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New challenges for local legislators

November 06, 2010

On Tuesday, the Democratic incumbents beat their Republican challengers by 2-1 margins despite a wave of Republican energy that swept through the nation — apparently held back by the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Our local state and congressional districts, gerrymandered as they may be, have always been a reliable bastion of Democratic support, and it showed on Nov. 2. That can be a reassuring blanket for incumbents, but it should not serve as an invincibility cloak.

Besides primary challenges from within the same party, the public is becoming increasingly skeptical, increasingly impatient, and tired of hearing about what should be done.

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Granted, Reps. Brad Sherman and Adam Schiff will now face a decidedly more hostile working environment in Washington, D.C., but that doesn't mean their constituents will be any more understanding should things get worse.

As for Assemblyman Mike Gatto, he returns to a statehouse more firmly under Democratic leadership, placing the onus more firmly on him and his party to get things done and bring some meaningful results — especially without the cumbersome two-thirds majority rule for the state budget.

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