Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More "Cabinetry": Judy Chu Energes as Solis Confirmed

The AP reported this afternoon that the Senate has confirmed California Congresswoman Hilda Solis as President Barack Obama's labor secretary by a 80-17 vote after a protracted partisan battle.

Her confirmation at the last clears the way for the field of her potential replacements to start the jockeying and earnest, including Judy Chu, who currently serves as State Board of Equalization Chairwoman. Although Chu has the support of the Asian American Action Fund, APAs for Progress PAC, and the L.A. County Federation of Labor, she is seen as having a potentially uphill climb against state Sen. Gil Cedillo in a heavily Latino district.

The delays and souring California budget news led Gautam Dutta to speculate on the AAAF blog that a special election being considered in California might be in Chu's favor. If statewide special elections were held in May or June, Dutta observes, it would make financial sense for the state to defer settling the matter of Solis' replacement to coincide with them, saving what Dutta says is nearly $1 million. Chu's Asian-American supporters are hopeful that she would benefit from having the longer time to campaign.

A recent release by APAs for Progress PAC announced that it had gathered funding for the launch of its new Glen S. Fukushima Campaign Fellowship, which would be used to fund the deployment of a Fellow to Chu's campaign if Solis was confirmed.