Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dems get the early drop

When it comes to staking a claim to the newly drawn political districts in San Joaquin County, Democrats are getting the drop on their Republican counterparts.

Today, Cathleen Galgiani confirmed to me that she's running for the 5th Senate district, which will be all of San Joaquin County, plus Galt and Modesto. The three-term assemblywoman is termed out in that chamber, so the state Senate is her best shot at staying around Sacramento.

Galgiani's Associate Press-style tag (D-Livingston) might suggest she's a carpetbagger, but that charge is leveled by her history and honest SJC roots. Galgiani is a fifth-generation Stockton native, and owns a home within walking distance of that city's vibrant Miracle Mile.

And though her district now only is partly in the county, she said “I always felt like I represented all of San Joaquin County."

Mike Barkley is another Democrat who declared immediately — actually, he's been working on his campaign since before the new districts were drawn. The man from Manteca might not have inside-the-Beltway orthodox views on a range of topics (scope his comprehensive and obviously thought-out platform here), but Barkley insists that's the type of representative you need if you want to shake up the District of Columbia. But smart money says he won't be the biggest Democrat in the Tracy-inclusive 10th Congressional District fight.

Rep. Jerry McNerney has also said he'll run to represent Mountain House (not Tracy) in Congress.

On the GOP side, Ricky Gill will be in the mix against McNerney for certain. He is the lone Republican so far to get ahead of his Democratic counterpart. He declared early this year that, however the districts would be drawn, he'd run to represent San Joaquin County and be a truly homegrown candidate, something the area has been sorely lacking for years. He's an energetic and sharp-as-a-tack guy with a ton of promise.

The GOP's Jeff Denham has all but said he will run in the 10th Congressional District opposite Barkley and whomever else joins the race, but has not officially declared that will be where he tosses his hat. We'll have more on him and his positions when he gives the official "I'm in."

With this year's redistricting, the 2012 election season looks like it could be a bumpy ride. So hang on — Second Thoughts and the Tracy Press will try to keep you as up-to-date as possible.

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