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CA-33 Rep. Diane Watson to retire

by: CarnahanDem

Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 6:08 PM EST

Just left a CA delegation meeting with Cong. Diane Watson was quietly telling Members that she will not be running for re-election.

Word is that Former CA Assembly Speaker Karen Bass will immediately enter the race following Watson's announcement.  Further proof of this plan --- Bass is scheduled to be in DC next week for a series of meet and greet events with potential financial supporters.

Anyone that knows anything about Watson and Bass can attest that this would be a TREMENDOUS upgrade for the district, CA Delegation, and US House in general. Bass is a real leader -- while Watson has been less than impressive during his tenure to say the least...

CarnahanDem :: CA-33 Rep. Diane Watson to retire
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Thanks for the scoop
This is the kind of open seat I do not mind. I knew the district was safley Dem but I had to look anyway, CA-33 has a PVI of D+33 and Obama carried it by 75 points.

"Where free Unions and collective bargaining is forbidden, freedom is lost." - Ronald Reagan

Typo, PVI is D+35

"Where free Unions and collective bargaining is forbidden, freedom is lost." - Ronald Reagan

[ Parent ]
The only
thing I don't like about this is that when the "media" tries to make a "story" about democrats running scared and they will include this one in the total number.  

Proud member of the Indiana Democratic Party from IN-9.  

In fairness
We Democrats tend to rebut that meme with the fact that there are more Republican than Democratic open seats when most of those are in similarly safe districts (i.e. SC-03, KS-01, IN-04, CA-19, etc.) Most of our retirements are, regrettably, coming in districts that are on balance more competitive.

Male, 23, DC-At Large

[ Parent ]
This is awesome
Bass has been very effective as Speaker, i knew she'd make a run for Congress, just didn't know it'd be this year.

16, Male, Democrat, CA-42/sometimes CA-32.

changing demographics in the district
Like several other LA area districts with African-American representatives, the numbers in the district have been shifting to become more heavily Latino than African-American.

The last census put this district at 37% Latino, 27% African-American, 22% white, 12% Asian. Latino and Asian numbers have probably grown since then.

I'd love to see Karen Bass make it to Congress, she'd be great.

But I wonder if a strong Latino candidate will emerge to try to take advantage of the changing demographics. (Although age and citizenship status mean that the Latino portion of voters is significantly below their percentage in the overall district population.)  It could end up being similar to the 2007 special election primary in CA-37 between Laura Richardson and Jenny Oropeza (Richardson won, despite Latinos outnumbering African-Americans by 2 to 1 in the district).

Will be interesting to see what candidates emerge for the race.

If a weak Hispanic candidate
goes and runs solely on the basis of being Hispanic, they will lose. Just like Gil Cedillo. But someone who is a legit candidate who just happens to be Hispanic could surely win.

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

[ Parent ]
If a Hispanic wins here, it simplifies redistricting a lot
You don't have to split blacks between Maxine Waters and Diane Watson anymore, so Waters gets a safe, blacker district while Watson's turns into a Hispanic majority one.

I had a gut feeling that Watson was going to retire either during this cycle or next cycle, for two reasons: 1) She's going to be 77 years old this fall, and 2) Those long weekly plane rides to/from DC and LA are probably wearing her down.

These same factors are what caused former Oregon Rep. Darlene Hooley to retire. Hooley was getting up there in age and she was sick of the long plane rides from Portland.

I'd rather
get Bass in Watson's seat -- then have Waters' seat dismantled and drawn for a hispanic to win. It's a win-win situation -- we replace Watson with a credible and competent leader; and we get rid of Waters -- a horribly corrupt politician and loose cannon.

[ Parent ]
Who is Waters?

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
CA-35 rep maxine waters (eom)

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

[ Parent ]
What exactly is wrong with Watson?
Progressive Punch rates her as #25 in the House of Representatives and she's a cosponsor of HR-676.  

Some Dude, 19, Democrat, NH-02 (residence), MA-08 (college)

Hey, I know this district well!
For five years, I lived within several blocks of actually being in this district. Instead, I got the pleasure of voting against Jane Harman because I lived just under a mile from the beach. :)

Bass would kick ass as a representative for this district, IMHO. Ideologically aligned (solidly liberal) and a good public servant who tried to both battle and work with Arnie, as appropriate. Here's some good info on CA-33 from Watson's official site:

The district begins on the west about a mile inland from Venice Beach, and spreads to Figueroa Avenue on its eastern border in Los Angeles. The District spreads North to take in Koreatown, Hancock Park, the Wilshire corridor and the "Miracle Mile" district, Little Armenia, Hollywood, Los Feliz and Silver Lake.

The 33rd District also includes the neighborhoods of Baldwin Hills, Ladera Heights, Mid-Wilshire, View Park, and Windsor Hills.

African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans account for more than 75% of the population, but the 33rd District has no single ethnic majority.

These days, a lot of these neighborhoods are fairly racially mixed.

Bass should win here. She could win the still-fairly-black-but-latinoizing Leimert Park, Crenshaw, West Adams, Baldwin Hills, Ladera Heights, View Park, and Windsor Hills.

She could win the white progressive vote which is fairly strong in Culver City, Hollywood, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Silver Lake & Los Feliz....

The Asian & Latino vote she'd probably have to campaign hard for, but besides Koreatown and the Western Ave. corridor, there aren't many heavily-Asian parts. And it's true that Latinos are prevalent in nearly every single one of these neighborhoods, but it's also true that Latinos punch below their population, electorally. And there's definitely a possibility she could do well enough among these groups that she coasts to a primary victory.

Although, Karen, take a lesson from Martha Coakley: don't coast to victory. Ever.

Map link:

Kansan by birth, Californian by choice, and Gay by the grace of God.

true, however 35 >>12
CA-33 PVI = D+35.
Massachusetts PVI = D+12.

[ Parent ]
Doesn't matter.
A constituency is still made of voters, and voters are just ordinary citizen who (in the opinion of many of them) have better things to worry about.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
That's a good point
In this seat, a Republican is simply not going to win...but a crappy Democrat might if Bass doesn't work for it.  

Kansan by birth, Californian by choice, and Gay by the grace of God.

[ Parent ]
Bass currently represents...
Just fyi, the 47th Assembly district that Bass currently represents includes:
Culver City, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Cheviot Hills, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, the Crenshaw District, Little Ethiopia and portions of Koreatown and South Los Angeles.

Nearly all of those places are in CA-33, except for Westwood & bits of West LA. But hey, Bass went to USC anyway, so it's more appropriate that she rep the Trojans not the Bruins.

Kansan by birth, Californian by choice, and Gay by the grace of God.

[ Parent ]
congratulations to CarnahanDem
Your scoop and this diary were written up and put on the front page at Daily Kos Saturday afternoon (with a link of course)
Lots more eyeballs will be seeing your scoop.

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