Warren Rupf for Congress?

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.

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.

  • Nancy Mills

    Let me add my name in support of this good man. I think he could win!

  • Cris

    Oh, good grief. I hope the Repubs chose him, the man is as corrupt as they come.