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McNerney’s win, in a historical perspective

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Friday, November 10th, 2006 at 4:53 pm in congressional district 11, election 2006.

Jason Bezis, a Lafayette lawyer and an amateur political history, sent me a fascinating historical look at the election of Congressman-elect Jerry McNerney in congressional District 11.

Here’s what he tells us:

Jerry McNerney’s victory in California’s 11th Congressional District is a once-in-a-generation political phenomenon:

San Joaquin Valley
Richard Pombo is the first congressman to lose a general election in a San Joaquin County district since 1978, when Norman D. Shumway (R-Stockton) defeated eleven-term Rep. John J. McFall (D-Manteca). That district included San Joaquin, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mono and Tuolumne counties and part of Stanislaus County.

Jerry McNerney is the first Democrat to unseat a Republican in a San Joaquin County congressional district in a half-century. In 1956, Manteca attorney John J. Fall (D) defeated seven-term Rep. Justin Leroy Johnson (R-Stockton) in the 11th Congressional District, which then encompassed all of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

McNerney is the fourth successful challenger in a general election for a San Joaquin County
congressional seat in the past century. Incumbent congressmen lost general elections in San Joaquin County districts in 1932, 1956, 1978 – and now 2006.

East Bay
Pombo is the first congressman to lose an election in an East Bay congressional district in a
decade. In 1996, businesswoman Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Tassajara Valley) ousted two-term Rep.
William P. Baker (D-Danville) in the 10th Congressional District, which then included parts of
Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

McNerney is the ninth successful challenger ever in an East Bay general election for Congress.
Incumbent congressmen lost general elections in East Bay districts in 1882, 1884, 1894, 1934, 1944, 1954, 1958, 1996 – and now 2006.

McNerney will be the first resident of the Livermore-Amador Valley (Livermore-Pleasanton area)
ever to serve in Congress.

Santa Clara County
Pombo is the first congressman to lose a general election in a Santa Clara County district in 68
years. In 1938, John Z. “Jack” Anderson (R-San Juan Bautista) defeated three-term Rep. John J. McGrath (D-San Mateo) in the 8th Congressional District, which then generally stretched along the coast from San Mateo to Monterey counties.

McNerney is the first Democrat to unseat a Republican in a Santa Clara County congressional district in 74 years. In 1932, John J. McGrath (D-San Mateo) defeated six-term Rep. Arthur M. Free (R-San Jose) in the 8th Congressional District, which then generally stretched along the coast from San Mateo to Monterey counties.

McNerney is the fifth successful challenger in a general election for a Santa Clara County
congressional seat in the past century. Incumbent congressmen lost general elections in Santa
Clara County districts in 1918, 1920, 1932, 1938 – and now 2006.


Other noteworthy items:

Next January, California’s 53-member congressional delegation will include 34 Democrats, the most Democrats in any state’s delegation in history. The only state delegations to include more members of single party were Pennsylvania’s 36 Republicans elected in 1924 and Pennsylvania’s 35 Republicans elected in 1928.

According to the California Secretary of State, as of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday Jerry McNerney had received more votes than 32 of the other 52 victors in California congressional races. [McNerney garnered more votes than the winners in the following congressional districts: 2nd (Herger), 13th (Stark), 16th (Lofgren), 17th (Farr), 18th (Cardoza), 19th (Radanovich), 20th (Costa), 21st (Nunes), 23rd (Capps), 24th (Gallegly), 25th (McKeon), 26th (Dreier), 27th (Sherman), 28th (Berman), 29th (Schiff), 31st (Becerra), 32nd (Solis), 34th (Roybal-Allard), 35th (Waters), 37th (Millender-McDonald), 38th (Napolitano), 39th (Linda Sanchez), 40th (Royce), 41st (Lewis), 43rd (Baca), 44th (Calvert), 45th (Bono), 47th (Loretta Sanchez), 48th (Campbell), 49th (Issa), 51st (Filner), 53rd (Davis).

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