Capitol Alert

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For you political junkies and journalists ruing the fallow months between now and the Legislature's return in January, thank goodness for special elections.

Today we get a pair of primaries, part of the never-ending cascade of open seats begetting special elections begetting open seats -- in this case, both vacant posts stemming from Los Angeles City Council elections that saw two former state legislators swap jobs.

Over in the 26th Senate District, Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, remains the odds-on favorite to replace former senator and now L.A. council member Curren Price -- so much so that Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, essentially bid Mitchell farewell during an end-of-session monologue late on Thursday night's session finale.

The race to replace former Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield in the 45th Assembly District presents more of a puzzle. We have a packed Democratic field that includes: Matt Dababneh, an aide to Rep. Brad Sherman; longtime political staffer Damian Carroll, who worked most recently for L.A. Councilmember Paul Krekorian; Jeff Ebenstein, who works for L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz; and Glendale College professor of politics Andra Hoffman, who has Blumenfield's blessing and the backing of the California Federation of Teachers. On the Republican side are constitutional scholar Susan Shelley and engineer Chris Kolski.

VIDEO: California's uneven economic recovery could falter along for years, Dan Walters says.

REGENTS: The University of California Board of Regents kicks off a three-day meeting at UCSF Mission Bay today. No word on whether Gov. Jerry Brown will reprise his heavily-involved presence from earlier this year, when he alighted on regents meetings to push a new program of online learning.

SAN-BANKRUPT-DINO: San Bernardino's bankruptcy case gets examined today during a meeting of the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank, which will take a look at where the proceedings stand. From 2 p.m. at 980 9th Street.

CELEBRATIONS: A few different lawmakers advance in age today. Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin, turns 54; Assemblyman Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park, celebrates his 52nd; and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, rings in her 51st year.

PHOTO: Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, listens during a Legislative informational hearing on gun laws at the State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.


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