Sept. 20, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

California - 16th District

Incumbent -- Zoe Lofgren (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

The 16th includes two-thirds of San Jose, California's third-largest city, where almost all district residents live. The remainder are scattered among unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.

The tremendous growth during the technology boom of the 1990s -- which earned San Jose the reputation as "the capital of Silicon Valley" -- created a largely white-collar workforce and helped to establish the region as a leading exporter of high-tech goods. Unemployment levels had rebounded after a downturn in the industry a decade ago before more recent economic uncertainty struck the district again, but San Jose's economy has fared slightly better than the rest of the Bay Area and other regions of the state. Although Santa Clara County has the area's highest median household income, homeowners still struggle with high foreclosure rates.

Major technology firms in the 16th include Cisco Systems, Adobe, IBM's Almaden Research Center and a Hitachi division. San Jose also has several large medical centers, including Good Samaritan Hospital, and is home to financial management software company Intacct. Local government and San Jose State University are key sources of jobs in the public sector, but budget shortfalls will affect employment rates.

The 16th is one of the most ethnically diverse districts in the Bay Area. Its Asian population includes the nation's second-largest Vietnamese community. Hispanics constitute a plurality of district residents, and whites make up roughly one-fourth of the population. The district's growth has resulted in one of the state's lowest percentages of population over the age of 64.

The 16th is solidly Democratic. Barack Obama took 70 percent of the district's vote in the 2008 presidential election, and Gov. Jerry Brown won 62 percent here in 2010.

Major Industry

Technology, health care, finance

Cities

San Jose (pt.), 632,415; Alum Rock (unincorporated), 15,536

notable

The Tech Museum of Innovation, a mango-colored building in downtown San Jose, welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to its exhibits, galleries and educational center.

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