Is it Maldo? (Lt. Gov) Implications for Legislative Races

The Fresno Bee editorial blog seems to be suggesting that of the two names left on the Governor’s short-list, Abel Maldonado is far more likely than Cogdill. KQED’s John Myers agrees in this tweet.

I’ve thought Madlo would be the nominee unless the Legislature just told Arnold that they wouldn’t take anyone, or that a Democrat should replace a Democrat. But, we know this Legislature isn’t prone to taking tough stands, are they?

This does have some interesting (if you’re a Cal Politics junkie anyway) ramifications in an interesting race for an assembly seat.

Currently, AD-33 (San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Paso Robles) is held by minority leader Sam Blakeslee, who will be termed out in 2010. He has already filed papers to run for SD-15 when Maldonado terms out in 2012, but an imminent special election would make things interesting.

When Blakeslee originally won election in 2004, he defeated far-right candidate Matt Kokkonen (who is also running for AD-33–he’s always running for something) by trying to appear not as far to the right. There are currently four Republicans running campaigns for the GOP nomination in AD-33. They come from different geographical regions of the 33rd and from different ends of the narrow GOP spectrum. I would not be surprised to see one of them (Kokkonen, especially) take a shot at SD-15 in a special election where anything can happen.

There is currently only one Democrat in the race, Hilda Zacarias. The AD-33 voted for Obama in 2008, so there is an opening here. SD-15 is much bigger, stretching from Santa Maria all the way up to Santa Clara county. My sense is that it is a more red district, but, in an election with two or three Republicans who might split the vote and Scozzofava each other, if the Democrats can agree on one person only, they might have a chance to pick up a senate seat, at least for 2 years. I would suggest that this not be done at the expense of the more doable AD-33 win.

It’s all speculation based on rumors based on speculation, but that’s what makes political blogging so fun, right?

2 thoughts on “Is it Maldo? (Lt. Gov) Implications for Legislative Races”

  1. There’s also John Laird, former Assembly budget chair, termed out last year to the great dismay of all of us in his district (AD-27). Laird would have to move a few miles east to get into SD-15, but word is he’s considered this before, and may be willing to consider it again.

    Dems have a registration advantage here in SD-15: 41% Dem, 34.6% Rep, 23% DTS. We would have beaten Maldonado last year if we had an actual Democratic candidate, had Don Perata not withheld money from potential Democratic challengers.

    As a constituent of Maldonado’s, I’d like to endorse him to be picked for LtG in the strongest possible terms.

  2. Although Maldonado is not the brightest of the bunch, he is about the only thing resembling a moderate Republican in the legislature.  I’m fine with that.

    What I’m really excited about though is the possibility of John Laird running for the State Senate.  He was one of the best legislators in Sacramento and I would be delighted if he ran.  Of course, we get better numbers (trading a D for an R) but bringing in talent like that is just great for the Senate.

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