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Things may be looking up for Rep. David Dreier.

The San Dimas Republican was penciled into a new congressional district dominated by Democrats under the first draft maps by the state's redistricting commission, but he had reason for hope under a new concept unveiled Friday.

"It could potentially save one of the Republican seats in Los Angeles," said Paul Mitchell, a redistricting consultant and Democratic political consultant who identified the potential beneficiaries as Dreier or Rep. Gary Miller, R-Diamond Bar.

Rob Wilcox, spokesman for the redistricting commission, cautioned Tuesday against drawing conclusions from the very conceptual maps, which he characterized as "visualizations" rather than actual proposals.

Boundary lines were drawn, in part, to increase the number of likely Los Angeles-area Latino congressional seats in consideration of the federal Voting Rights Act, meant to protect the voting power of minority groups.

The conceptual maps were shown to the redistricting commission for comment, then line drawers went back to the drawing board.

The boundary proposals targeted only a handful of congressional districts -- none safe for Dreier -- but their location suggested that a district could be drawn near his home that could make him a viable candidate, according to Mitchell.

While Dreier appeared to benefit from the exercise, Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson of Long Beach may have lost ground.

Under the conceptual maps, the number of safe African American congressional seats in Los Angeles would drop from three to two -- with Richardson the likely loser, Mitchell said.


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