Hertzberg running for State Senate?

Speaker Hertzberg

The Los Angeles Daily News had an article on the potential campaign by former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg for the newly drawn State Senate District 27.

If Hertzberg does decide to run, he will be breaking the mold. Although it wasn’t uncommon for Assembly Speakers to be elected to the Senate in the early years of the state (in fact, two individuals served as both Assembly Speaker and Senate pro Tem), it has been 84 years since the last Speaker moved to the upper house.

Governor Merriam

The last Assembly Speaker to become a State Senator was Frank F. Merriam (Speaker in 1923-1926), who was elected to the State Senate in 1928 and went on to be Governor in 1934. Since Merriam, at least four other Speakers have run for (and lost) races for the State Senate;

A decade after Merriam was elected to the Senate, Speaker Edgar C. Levey lost a General Election campaign for SD-14 in 1938. In the 1950s, Sam L. Collins lost a Primary Election bid for SD-35 in 1952 and James W. Silliman lost in a Special Election for a SD-25 in 1955. Finally, Doris Allen ran in the SD-35 Special Election of 1995 (losing the primary to Ross Johnson).

With incumbent State Senators Fran Pavley and Tony Strickland already in the race, Hertzberg has some major challenges to overcome. But if Stickland withdraws to run for Congress, Hertzberg’s positive relationship with legislative Republicans might be a major advantage in the new Top Two Primary structure.

2012 Elections Begin

Tomorrow marks the official start of the 2012 election season. Although candidates have been announcing their campaigns for months, California law designates December 30th as the first day on which candidate may begin collecting and filing signatures in lieu of filing fees. The key dates for the June Primary are:

December 30 – February 23: Signatures in Lieu of Filing Fees

February 13 – March 9: Regular Nomination Period

March 10 – 14, 2012: Extended Nomination Period (if an eligible incumbent does not file for office)

April 9 – May 22: Write-In Candidate Filing Period

June 5: Presidential Primary Election

Source: Candidate Filing Information from the California Secretary of State


We should have a complete idea of what the June ballot will look like by March 15th. With the exception of a very close race or two, the candidate line-up for the November election should be known by the end of June 6th.

Record Setting Legislative Turnover (December Update)

As we discussed in a previous post three months ago, it looks like California is going to see a near-record number of new legislators in 2013.

In the Senate, 7 State Senators will be leaving due to term limits. Four Senators (Ronald Calderon, Gloria Negrete-McLeod, Michael Rubio, and Juan Vargas), are running for Congress mid-term, which has the potential to create two new vacancies in mid-2013 if they win.

Potential new Senators: 11

In the Assembly, 22 Assemblymembers will be leaving due to term limits. Another five will give up their Assembly seats to run for Congress (Norma Torres, David Valadao, Isadore Hall, Roger Hernandez, and Jeff Miller). Assemblyman Fletcher will give up a third term in the Assembly to run for Mayor of San Diego. Bill Berryhill, Marty Block and Bill Monning will be running for Senate. Paul Fong, Bonnie Lowenthal and V. Manuel Perez, who had been thinking about Senate campaigns, have decided to remain in the Assembly. Alyson Huber will be voluntarily declining to seek a third term. Warren Furutani, eligible for another term in the Assembly, is currently running for Los Angeles City Council (with the run-off scheduled for January 17th) Finally, Mike Morrell and Tim Donnelly are likely to face tough primary challenges, while Jeff Gorell may have difficulty in November.

Potential new Assemblymembers: 33-36 31-34

These numbers (a total of about 44-47 at this point) ignore the number of new Assembly vacancies that might open if any of the State Senators are elected to Congress.

Updated 12/23/2011 at 7:16 pm to include information about Morrell, Donnelly, Gorell, and Furutani.

Updated 12/27/2011 at 3:52 pm to remove Michael Rubio’s congressional run. He announced today that he will not be running.

Updated 12/30/2011 at 9:57 am to remove Isadore Hall’s congressional run. He announced yesterday that he would remain in the Assembly rather than run against two incumbent members of Congress.