Friday, December 16, 2005

New Print Edition: CA50 Special

The new December 16, 2005 print edition of the Rothenberg Political Report is on its way to subscribers. (Click here for subscription information.) Here is a sample from the current issue.

California 50: Special Election Pre-Test
By Nathan L. Gonzales

Democrats are longing for the opportunity to run against corruption. They will have their next opportunity in less than four months, with the special election in California’s 50th Congressional District.

Former Cong. Duke Cunningham (R) recently resigned his seat after he pleaded guilty to felony counts of accepting bribes ($2.4 million worth), as well as tax evasion and fraud charges, all involving his relationship with a defense contractor. Cunningham announced earlier in the year that he would not seek reelection, but after his indictment and guilty pleas, the Republican resigned his seat.

A crowd of Republicans have joined the race to succeed Cunningham while the Democratic field is surprisingly sparse for an open seat race. Francine Busby, the 2004 Democratic nominee, will carry her party’s mantle again, and Democrats believe she has a good opportunity to win.

Republicans will have to sift through their field of candidates before focusing on Busby, but the seat itself leans Republican. Democrats are trying to put all the message and tactical pieces together for this race as they attempt to use this Southern California district as a building block for a larger wave next fall.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has set April 11 as the date of the primary to fill the vacancy, with the special election runoff scheduled for June 6, the date of the 2006 state primary. The April election will be an open primary, with the top vote getters from each party advancing to June if no candidate breaks the 50% mark.

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