Feb. 8, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

California - 39th District

Incumbent -- Linda T. Sanchez (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 U-shaped 39th District starts in South Gate and Lynwood, just south of Los Angeles, before stretching south and east to take in Lakewood and Cerritos, then northeast through La Mirada to South Whittier and Whittier. Despite external similarities -- ethnic populations and working-class economic bases -- most of these communities have little interaction with one another. The district is two-thirds Hispanic.

Whittier (shared mainly with the 42nd) and South Whittier are home to many second- and third-generation Hispanic families, and pockets of wealth exist there. Growing La Mirada and the Asian-American-heavy Cerritos are more conservative communities that resemble cities in neighboring, wealthier Orange County -- former farm areas now dependent on an array of aerospace and technology jobs. Lakewood is more blue-collar. South Gate, Lynwood and Paramount are heavily working-class and include many new immigrants, and those cities voted overwhelmingly for Democrat Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

The district has a strong organized-labor movement. Towns like Whittier and Lakewood have a number of industrial and retail centers, and more residents work in the district or nearby rather than commuting to downtown Los Angeles, Orange County or Long Beach. Whittier, an area once dominated by car dealerships, looked to reorient its local economy following several years of nationwide declines in auto sales.

Democrats still control the 39th, but it is not as strongly Democratic as is most of Los Angeles County -- only 52 percent of voters here are registered Democrats and the district has one of the highest rates of registered Republicans among the 13 districts contained entirely in the county. Jerry Brown won 60 percent of the 2010 gubernatorial vote here two years after Barack Obama took 65 percent in the presidential race.

Major Industry

Manufacturing, aerospace


South Gate, 94,396; Lakewood, 80,048; Lynwood, 69,772; South Whittier (unincorporated), 57,156; Whittier (pt.), 56,555; Paramount, 54,098


Paramount is home to Zamboni, maker of the ice resurfacing machines used at skating and hockey rinks.




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