Democratic Assemblyman Bill Monning announced Monday that he will run for the state Senate seat now held by San Luis Obispo Republican Sam Blakeslee.
Monning, from Santa Cruz, waited until the California Redistricting Commission formalized new boundaries for the 17th Senate District before announcing. The district is currently called the 16th.
The new district includes Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties and portions of Monterey and Santa Clara counties. But it excludes northern Santa Barbara County, a GOP stronghold that voted heavily for Blakeslee in 2010.
According to Monning, the new district gives a Democratic candidate an increased advantage in voter registration.
As an assemblyman, Monning has, for the past three years, represented about half the people who will be in his new district.
“I have spent the last three years fighting hard for the Central Coast,” Monning said. “I have battled to save our coastline, promote our hospitality and tourism industry, provide greater access to health care options, protect consumers and make sure the state’s budget isn’t balanced on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens,” he wrote in a news release.