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California - 13th District

Incumbent -- Pete Stark (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Tucked between the San Francisco Bay to the west, Silicon Valley to the south and Oakland to the north, the 13th is an industrially and culturally diverse suburban area. The district is dotted with working-class communities, and although it is described as the less glamorous side of the bay, its large Hispanic and Asian populations -- including immigrants from India, China, Afghanistan and the Philippines -- have flourished culturally. Asians, concentrated in Fremont, account for 36 percent of the population and the third-highest districtwide percentage in the nation.

Fremont's joint General Motors-Toyota auto plant closed in 2010 when GM declared bankruptcy, but Tesla Motors bought the factory for large-scale production of its electric car. Although Tesla's workforce is considerably smaller than the joint venture's, the new production line will provide some jobs. Both Fremont and Hayward have become more oriented toward high-tech industries as Silicon Valley has extended its influence to the East Bay. Corsair and Lexar, manufacturers of computer memory devices, are based in Fremont. Hayward also is home to a California State University campus.

San Leandro, just south of Oakland, is home to Ghirardelli Chocolate, Otis Spunkmeyer's cookie empire, and The North Face, which produces outdoor equipment. Cargill Salt has a refinery and production facility in Newark. The 13th also includes Oakland International Airport -- although Oakland itself is located in the neighboring 9th District -- and cargo and passenger traffic has rebounded following several years of nationwide declines.

Two-thirds of the district's workers are considered white collar, but the area's blue-collar industry historically has given Democrats solid support. Jerry Brown took 69 percent of the district's vote in the 2010 gubernatorial election.

Major Industry

Electronics, manufacturing, food product processing

Cities

Fremont, 214,089; Hayward, 144,186; San Leandro (pt.), 84,948

notable

Ghirardelli Chocolate is the nation's longest continually operating chocolate manufacturer.

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