In one Orange County state Senate district, a 2024 election is already heating up.

Sen. Dave Min, who was first elected to the Senate in 2020, on Tuesday launched his reelection campaign to the 37th district, a sprawling area that encompasses at least parts of Irvine, Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Orange, Fullerton and Laguna Niguel.

“It’s important to have representation here in Orange County that reflects the changing values in the area,” Min said of his decision, first shared with the Register. “This is an educated area; it’s an area that believes in family, education, climate and compassionate but pragmatic solutions to the problems we’re facing.”

But Min is not the first to throw his hat in the ring for this seat — thanks to redistricting.

Sen. Josh Newman’s legislative future was nearly rendered uncertain after he was drawn out of his current district and squeezed into Min’s. But late last week, Newman, a Fullerton resident, announced his own bid for the seat.

Min said he’s focused on a simple philosophy while campaigning: the idea of “longtermism.” For him, that culminates in a belief that one should work toward solutions that will benefit future generations, even if the results aren’t immediate. And he believes elected officials should keep the promises they made on the campaign trail.

Newman — who, like Min, is a member of the Democratic Party — describes himself as a “centrist pragmatic guy.” He said he’s got a “pretty decent record at this point of service and votes” and tries to embody the type of representative he would support.

After redistricting, SD-37 remained mostly in Min’s old district — and he launched his reelection campaign with a slate of endorsements, including State Controller Betty Yee; Reps. Judy Chu, Ted Lieu and Mark Takano; and a bevy of local elected officials in and outside the district, according to his campaign.

“A lot of the people that I want to represent in 2025 and beyond are people that hopefully are getting a sense that I’m not politics as usual,” Min said. “I’m someone who will be transparent, consistent and govern in the ways I said I would.”

Related links

Redistricting: New state political maps brings change to Orange County
What’s an incumbent? Redistricting renders some confusion

Newman knows this district’s boundary lines are “very obviously different” from what he now represents. But he views the election more as a job interview.

“It’s really how we as citizens hire people to represent us in the public sphere,” Newman, a U.S. Army veteran, said.

Late last year, Newman told the Register he was uncertain of what the changes meant for his 2024 plans. But in an interview Monday, Newman said “it wasn’t a particularly hard decision to run again.”

“I’ve done some very good work, and I’d like the opportunity to continue to do that,” Newman said.

Newman first won his seat in 2016 but was recalled in 2018 after he voted to raise the gas tax to help pay for transportation projects. But he retook the seat, which covers portions of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, in 2020.

Newman pointed to potential fiscal headwinds as well as the homelessness crisis — and other issues that come along with that, such as transportation and mental health care — as matters he would continue to tackle in the state legislature where he sits on committees pertaining to elections, veterans affairs and business.

A member of budget, transportation and energy committees in the legislature, Min is a former UCI law professor who has given testimony to Congress on banking and housing policy issues. He championed legislation to get gun shows banned, first on OC’s fairgrounds and then statewide.

With so few Asian Americans in the legislature, Min has become a leader against rising hate crimes, particularly toward Asians. And he plans to continue that work — whether incidents are criminal or just make people feel uncomfortable, he said.

As of Tuesday, there are 693 days until Nov. 5, Election Day in 2024.

Related Articles

Politics |

‘Ballot box zoning’ has two OC cities caught between voters and the state

Politics |

Democrats move to change presidential primary calendar, but what does that mean for California?

Politics |

Election 2022: Avelino Valencia set to represent Orange County district in Assembly

Politics |

GOP leaders, potential 2024 rivals silent after Trump’s dinner with white supremacist

Politics |

For Southern California Republicans, Trump’s comeback could mean a ‘foggy’ future