Younger, more liberal, more weighted to the south: California’s political demography is shifting, particularly as two of its political lions move off the stage. For generations, the Bay Area has punched above its weight in terms of influence, and California’s political position has grown up – and old – with it. That’s changing.

Just two years ago, all three plum California offices – the governorship and both Senate seats – were held by Bay Area Democrats (Jerry Brown, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris).

The governorship still remains in Bay Area hands, but Senator Alex Padilla, a veteran of Los Angeles politics, holds the Harris seat, and the race to replace Feinstein, who announced last month that she will not seek a seventh term, includes two formidable Southern California candidates.

Jim Newton is a veteran journalist, best-selling author and teacher. He worked at the Los Angeles Times for 25 years as a reporter, editor, bureau chief and columnist, covering government and politics. He teaches at UCLA and founded Blueprint magazine.

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