Calaveras voters will be faced with full ballots June 5, as seats for U.S. Congress, state Assembly and supervisors in Districts 1, 2 and 4 are up for election.
For supervisor hopefuls Russ Thomas, Anita Paque, and Michael Dell'Orto, Jan. 3 kicked off their long journey to election day. Tuesday marked the first day candidates could pull petitions that allow them to collect 10 percent of voters' signatures in lieu of a filing fee.
"A petition in lieu does not make them a candidate," county Elections Coordinator Rebecca Andahl said. "It just means that if they get the necessary signatures they will not have to pay the filing fee."
Ballots may look a bit different for county voters this year, after the California Citizens Redistricting Commission redrew district lines that shifted Calaveras. The redistricting has moved Calaveras from U.S. Congressional District 3 to District 4, state Assembly District 25 to District 5, and state Senate District 1 to District 8.
Redistricting is done every 10 years as required by the U.S. Constitution, and lines are redrawn to reflect population changes over the past decade. The Redistricting Commission is made up of 14 community members: five registered Republicans, five registered Democrats and four members who declined to state party affiliations.
"Everything we did was televised, recorded, and live-streamed," said Stan Forbes, chairman of the redistricting commission. "We made a real effort to be transparent."
The redistricting means county voters will not see current Congressman Daniel Lundgren's name on their ballot. Lundgren will remain Calaveras County's representative in Congress until a new representative is elected in the newly formed District 4.
Republican Tom McClintock, who has been a member of Congress since 2008, is the incumbent in California's 4th Congressional District and has his eyes set on re-election. Currently, the only opposition will come from Lincoln Democrat Jack Uppal. A retired engineer in the semiconductor industry, Uppal has no prior political history. For the past 20 years, District 4 has been in the hands of Republicans; represented by Republican John Doolittle from 1993-2009 before his retirement.
In the race for District 5 Assembly seat, Madera County Supervisor Frank Bigelow, former state Assemblyman Rico Oller of San Andreas, and newcomer Mark Belden of Rail Road Flat head the list of candidates. Due to redistricting, the newly formed District 5 is without an incumbent.