Goodbye Tracy? North Valley residents push for redesign to make Harder District … more difficult

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As the California Redistricting Commission draws the boundaries of the Congressional district until the end of the year, a group of Central Valley Republicans have reportedly been pushing for a favorable map change to oust Turlock’s Democratic representative, Josh Harder.

According to a McClatchy report, North Valley residents are circulating a map that would remove Tracy from Harder’s 10th Congressional District and, in turn, create a redder Modesto-centric district.

In this plan, San Joaquin County would remain intact, likely preserving a Democratic seat while giving Republicans a grip on Modesto.

Another plan being considered by Republicans would replace Tracy with Lodi to give an advantage to take out Harder.

Residents of Stanislaus County submitted comments to the commission this week asking that the county be separated from Bay Area dormitory communities, such as Tracy, with the new lines.

Stanislaus County GOP caucus chair Samuel Bosshardt argued that Tracy does not belong to the same district as Stanislaus County.

“Tracy has a common interest and is geographically close to Livermore,” Bosshardt wrote. “Unlike Stanislaus County which has remote population centers and is not a suburban bay bedroom community. It makes sense that Tracy is not part of our CA-10 district (or whatever district number that might become).

Bosshardt even made a personal appeal for the cultural differences between the two regions.

“As a resident of the Modesto / Ceres area, I have nothing close to a sense of community with Tracy,” Bosshardt wrote. “I’m not even seriously considering dating in there – I’m sliding to the left on everyone from Tracy, Livermore and Stockton.”

Other residents wrote asking to keep Stanislaus County whole in order to avoid diluting the Assyrian community.

Bosshardt made the same argument and also demanded that Merced remain separate from Stanislaus County in order to keep the Hmong community whole and more centered with Madera and Fresno.

GOP still looking for ways to oust two-term Dem

Harder, one of the most prolific Blue Wave class fundraisers of 2018, has yet to attract an official opponent for the upcoming 2022 election.

A challenger could emerge: San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti, whose Scoping Committee received input from Harder’s predecessor – former Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), according to Rob Pyers of California Target Book.

As Patti mulls over an offer, Harder continues to be at the forefront of the minds of Republican House strategists ahead of President Joe Biden’s midterm election next year, and maybe for good reason.

A poll conducted by Remington Research Group on behalf of the conservative American Action Network found that at the end of the August vacation, Harder was underwater with voters in North Valley.

51% of North Valley voters expressed disapproval with his performance while 44% approved it.

He also found Harder behind a generic Republican challenger by seven percentage points in a 49 to 42 percent split.

The poll had a 3.2 percent margin of error.



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