Capitol Alert

Bob Huff moves from California Senate district to prep for next campaign

jmiller@sacbee.com

The senator has left the district.

Ahead of a campaign for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors next year, state Sen.Bob Huff moved this spring from Diamond Bar to San Dimas, putting him just inside the boundary for LA’s 5th Supervisorial District – and just outside the 29th Senate District he still represents through next November.

Huff, who until last week was the GOP leader in the Senate, said he looked for a new place in the sliver of overlap between the two seats, but “we couldn’t find something that was affordable. That’s a very expensive area.”

So for now, he’s renting a house that will keep him close to his Senate office in Brea, even as he begins his next campaign. Should he win the supervisor seat next year, he plans to move further into that district.

Last year, former Sen. Rod Wright, a Democrat from Baldwin Hills, was found guilty of eight felonies related to living outside the district where he ran for Senate in 2008, for which he ultimately spent 71 minutes in jail. Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia introduced a bill this session to clarify the residency requirements for lawmakers, but it was never taken up.

Huff said he sought advice from the Legislative Counsel, which signed off on his move.

“They said it was legal and not actionable,” he said, because legislators are only required by the California Constitution to live in their districts for a year prior to running for election.

Republican Sen. Ted Gaines faced a similar scenario in 2013, when he moved back to his longtime home in Roseville, outside his 1st Senate District seat. Gaines had relocated a few miles away to Rocklin to run for re-election when he was drawn out of the district in the 2011 map.

Up for re-election again next year, Gaines has undertaken another move back into the 1st Senate District: In early March, he relocated to El Dorado Hills.

“Senator Gaines and Assemblywoman Gaines are loving their home in a beautiful part of the 1st Senate District where they resided when they first got married 30 years ago!” spokeswoman Betsey Hodges wrote in an e-mail.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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