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In light of the news that San Diego City Council President Ben Hueso has filed papers to run for state Assembly next year, I thought I’d share this detail from a recent talk with Hueso about the recently approved changes to the process for picking a council president.

Last week, before council members voted to select the council president every December, I asked Hueso about this Jan. 27 memo to fellow members of a council committee that, among other things, proposed to extend the president’s term to two years. Hueso’s memo said in part:

I will ask the Committee members to consider changing the election to the first meeting after June 30 on odd numbered years. I will recommend that we amend Rule 4.2 to state that the next election be held on the first meeting after June 30, 2010 with every subsequent election held only on odd numbered years.

I asked Hueso if that meant he would be extending his current one-year term so it was a year and a half long, ending in July 2010. But Hueso insisted that wasn’t his intent. He said under his proposal, the council president election would still be held in December, and then the president would serve a shorter term ending in July 2010.

Of course, the primary for the state Assembly seat will be held in June 2010.

Some more tidbits on this news:

  • When I talked to Hueso in December, I asked about his future political ambitions. This was Hueso’s response in part:

    [T]hey say well, a state position is like a promotion, it’s higher profile, and you should do that, and you should look for higher office, and you should move up and I really don’t look at things that way. I see a different position as a different focus and I see all political offices as being equal. Anywhere I would go would be a lateral move and not necessarily a promotion, but I’d want to do something that really fulfills my goals and I think currently what I’m doing here in the council, I feel like I’m having a lot of success here.

    Also:

    We’ll see where I am in three months and then ask me where do you want to be in another three months.

    It’s been less than three months since that interview.

  • Another question that’s come up: Will Hueso run for reelection to his City Council seat in 2010? As I understand it, nothing prohibits him from running for City Council and state Assembly at the same time. I’ve put in a message to Hueso but haven’t heard back yet.

    And who would run for his seat in District 8? Send thoughts, theories and rumors you’ve heard to rani.gupta@voiceofsandiego.org.

  • Finally, Hueso has the support of Assemblywoman Mary Salas, the current officeholder in District 79.

    Salas is running for the state Senate seat held by termed-out state Sen. Denise Ducheny. A potential rival for that seat, former Assemblywoman Shirley Horton, confirmed in a voicemail to me that she is not running for Ducheny’s seat.

    Horton, a Republican who is now president of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, had filed a “statement of intent” indicating her interest in running for Ducheny’s seat.

RANI GUPTA

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