California democratic congressman Pete Stark
OAKLAND, CA (AP) - Democratic congressman Pete Stark is the longest-serving member of California's largest-in-the-nation congressional delegation.
For decades, legislative gerrymandering and California's primary system have virtually ensured his re-election. But all that has changed this year, as Californians deal with two major political reforms that are remaking the congressional landscape and creating competitive races for the first time in decades.
The results are a long list of up-for-grab seats, once-safe incumbents fighting for their political lives and tens of millions of dollars in campaign spending.
For the Democrats, California holds the promise of significant gains that could help them reduce the GOP majority in the House. Winning the House outright remains a tough haul despite better numbers nationwide for President Barack Obama.
For Republicans, California is a chance to keep Democrats in check.
The Associated Press