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It took campaign-watchers in the Assembly all of about 1 minute on Monday to make a quick calculation after discovering that Bobby Shriver, Maria's big brother and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's brother-in-law, had filed to run for a seat on the Santa Monica City Council. The development means, Democrats speculated, that Shriver is positioning himself to run for the Assembly in 2006, when incumbent Fran Pavley is termed out.

Shriver, 50, is the eldest child of Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver. He has never before run for public office, but currently holds the appointed position of chairman of the State Parks and Recreation Commission. He began his career as a newspaper reporter, before going on to graduate from Yale Law School.

The city council bid is certain his attorney delivered his candidate's papers to City Hall just before the deadline. As for a possible Assembly bid, that is sheer speculation. However, Santa Monica is the largest city in the 41st District and almost certain to produce the next representative in a Democrat-dominated district that runs into the San Fernando Valley and up the coast through Malibu, Port Hueneme and coastal Oxnard. Pavely won a fiercely contested Democratic primary in 2000, in part because three candidates from Santa Monica helped split the vote in that hugely Democratic stronghold.

95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at therdt@vcstar.com