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Warren Rupf for Congress?

By Josh Richman
Friday, March 20th, 2009 at 6:38 pm in Ellen Tauscher, General, U.S. House.

Lots of names continue to circulate in the speculation over who’ll run to succeed Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, if she’s confirmed to a high-ranking State Department post. In chatting with a few people today, someone mentioned the name of Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf as a possible Republican contender, so I gave him a call.

“I have not closed out the possibility,” he told me about an hour ago, adding that despite some misgivings, he has agreed to meet with several of the people who’ve urged him to run.

“I don’t know that I’d be a good partisan politician,” he said, noting that as Sheriff since 1992 and with the department for more than 40 years, he has had to operate in a bipartisan way. (Now, isn’t that exactly what a moderate Republican candidate, looking to overcome the CD-10’s 18-percentage-point Democratic voter registration advantage, would say?)

He’ll not rush into anything, he said. “It’s far and away too important a position, and certainly the issues are so important, that it’s not something that should be entered into for emotional or ego-driven motives.”

Rupf lives in Martinez, which is in Rep. George Miller’s 7th Congressional District. But as I’ve reported, that’s no legal obstacle and might be significantly less of a political problem when the jurisdiction someone has been serving for a long time overlaps significantly with the Congressional district at issue.

Other Republicans mulling a run to succeed Tauscher include 2008 nominee Nicholas Gerber of Moraga and California Republican Party Vice Chairman Tom Del Beccaro of Lafayette. I also spoke today with 2006 GOP nominee Darcy Linn; she said she’s not considering a special-election run, and she believes Del Beccaro is the strongest GOP candidate.

On the Democratic side, state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, already has the blessing of Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, who decided to stay with his campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2010. Other possibilities include Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo; former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, D-Pittsburg; Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Susan Bonilla; former BART director and former PG&E executive Dan Richard of Walnut Creek; and former Lafayette Mayor Scott Talan. Watch for any or all to get involved in the domino effect as some run for CD-10, and some run for the seat the new Congressmember vacates, and so on and so on.

I’ll be on KQED-TV/Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California” to talk about CD-10 at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

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