Redistricting Moves Cannella’s District Off Turlock Ballot


If you’re headed to the polls, don’t expect to see State Sen. Anthony Cannella’s name on the ballot.

In less than six months time, Cannella (R-Ceres) will no longer represent Turlock.

Yes, Cannella is seeking re-election. But his 12th District has been redrawn; Turlock will soon depart the 12th State Sen. district which includes Merced, Madera, Salinas, and Ceres.

It all has to do with the 2011 redistricting of California. Those new districts are still being phased in as current terms expire, and the final districts will take effect following the November elections.

Now Turlock has been shanghaied into an absolutely massive district, the 8th. It includes such disparate locales as the Sacramento suburbs, Yosemite National Park, and Death Valley.

The foothills dominate the 8th district geographically, as all of Amador, Calaveras, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono, and Tuolumne counties are included in the district. And it rides along the eastern side of the San Joaquin Valley to include half of Fresno County, 20 percent of Madera county, part of Rancho Cordova in Sacramento County, and nearly one-third of Stanislaus County.

Just over 900,000 citizens reside in the new district. And though Fresno is, by far, the largest city in the district, Turlock is now the third-largest city in the 8th Senate District. Clovis comes in second, for those curious.

So now, as part of this redistricting, Turlockers will now be asked to vote for a new representative. It will either be Tom Berryhill (R), currently a State Senator representing the 14th District which includes some of the new 8th, or challenger Paulina Miranda (D). And as this change takes effect following the November election, Turlockers will have a say in the primary now.

Under the Radar

This redistricting seems to have flown under the radar. As far as we can tell, it hasn’t been discussed by any media since the City of Turlock announced its opposition to the plan in 2011.

Any articles we’ve seen discussing the Berryhill/Miranda race note only that District 8 includes part of Stanislaus County, with no mention that the part of Stanislaus County is changing to include Turlock.

And to be entirely honest, missed the memo as well. We’ve written articles about the Cannella campaign, which will have no impact on Turlockers whatsoever, though Cannella will continue to represent the area through the end of the year.

Cannella’s official State Senate website makes no mention of the impending shift. Berryhill’s site mentions that he is currently filling in to represent the counties of Mono, Calaveras and Amador due to the redistricting process, but there’s no discussion of what will soon happen to Turlock.

Change is Bad for Turlock

This redistricting is likely bad for Turlock, which has little in common with foothill towns.

The majority of this new district has an economy driven by tourism and natural resources, not agriculture. Now Turlock’s State Senator will be tasked with trying to fight for farmers, the Sierra Nevadas, and the high desert alike.

The City of Turlock passed a resolution in opposition to the redistricting in August 2011, asking that the city be paired with Merced rather than the foothill cities. The resolution notes that California State University, Stanislaus will be detached from its student base, that Turlock would be separated from other San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District members, and that Turlock’s Senator will no longer be able to work on regional transportation planning issues.

“The proposed senate district boundaries are illogical, as they place Turlock in a district with communities with whom Turlock shares few common social and economic interests,” the resolution reads.

And we’re uncertain how dedicated either Berryhill or Miranda are to Turlock. Neither one has attempted to contact, nor have we seen a single campaign sign for either candidate. Similarly, neither one mentions an endorsement from a single Turlock politician on his or her website.

Of course, it’s entirely possible both campaigns are simply saving money. Under California’s primary system, it’s a guarantee that the two will face-off on the November ballot. Perhaps they plan trips to Turlock in the future.

Berryhill has some ties to Turlock, a city which he represented as a State Assemblyman from 2006 to 2010, at which time he was elected to the State Senate. He’s originally from Ceres, and currently lives in Twain Harte.

But the farmer has come under fire for violating campaign finance rules in the 2008 election, funnelling some funds raised to his brother Bill Berryhill’s Assembly campaign. He was recently fined $40,000 by the Fair Political Practices Committee.
Miranda is a businesswoman who has served on the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee. She was born in Mexico and holds a degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

She has failed in two previous campaigns, running to serve on a Fresno community college district in 2012 and the State Senate in 2013. We can find no mention linking her to Turlock in any way. 

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