The recent election of Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, to the 51st Congressional District raises questions on what will happen with the state Senate seat Vargas will leave vacant once he is sworn into his new position.
Vargas, a state senator for the 40th District, won his office in late 2010 and still had most of his four-year tenure ahead of him before he ran for the congressional seat that includes Imperial County and the southern portion of San Diego.
This seat was vacated by now San Diego Mayor-elect Bob Filner.
Vargas went on to defeat Republican Michael Crimmins earlier this month, and just like Filner, Vargas will leave a vacant seat that secretary of state officials say will have to be filled through a special election.
Carl Luna, a San Diego Mesa College professor of political science, believes “we could have special elections for the 40th (District) sometime in January or thereafter.”
As far as who could aspire for that seat, Luna believes Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-Chula Vista, will take advantage of Vargas’ vacating the seat and try “to make the hop from Assembly to Senate two years earlier than might have been the case if Mr. Vargas had lost.”
Moving to the state Senate would be Hueso’s next natural step in his political career, said Luna.
When asked about any potential GOP candidate that could pursue this seat, Luna said nobody came to mind and added that “given that Vargas won (that) seat by a 3-2 margin in 2010, it would seem any Republican who runs there might be something of a sacrificial elephant.”
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or email@example.com
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