Tag Archives: SD-22

Fabian Núñez For State Senate (SD-22)?

The former speaker of the Assembly hasn’t actually been gone all that long, and it was always anticipated that he would might make a run at the State Senate in 2010 (among other possibilities). Fabian Núñez has filed papers to run for the SD-22 seat currently held by Gil Cedillo – a seat that might open up even sooner if Cedillo wins a special election to replace Hilda Solis in the Congress:

This week, he filed paperwork to fill the seat of termed-out Sen. Gil Cedillo in 2010. Cedillo’s seat could be vacated even sooner, as the Los Angeles Democrat is running for Congress to replace Rep. Hilda Solis, who President Barack Obama has tapped as labor secretary.

Núñez would be a prohibitive favorite, should he run. His campaign treasury was stuffed with nearly $5 million as of the end of 2008.

The filing could also simply be a place to legally store all that campaign cash. Many former leaders keep accounts open for races in which few if anyone expects them to compete.

Although it’s possible Núñez is just parking the cash, this would seem like a sensible move for him to make. He’d have at least another 8 years in the Legislature, potentially longer if term limits reform ever gets implemented (and I hope it does). And I have to believe that Núñez would indeed be the favorite for the seat, given his profile as Speaker and his campaign warchest.

Still, Núñez would do well to build his campaign around a solution to our state’s ongoing budget mess. He was in the Big Five room for the last four years of negotiations, and should have as good an idea as anybody what could be improved in the system.

And he also has a responsibility to voters to explain how he would do better – Democrats failed to offer a clear alternative to the Republican tax cuts mantra while he was speaker, making it very difficult for Democrats and progressives in 2009 to mount a successful pushback against Republican demands. That’s not say this crisis is all his fault, but as one of the recent leaders in Sacramento, he would do well to give voters a clear sense of how he would use his experience to chart a different course in the Senate.