New Members 2010 - California

House 19

House 33


Birthdate: July 29, 1967
Birthplace: Hawthorne, Calif.
Residence: Atwater, Calif.
Occupation: Rancher, state politician
Education: A.A., Victor Valley Junior College; B.A., California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo 
Previous Office Held: California state Senate, 2002-present
Family: Wife, Sonia; two children

Jeff Denham’s general-election win was a breeze compared to the hard-fought primary in which he defeated former longtime Rep. Richard Pombo. Denham won the seat held for years by Rep. George Radanovich, who opted not to run for reelection. 

Denham, a former decorated military airman and almond rancher, says he will continue to focus on growing jobs and keeping them in the Golden State. 

He comes to Capitol Hill after surviving a nasty primary that pitted incumbent GOP lawmakers against each other — in particular, outspoken Rep. Devin Nunes (R), who supported Pombo’s failed bid for another stint in D.C. Denham, however, had the backing of high-ranking California GOP Reps. Darrell Issa and David Dreier, as well as Radanovich. 


Birthdate: Oct. 3, 1953
Birthplace: Los Angeles
Residence: Los Angeles
Occupation: Physician Assistant, elected official
Education: B.S., California State University, Dominguez Hills; Physician Assistant Certificate, University of Southern California 
Previous Office Held: State assembly Speaker, member
Family: Divorced; four stepchildren, one daughter (deceased)

Karen Bass was the first African-American woman and the first Democratic woman to serve as Speaker of the Assembly in California. She was also the first African-American woman to serve as Speaker of any U.S. state assembly. During her tenure, she focused on reforming California’s foster-care system and on projects in the city of Los Angeles, where she has lived throughout her life. Before joining the state assembly, she used her experience as a Physician Assistant in urban L.A. to found the Community Coalition, which initially aimed to alleviate the city’s crack-cocaine epidemic in the 1990s and now fights to reduce poverty, crime and violence. She replaces Diane Watson, who has represented the 33rd district since 2001.