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The new 2nd Congressional District

Not since the 1960s has California's North Coast — from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border — been included in a single congressional district.

The new 2nd District, created last year by a citizens redistricting commission, includes the five coastal counties plus Trinity County.

However, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati and the Sonoma Valley were lumped into an adjacent inland district.

Veteran North Coast Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson's home in Napa County also went into the inland district — the new 5th District — taking Thompson with it.

Petaluma Democratic Rep. Lynn Woolsey's retirement created an open seat in the 2nd District, attracting 12 candidates to this year's election.

It is Democrat-friendly territory, with 50 percent of voters registering as Democrat, a better than 2-to-1 advantage over the 23 percent of Republican voters.

Almost as many voters — 22 percent — have no party preference, the term for independents.

Marin and Sonoma County, anchoring the district's southern end, dominate with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the district's 394,292 voters. In Marin, Democrats have a nearly 3-to-1 advantage over the GOP.

Slightly more than a third of the voters are in Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity counties.

Democratic strength declines in Mendocino and Humboldt counties. Republicans have a slight advantage in Del Norte and Trinity, but the two counties total just 20,005 voters, or 5 percent of the district total.

— Guy Kovner


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