Meet the New Congress Members from California

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Several newly elected U.S. Congress Members from California ran as challengers against favored incumbents. Some of these new Members stand out as evidence of California’s growing independent political dynamic. In the Bay Area Eric Swalwell defeated career Democratic politician and incumbent Rep. Pete Stark while a local farmer, David G. Valadao, will represent a portion of California’s agricultural heartland.

California’s Newest House Members: Click on The Districts Below

Doug LaMalfa (R): 1st District

A conservative leader, Doug LaMalfa opposes increasing taxes and is a stalwart defender of Proposition 13.  In Northern California’s 1st congressional district Rep. LaMalfa, author of a constitutional amendment to protect Californians against eminent domain abuse, will be a strong supporter of private property rights for his constituents. Read Full Bio

Jared Huffman (D): 2nd District

Huffman served in the California State Assembly representing California’s former 2nd district from 2006 onward. Before serving as an Assemblymember, Jared Huffman served as President of the Marin Municipal Water District Board for eleven years. Rep. Huffman received his Juris Doctor in 1990 from Boston College Law School and has extensive legislative and civic experience concerning Natural Resources and Environmental policy. Read Full Bio

Tom McClintock (R): 4th District

During 19 years in the state legislature, State Senator Tom McClintock has become one of the most recognizable political leaders in California and will now go on to represent the 4th congressional district in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Rep. McClintock’s commentaries on California public policy have appeared in every major newspaper in California and he is a frequent guest on radio and television broadcasts across the nation. Read Full Bio


Dr. Ami Bera (D): 7th District

With over 15 years experience serving as a Sacramento region educator and physician, and more recently Chief Medical Officer for the County of Sacramento, Rep. Bera will continue to address the needs of the residents of the State Capitol’s eastern suburbs that fill the boundaries of California’s new 7th congressional district. Rep. Bera’s academic service also amounted to his recent service as Associate Dean of Admissions at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Read Full Bio

Paul Cook (R): 8th District

Before being elected to represent the newly drawn 8th congressional district of San Bernardino and Death Valley, Rep. Cook was elected in 2006 as California State Assemblymember for former district 65. Mr. Cook has taught history and political science at Copper Mountain College, California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB), and University of California, Riverside (UCR) and holds a Master’s in political science from UC Riverside and a Master’s in public administration from CSU San Bernardino. Read Full Bio

Eric Swalwell (D): 15th District

Eric Swalwell has earned a much deserved respect among Independent voters that saw him defeat career Democrat and incumbent Rep. Pete Stark. Rep. Swalwell will represent his home town of Dublin, CA which makes up a northern portion of California’s 15th congressional district. He is actively involved in local charities and organizations in Alameda County. His academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law. Read Full Bio

David G. Valadao (R): 21st Dsitrict

David G. Valadao now represents the agriculturally rich Central Valley region in the 21st California congressional district. Rep. Valadao has taken on leadership roles within the California Milk Advisory Board, Western States Dairy Trade Association, and was elected as Regional Leadership Council Chairman for Land O’ Lakes Inc., a Fortune 200 Company. Read Full Bio


Julia Brownley (D): 26th District

Brownley believes it is a moral and economic imperative that we fix our broken health care system and ensure access to affordable, quality health care for all Californians. Rep. Brownley served California’s 41st State Assembly district for the last 11 years and prior to her service as Assemblywoman, was a member of the Santa Monica-Malibu School Board for 12 years. Rep. Brownley will now serve the people of the 26th congressional district in and around Ventura County. Read Full Bio

Tony Cardenas (D): 29th District

After having served three terms in the State Assembly, and as a member of the Los Angeles City Council, Cardenas has been elected as the first Latino representative for the San Fernando Valley’s 29th congressional district. Cardenas cites his record on the Assembly Budget Committee and his co-authorship of the Schiff-Cardenas Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act as examples of his leadership. Read Full Bio


Gloria Negrete McLeod (D): 35th District

Rep. Negrete McLeod assumed her State Senate office in 2006, prior to which she served in the Assembly from 2000-2006. Redistricting transformed the 35th congressional district in Ontario, California so that it became virtually coextensive with her Senate district propelling the Senator to run. Gloria Negrete McLeod cites jobs creation, improved transportation, and the restoration of local authority over schools as her priorities. Read Full Bio

Raul Ruiz (D): 36th District

Mr. Ruiz graduated magna cum laude at UCLA and went on to become the first Latino to receive three graduate degrees from Harvard University – a Medical Doctorate, a Masters in Public Policy and a Masters in Public Health. His extensive civic involvment in his community has developed the academic and medical communities of the Coachella Valley region and Rep. Ruiz, with no prior experience in government will serve the people of the 36th congressional district. Read Full Bio

Mark Takano (D): 41st District

Rep. Takano will represent California’s 41st congressional district which encopasses the City of Riverside and its surrounding communities. In 1991, Takano was elected as president of the Riverside Community College District’s Board of Trustees and helped the Board and the District gain stability and direction amid serious fiscal challenges. Read Full Bio

Alan Lowenthal: 47th District

Rep. Lowenthal formerly represented the 27th Senate district for the past 8 years. Rep. Lowenthal has been honored by several environmental advocacy groups, and is the former Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and current Chairman of the Select Committee on Goods Movement. Read Full Bio

Juan Vargas: 51st District

San Diego native, Juan Vargas has served in San Diego as both Assemblymember and as State Senator for the former 40th district. Juan attended the University of San Diego on scholarship, graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science in 1983. In 1987, Juan earned a Master of Humanities from Fordham University in New York City and in 1991 earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, where he was classmates with President Barack Obama. Read Full Bio

Scott Peters (D): 52nd District

Peters is well-known in San Diego having served two terms on the San Diego City Council (2000-2008) and more recently as Commissioner for the politically influential Unified Port of San Diego. Peters ran unsuccessfully for City Attorney after being termed out of the City Council. He focused his campaign on a variety issues that are central to San Diegans including jobs, healthcare, veterans, energy policy and immigration. Read Full Bio

Read More Bios at Vote-USA.org

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4 comments
Lucas Eaves
Lucas Eaves

It is always funny to see the blue/red delimitation in California. Quite striking !

Alex Gauthier
Alex Gauthier

i think the redistricting did a lot to realign leaders with their constituencies.

Ian Dawes
Ian Dawes

Reps to the east and Dems to the west, exception being So. Cal---San Diego County remains a mix of Republican and Democrat representatives, while the farming regions to the east are significantly Democrat.

Ian Dawes
Ian Dawes

So many of the newest members were former state senators and assemblymembers whose former districts were the same as the next up the chain to congress. It just makes sense that they would run for a seat in the House.