While the 2011 redrawing of California Assembly districts might have been a boon for companies who print business cards and letterhead stationary, it didn't appreciably alter the political landscape in and around Contra Costa County.

The Democratic candidates in three contested races -- districts 11, 15 and 16 -- are expected to win, despite a large number of vote by mail ballots still left to count.¿¿

Susan Bonilla is running uncontested in Assembly District 14.

The closest race was in District 16, which now includes southeast Alameda County and central Contra Costa County. Democrat Joan Buchanan was expected to hold her lead over Republican Al Phillips in early returns.

It is their second head-to-head meeting in five months. They were the only candidates under a new primary format that uses open balloting and places the two top vote-getters, regardless of party, on the November ballot.

Buchanan has a background in education, having served 18 years on the San Ramon Valley School District board and on the state Special Education Commission in 2010. Phillips, on his website, states his priorities as smaller government and lower taxes for citizens and businesses.

In District 11, Democrat Jim Frazier defeated Republican Mike Hudson. The open seat was created when the district boundaries were shifted to East Contra Costa and east Solano counties.

Hudson was the top vote-getter in a crowded primary, but the district's demographics -- 48 percent registered Democrats, 27 percent Republicans and 21 declining to state -- suggested he would have a more difficult time battling Frazier head-to-head.

Hudson lists his priorities as job creation, balancing the state budget, and easing taxation and over-regulation of business. Frazier cites jobs creation, overhauling education, and protecting the Delta.

In District 15, Democrat Nancy Skinner defeated Peace and Freedom candidate Eugene Ruyle. Skinner has served the old District 14 since her 2008 election. The new District 15 includes north Alameda County and West Contra Costa County.

Bonilla, a Democrat who had represented District 15 until the boundaries were redrawn, is running unopposed in District 14, which now covers north Contra Costa County along the Delta and San Pablo Bay.

Contact Gary Peterson at 925-952-5053. Follow him at Twitter.com/garyscribe.