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A House (very recently) divided

Posted: November 17, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: November 17, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Elton Gallegly Elton Gallegly
Elton Gallegly

One morning, Congressman Elton Gallegly woke up in his Simi Valley home in his 24th Congressional District.

The next day, he woke up in Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon’s 25th Congressional District.

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission’s new boundaries placed Gallegly’s home about a half-mile within McKeon’s district.

“I think it cuts through my master bedroom,” the 13-term congressman quipped during an interview Wednesday. A media report during the weekend quoted McKeon saying that Gallegly would challenge him in the 2012 congressional primaries.

Both members of the House of Representatives are Republicans.

But Gallegly refused to be pinned down Wednesday.

“All I can say is: Stay tuned,” he said, adding that it’s far too early to talk about the race.
“You can’t even file until next month,” he said. “The best thing I can do is the job I was elected to do.”

Besides, running for reelection doesn’t necessarily mean Gallegly, 67, would face McKeon, 73, in the primary.

Members of Congress don’t have to live in their districts, so Gallegly could seek reelection in his old 24th district.
Under the Constitution, members of Congress just have to live in the states they serve.

The long-serving Congress member didn’t seem to consider the maps redrawn to reflect the 2010 census to be absolutely final.

There remains one federally contested challenge to their validity, he said.

“If this issue is upheld, it could have an impact on Lancaster and San Fernando and an impact on Simi Valley,” Gallegly said, citing a few examples of affected communities.

Whether or not McKeon squares off against Gallegly in next year’s 25th Congressional District race, he’s ready, a spokeswoman said.

“As Congressman McKeon gears up for his reelection, he is confident he will be successful no matter who else decides to run,” a spokeswoman in his Washington office said Wednesday.

For Gallegly, it all balances out in the end.

“When I represented Santa Clarita, Buck voted for me when he was one of my constituents,” he said. “That was back in the late ’80s.”


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