fairly allocate political power in Fresno County,” the group said.

The lines will be in place through the 2030 election cycle.

 

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email