Matt Cunningham, a Republican blogger at the Red County blog, thinks that State Senator Lou Correa, who just won reelection, is going to run against Supervisor Janet Nguyen in 2012. Here are a few excerpts from Cunningham’s post:
In 2012, Correa will be in the middle of his final term not only in the state Senate, but in the state legislature. If he has aspiration to remain in public office rather than seek his fortune in the private sector, his options are limited once he is termed out in 2014.
Challenging Sup. Janet Nguyen has several advantages, which I am sure have already occurred to Sen. Correa and his advisors as they ponder his future options:
- It’s a free ride: if he fails to unseat Nguyen, he still has two years left in the state Senate.
- Since Correa served less than two full years of his original term on the Board of Supervisors before becoming a Senator, he is eligible for two full, consecutive terms on the Board. Two more years as a state Senator versus eight as a county supervisor: in an age when county offices have become landing pads for termed-out legislators, that’s a pretty good trade.
I think Cunningham is very wrong, for a number of reasons:
- When Correa first quit the O.C. Board of Supervisors, he angered organized labor. They were particularly tweaked to see his seat end up in Republican hands.
- However – the OCEA (Orange County Employees Association) ended up befriending Janet Nguyen, who took Correa’s seat. Does Cunningham really think they will turn on her now? No they won’t.
- Plus Correa really did not like being the only Democrat on the Republican dominated OC Board of Supervisors. Why would he go back to that arrangement?
- Correa has a few years to figure out what to do before he terms out of the State Senate. Even Cunningham acknowledged that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein could retire and Sanchez could run for her seat, opening up the 47th Congressional District for Correa.
- Correa lives in Santa Ana, as far as I know. I believe he lives in Carlos Bustamante’s ward, which is opening up in 2012 and in 2016. Correa could finish his term on the State Senate and run for the Santa Ana City Council, or for Mayor of Santa Ana, if Mayor Miguel Pulido has moved on by then.
- Correa could also, at the end of his term, run for a statewide office. As a moderate Democrat he would do well in the open primary.
- Correa could also opt to leave politics and work in the private sector. He could make some real money as a lobbyist or government consultant.
I think that Assemblyman Jose Solorio is the one who is going to challenge Nguyen in 2012. Even if she redistricts her seat, I think he has a great shot at beating her. She has lost a lot of support even in her own community, in the wake of her disastrous attempt to take over the Little Saigon Black April event this year.