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EL CAJON, Calif. – Proposed maps by a California redistricting commission are drawing pushback from some East County leaders who argue the lines unfairly break up a conservative community.

Under the proposal, El Cajon no longer would be part of the 71st Assembly District and instead would be split up into three different districts. At a news conference held Wednesday, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells said the nonpartisan California Citizens Redistricting Commission is “ignoring” that some residents live in the East County for “the feel and the lifestyle that a rural community has.”

Joined by Reform California founder and local radio show host Carl DeMaio, Wells said he believes the intention of the commission’s proposal is to separate the right-leaning community.

“It offends me that the independent redistricting commission would say in essence that being a conservative area is a bad thing and must be broken up,” Wells said, “because that can’t stand.”

DeMaio said the new lines separate the Chaldean community into three assembly districts.

“From a Voting Rights Act standpoint, they don’t make sense,” DeMaio said.

A representative from the Chaldean community told FOX 5 they moved to East County to be with their people, and the new redistricting lines will separate them. 

“This commission has been hurting the voices of all San Diegans because they are repacking in communities that don’t have common interest,” DeMaio said, “and therefore won’t have (a) representative focusing on their priorities.”

To submit a comment on redistricting line, visit the commission’s website here. The deadline for comments to be submitted is Dec. 15.