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California - 35th District

Incumbent -- Maxine Waters (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 overwhelmingly Democratic 35th District is centered in South and Southeast Los Angeles and is bordered by downtown Los Angeles to the north, Los Angeles International Airport to the west, Torrance to the south and the industrial Alameda Corridor to the east.

Although the 35th is mostly poor, Inglewood and the South Bay cities of Hawthorne, Gardena and Lawndale have middle-class areas. Officials in Inglewood hope to lure commercial and residential developers to the Hollywood Park area, which also hosts a casino. West of Inglewood, Los Angeles International Airport is one of the region's largest employers.

A precipitous decline in the district's manufacturing base has allowed poverty, crime and street gangs to dominate the area. A successful federal empowerment zone and local revitalization zone had helped increase the number of jobs in areas affected by riots that followed the 1992 acquittal of white police officers accused of beating black motorist Rodney King. But, in response to budget shortfalls, the state will likely halt funding to programs providing tax credits and incentives to employers. The region still struggles with infrastructure problems such as street maintenance and development of recreational space. Police-community relations, public safety and economic development continue to be central public policy concerns.

Once predominately African-American, and still hosting the state's highest percentage of black residents, the district now has a Hispanic-majority population. Gardena, which is 26 percent Asian, also has a large and politically influential Japanese community. The 35th leads the state in Democratic Party registration -- 66 percent of voters have aligned themselves with the party -- and Jerry Brown won 79 percent of the district's vote for governor in 2010.

Major Industry

Aerospace, service, manufacturing

Cities

Los Angeles (pt.), 302,188; Inglewood, 109,673; Hawthorne, 84,293

notable

Central Avenue, on the district's eastern edge, was the West Coast hub of African-American entertainment during the jazz age; Hawthorne is the birthplace of The Beach Boys.

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