Watching the dominoes fall

It’s never too early for a politician to think about the next office he or she will hold, and each one’s decision ripples through the political ecosystem. The start of a two-year electoral cycle is a time of great flux, ripe with possibilities as ambitious lifelong politicos decide how to structure the next round of musical chairs.

For example, you’ll recall San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris last week announced she’ll run for state Attorney General in 2010, but only if current Attorney General Jerry Brown runs for governor rather than a second term, a decision that could be influenced by whether U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein jumps into the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

So assuming Feinstein’s decision affects Brown’s, and Brown’s affects Harris, then whose does Harris’ affect? Word on the street is that it’s state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, who might run for mayor of that fine city (rather than a second Senate term) if Harris doesn’t; current Mayor Gavin Newsom will be termed out (and is also exploring a 2010 gubernatorial run).

And then, who’ll run for Yee’s state Senate seat if he doesn’t? Ah, all the pretty ripples…

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.