The broad smile, a trademark of his 20 years of representing the North Coast in Congress, still flashes across Don Clausen’s face.
Imagine a Republican county supervisor from Crescent City winning the North Coast seat in Congress and holding onto it for 20 years. That’s what happened when Don Clausen, a World War II veteran, won the 1962 election in a district that stretched — as it does now, with some variations — from Marin County to Oregon. But that area of rugged coastline and liberal-leaning voters now has no Republicans in Congress or the Legislature, nor does any GOP candidate have a shouting chance of success in today’s election.
Tom Roth, a former aide to Rep. Lynn Woolsey, had a bridge named after him last week, beating his former boss to geographical honors in the North Bay. The bridge leads to Skaggs Island, which was recently added to the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Roth worked on the transfer for 13 years before leaving Woolsey’s office to become chief of staff for state Sen. Noreen Evans.
If the first map released by the California Redistricting Commission brought the second-guessers out of the woodwork, the second one is a topic custom-built for the entire spectrum of wonks and political junkies. PD columnist Gaye LeBaron discusses the history of redistricting in Sonoma County with an old friend, Sam the Shark.