Former Democratic Sen. Denise Ducheny is considering a run for an expected vacant congressional seat in the San Diego area, setting the stage for a primary battle against another state legislator from San Diego -- Sen. Juan Vargas.
Vargas, who has already announced plans to run for Congress, was elected in November to the seat Ducheny left due to to term limits last year. Both have represented the area in the state Assembly. The two would vie to replace Democratic Rep. Bob Filner, who is trading his Washington gig to run in the San Diego mayoral race.
The San Diego Union Tribune's Michael Gardner reports:
The prospect of a bruising primary against Vargas "is certainly one of the challenges" as she weighs whether to step into the race, Ducheny said.
And there could be a sequel if she does. Under California's new primary system, the top two vote-getters in June -- regardless of political party -- move on to the November general election ballot.
Vacant Congressional seats are rare and this one will likely attract more attention once the state's redistricting commission finalizes political boundary lines that go into effect for the 2012 elections, barring court intervention.
The redistricting commission is expected to release its last -- and final -- set of maps Thursday, with an adoption vote planned for Friday. Those would go into effect after Aug. 15, under a constitutional deadline.
The draft boundary lines appear favorable, Ducheny said.
"Some folks who are paying more attention to the state redistricting than I was began calling me," Ducheny said. "Enough of them called to convince me to think about it."
Read the full San Diego Tribune piece on a Ducheny-Vargas match up here.
See all Capitol Alert coverage of 2012 races here.
PHOTO CREDITS: Sacramento Bee file photos of Sen. Juan Vargas and former Sen. Denise Ducheny by John Decker and Hector Amezcua.