Feb. 8, 2012 | The 16th Assembly district has long been known as a “black seat” in the state legislature because the demographics of the district had historically tilted toward African-American voters living in East Oakland. For the past six years, the seat has been held by Sandré Swanson, one of the most prominent African-American politicians in the Bay Area. But an historic exodus of blacks from Oakland, coupled with a dramatic redistricting and a newfangled primary season, has changed the demographic landscape of the district. As a result, the 16th, now known as the 18th Assembly district because of redistricting, may one of the most competitive legislative contests in California this year…
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