A commission tasked with redrawing congressional district lines has suggested combining the territories of two veteran Republicans.
Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and John Campbell (R-Irvine) both saw major cities in their current districts combined into Orange Coast territory by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, according to a preliminary map released Friday.
Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa, part of Rohrabacher's 46th District territory, and Irvine and Newport Beach, part of Campbell's 48th District, were placed in a suggested new district along with Laguna Beach.
The new districts would take hold after the next election cycle, when Rohrabacher and Campbell would then have to decide if they wanted to run. Rohrabacher Friday indicated he's up for the fight.
"I share a bond both philosophically and personally with these people," Rohrabacher said in a statement. "This is the area where people want limited government and personal liberty, which is something we share. I am raising my family here and feel very comfortable with the values of the people of this part of Orange County and they feel comfortable with me."
He said that the boundaries shown Friday will likely change through the process, but maintained its positive change for the community.
"However the districts are shaped, I'm sure that the candidates and the voters will use this as a way of getting to know each other better," Rohrabacher said. "So we end up with districts that are more equal in population and voters who are more fairly represented."
Rohrabacher was reportedly in Iraq this week as part of a U.S. delegation, according to a McClatchy report.
The 14-member commission, created in 2008 by California voters, is redrawing legislators' districts with newly released U.S. census data.
By law, state officials said, the group does not consider political parties or incumbencies. It does consider geographic boundaries and large minority populations in one community as important and do their best to keep them in one district to avoid minimizing their voting power.
The new district is expected to remain Republican-majority, however.
Representatives for Rohrabacher's and Campbell's office were unavailable for comment Friday.
Over the past few months, the commission has hosted 23 meetings seeking public input and heard testimony from more than 1,500 Californians, according to a news release.
The maps released Friday were just a first draft, with a final draft expected to be confirmed Aug. 15.
The commission will hold more public hearings in July.
For more information on the commission or to see the proposed district boundaries, go to http://www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun