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State Senator Connie Leyva Announces She Won't Seek Reelection

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Senator Connie M. Leyva
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State Sen. Connie Leyva speaking at a UC Riverside event in March of 2020.

On Jan. 4, State Senator Connie Leyva announced she wouldn't be seeking reelection this fall.

The news comes as newly approved redistricting maps put state Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) in the same district as state Sen. Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park.) If Leyva had chosen to run again, the two would have had to face off in the fall.

Despite that, Senator Leyva's first thoughts on her decision were that after seven years of service, it was time to focus on spending time with her husband and family. "But after seven years, I just am tired of being gone four days a week. I miss him (her husband), I miss seeing my parents, I miss our granddaughter, so as hard of a decision as it was because I do love the work, I know in my heart it's the right thing to do," said Leyva.

That said, Leyva did speak critically of the newly redrawn maps, which were put together by a 14-member commission. She said, "I have no idea what those commissioners were thinking. I don't think anyone is happy with the lines. You know I think about the Inland Empire, and they've fundamentally changed the Inland Empire, (and) not a good way."

Leyva lives in Chino, with her current district covering Pomona, Ontario, and the west side of San Bernardino. Under the new map, Leyva's district was completely flipped. The new district includes Chino, West Covina, Azusa, and El Monte.

"When I think about my four cities, Pomona, Chino, Ontario, and Montclair being put into the San Gabriel Valley… those are not San Gabriel Valley cities, those are Inland Empire cities, so sometimes when I look at the lines, I wonder if the commissioners were even from the State of California."

Leyva added that she will miss serving her community. "I just want all my constituents to know that I love them; I will continue to represent them in whatever it is I choose to do next. And it really just has been such an honor and pleasure to serve." She says she feels like she can walk away from her position and feel good about the work her team has done.

Jonathan Linden is a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and had previously interned for the station in the Spring of 2019. Outside of KVCR, Jonathan also interned for KALW in San Francisco, KFI in Burbank, and Radio HCJB in Quito, Ecuador.