Sunday, June 12, 2011

Redistricting, campaigns and the South Bay

So now that the draft maps are up and the announcements of Bob Filner running for Mayor and Juan Vargas running for Bob's seat frees up the 40th State Senate seat because let's be honest Paco(Juan) has a lock on this seat. So now the speculation is who would take over this seat in the special election to replace him in the State Senate.So far I think the following would be either obvious or interesting depending on your point of view.

The first thought would be Assemblyman Ben Hueso because the 79th would be entirely in the now 39th Senate district and he's a known commodity and would have access to Sac money. Also that has
been the trend in the South Bay that the Assemblymember becomes the Senator. Only Mary was unable to continue thistrend when she lost to Paco by less than 30 votes.

So I guess that's the obvious choice but I noticed something interesting on this Senate seat. This seat would include Clairemont which would mean that Lori Saldana, who has declared her intention to run for the 39th and technically this would be the 39th now. She's a former Assemblymember and has been die hard Juan Vargas supporter when he ran against Bob Filner back in `06 and Juan was the only person of clout to support Lori's first campaign, raising money and hooking her up with Larry Remer. Anybody who know politics in San Diego knows about Larry and that guy doesn't play politics for fun and games. She's Latina and past president of the Sierra Club which would fit this district. But she's not popular in Sac and with the local party establishment and her fundraising base is not as strong as others. So if she throws her hat who does
Paco endorse?

The other thing that occurred to me is what if Ben doesn't run. I mean it's possible but unlikely. So in that event who would run is Ben is out and Lori is in? That got me looking at the map and I saw that PB is in
this district so maybe just maybe Lorena Gonzalez runs for that seat. I mean her pedigree would be compelling as she went to Georgetown, UCLA and Stanford. She's been an environmental activist and was Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante so she still has loads of Sac money and contacts. Also as Secretary-Treasurer of San Diego-Imperial Labor Council she would be a lock for that endorsement and with Bob running for mayor the Republicans would be split on who they would want to defeat more which gives her a shot and she's Latina and she is way more palatable to the Senate Leadership so why not?

Now let's talk about the 79th. If Ben runs this leaves this seat open if he wins so who would run for that? Well there's Pamela Bensoussan. She's a sitting Councilmember of the second largest city in the County and a big part of it is in the new 79th. However she isn't Latina, which could be problematic and her fundraising base seems limited to Chula Vista which is a bigger problem. Also she might have tough reelection fight if a big name Republican comes in. Of course there is an open seat but depending on who runs for that would determine if a credible Republican decides to run against Pamela or an op
en seat.

Another possibility is Raquel Marquez-Madsen, she's a staffer to Ben and is President of the San Ysidro School Board. But she's not known outside San Ysidro and it's not know how much money she could raise on her own without an endorsement of Ben. While she been seen at Democratic Party events it is curious whether she would be able to break out unless she starts raising some serious money and Ben starts talking to the powers that be in Sac.

Now an interesting candidate for this seat would be someone who has worked in the area for almost 10 years who is well versed in this issues that impact all of South Bay and especially in the areas covered by the 79th. So why not Humberto Peraza? He's young, smart and Latino, served as Bob Filner's District Director and before that was a Field Rep for Barbara Boxer and reciently served as a Senior Policy Advisor to Ben Hueso. He's been active in Chula Vista for years he also has strong connections to National City and San Diego due his work with Bob and supporting Mona Rios in National City. With Bob's endorsement, especially if he's elected mayor and Ben's endorsement he could get some serious money and he would play ball with the Speaker's
office. Sure he lost his first campaign by a few hundred votes but didn't FDR, JFK, and Barack Obama lose at least one election or nomination? He would be an extremely attractive candidate and of the Caliber that Sac likes.

Finally there's Pearl Quinones, she ran against Ben and lost but she still serves on the Sweetwater Union High School District and is strong in National City. But National City is only a fraction of the
79th and she had problems in South San Diego and in the areas not served by Sweetwater. That and whether she can convince Sac that she can play ball and is able to diversify her support and hold on to Bob Filner's support if Humberto doesn't run gives her a shot.

Well kids this has been fun. Let me know your thoughts, click on the comments section and have your say.

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