If Elk Grove joins Stockton, rural San Joaquin County in Assembly District one candidate might be well positioned in 2022

Although they are not final and are bound to face objections from elected officials, political consultants, and municipalities, the proposed California Assembly District that includes Elk Grove will have far-reaching political implications. 

If the map even resembles 75-percent of the proposed map, there will be many political winners and losers. One possible beneficiary could be Republican Assembly candidate Eric Rigard. 

The Lodi Republican candidate made it to the November general election in 2020 by beating Democrat Tracie Stafford in the primary before losing to Democratic incumbent Assemblymember Jim Cooper. Even though Rigard lost by a two-to-one margin, he ran in a district more favorable to Democratic candidates.

But if the proposed map withstands significant adjustments, Rigard could be a viable candidate. Even though the district will have urban Elk Grove and Stockton, it will have large swaths of rural voters who tend to be more conservative. 

Rigard entered the 2022 Assembly race early and has maintained his visibility in recent months by attending various protests against government bodies like the Elk Grove Unified School District. 

Additionally, he has remained active in social media, often opposing school COVDID-19 mandates and opposing women's reproductive health rights. One example of his political beliefs can be seen in the Facebook entry below.

While Rigard has staked out his candidacy early, given that the Assembly District will include Elk Grove, Galt, Lodi, Stockton, and conservative rural areas, it could become more competitive and attract other Republicans. 

Regardless, if the district resembles the proposed map, it could be more competitive, and Rigard's 2020 candidacy and early entry could work to his political benefit.   


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