As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

CA-32: Who Will Replace Solis?

Let's have a brief respite from the coming California apocalypse to try and figure out which politician will beat a fast retreat out of Sacramento and into DC to replace Hilda Solis in the Congress. There are actually some good progressive possibilities here, which one would hope considering that Solis was such a progressive leader. The CapAlert early line matched with my expectations.

Democratic state Sens. Gil Cedillo and Gloria Romero say they're exploring running for the East Los Angeles County congressional seat that's expected to be vacated by Rep. Hilda Solis, reportedly President-elect Barack Obama's pick for labor secretary.

While Cedillo was expressing his interest Thursday to reporters on the floor of the Senate, Romero wandered by and said she was "definitely" looking at jumping into the race.

Told that in addition to Cedillo, the Calderon brothers -- Assemblyman Charles and state Sen. Ron -- could be contenders, Romero declared, "I can beat them all" -- and walked off.

I like the confidence.

Both Cedillo or Romero would be great additions to the House. I would give Romero the edge because it's actually her district - Cedillo serves a contiguous district. Romero would be a rare voice for prison reform in Washington, and while her advocacy proved fruitless in Sacramento, ultimately she will be proven right if we see mass releases in the next few months, and having her on the national stage would be very helpful to the prison reform movement. For Cedillo it's the same, only on immigration reform. I would imagine that both of them would join the House Progressive Caucus.

As long as the Calderons stay out of this seat, I'd be happy.

Other contenders are the sitting Assemblymembers in the district, Ed Hernandez and Mike Eng, as well as state Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu, who in a twist is married to Mike Eng, which would make for an interesting primary. I think Chu is good in her position but I can't say I know much about her on other issues.

The last special Congressional election gave us Laura Richardson. Hopefully we'll do much better with this one.

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