A scandal and two newly drawn congressional districts were the only ways for newcomers to join California’s congressional delegation – in an election where the state’s 50 incumbents won every race without a sweat.
In the Central Valley, Democrat Dennis Cardoza won his race against Republican Richard Monteith in a race to replace congressman Gary Condit.
Cardoza beat Condit, his one-time mentor, in the Democratic primary in March after Condit became enmeshed in the investigation of the killing of Chandra Levy. The victory was hardly a surprise in that the district had been drawn to elect a Democratic replacement for Condit.
Among the new faces elected is Democrat Linda Sanchez, who will join her sister democrat Loretta Sanchez in the House of Representatives. Linda Sanchez defeated Republican Tim Escobar 55 percent to 41 percent in a new district east of Los Angeles.