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New Assembly boundaries have Auburn's Kevin Hanley considering a state run

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn voters will be looking at next year’s state Assembly election with a fresh perspective. California Citizens’ Redistricting Commission recent remapping decisions have separated District 4 Assemblywoman Beth Gaines from Auburn and left her vying for a more-suburban seat that takes in her Roseville home. And Auburn has been included in a sprawling Assembly District 5 that stretches from Lake Tahoe in the North to Madera in the south. For Auburn City Councilman Kevin Hanley, the new District 5 represents some of the most beautiful country in California – taking in both the southern portion of Lake Tahoe and all of Yosemite National Park. Lengthwise it’s meant to encompass the foothills and mountains, avoiding large urban areas and providing one voice for rural residents. To Hanley, it also represents a possible opportunity to run in the next primary election for a seat that has no current Assembly representative within its borders. A Roseville resident, Gaines will reside in District 6, which is described by the commission as primarily foothill suburbs. District 6 includes parts of Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer counties. Hanley said he’s considering a possible run for the District 5 seat. “In a couple of weeks, I’ll make a firm decision,” Hanley said. “I’m seriously considering it.” Hanley said he briefly considered a running for the Assembly seat now held by Beth Gaines, after Sen. Dave Cox died and then-Assemblyman Ted Gaines – Beth’s husband – decided to throw his hat in the ring for the Senate post. But he backed away because he had just been re-elected to the Auburn City Council, he said. Hanley, a registered Republican, works in Sacramento as chief policy consultant on health insurance for the Legislature. He has served nine years on the Auburn City Council and is Auburn’s representative on the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. Auburn’s inclusion in Assembly District 5 followed several requests at the commission’s May public hearing in Auburn for a district that reflected a more rural character. Hanley and the Auburn City Council requested that Placer County be “kept whole” but the commission decided instead to carve the county into portions for three Assembly districts. The northeastern District includes Meadow Vista and Foresthill. Auburn is in District 5. District 6 includes Loomis, Roseville and Lincoln. “I thought they would do something similar to what they had before,” Hanley said. “Beth Gaines’ district is a smaller area than I thought it would be but Auburn people said they wanted to be part of a rural district.” As well as Auburn and portions of Ophir and Newcastle, District 5 includes Cool, Georgetown and Placerville in El Dorado County. It stretches south to Madera, Mariposa, San Andreas and Jackson. With Auburn city limits the dividing line, North Auburn is part of District 1, along with Meadow Vista and the Auburn Municipal Airport. Kristin Olson, R-Modesto, currently represents the counties of Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa Mono and Madeira – all of which will become part of the new District 5. They’re now in the Modesto Republican’s District 25. Olson chief of staff Jennifer Gibbons confirmed Friday that the District 25 Assemblywoman’s home will be outside the District 5 boundary lines after they are set and she will not be seeking a seat by moving there. A statement from the redistricting commission says District 5 boundaries were chosen to reflect “shared interests reflected in public testimony around issues such as weather, watershed, fire and recreation united around the transportation corridor of Highway 49.” Beth Gaines did not return phone calls for comment.