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?