With the filing deadline for the 2008 elections just two weeks from today, it can't be too early to start thinking about 2010 -- especially now that voters have affirmed the state's term limits law, retaining the predictability about who is leaving when.
One person who will be leaving in 2010 is Assemblywoman Audra Strickland of Moorpark, and the fellow who was runner-up to her in the 2004 primary is already making the rounds lining up endorsements for another campaign. He is former deputy district attorney Jeff Gorell, who lost to Strickland by 1,800 votes, or 3.6 percentage points, in a three-way Republican primary four years ago.
Gorell, 37, is a former aide to Gov. Pete Wilson who spent several months in Afghanistan in 2002 as a lieutenant in the Navy reserve. He hasn't really stopped running since that 2004 loss, and is positioned to line up a lot of support from established local Republicans. One told me this week that Gorell is already asking folks to sign endorsement cards.
There will be another local vacancy in the Assembly in 2010, when Santa Barbara Democrat Pedro Nava is also termed out. Folks in western Ventura County tell me that Santa Barbara City Councilman Das Williams is laying significant groundwork for a campaign. Williams has an advantage few enjoy in that two-market district: He has a political base in Santa Barbara and also extensive connections in Ventura County, where he works for the Latino advocacy group CAUSE.