Congressional District 9
Incumbent: Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton and Pleasanton.
Challenger: Republican Ricky Gill, a law school graduate who works for his family business in Lodi.
Key Factors: McNerney, a wind-energy engineer, wants to preserve the seat he won in the agriculture-heavy San Joaquin Valley from former GOP Rep. Richard Pombo. His opponent, Gill, is 25-year-old recent law school graduate who has consistently posted big fundraising numbers and has received ample support from the National Republican Congressional Committee. Gill has attempted to paint McNerney as disconnected from the district's needs, while McNerney points to the Republican's lack of work experience.
Description: The district includes the eastern suburbs of the San Francisco Bay area and part of the San Joaquin Valley, joining Stockton to the East Bay cities of Oakley, Brentwood and Antioch. The district is 45 percent registered Democrat, 35 percent Republican and 16 percent independent. It includes Lathrop.
Congressional District 10
Incumbent: Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock.
Challenger: Democrat Jose Hernandez, a former space shuttle astronaut from Modesto.
Key Factors: Denham, a U.S. Air Force veteran and former state lawmaker, seeks reelection in this newly drawn district. Hernandez has received strong financial and political support from national Democratic leaders.
Description: Anchored around Modesto, the district stretches up and down the Highway 99 corridor from Manteca to Turlock. Democrats hold a mere 1,805-vote edge in registration over Republicans, while about 16 percent are independent.