For some reason, a couple dozen folks thought it would be a good idea to run for the Legislature this year. Well, congratulations to all you newcomers. And Godspeed. Among the new crew we have a mortgage broker, a physician, a fundraiser, two former San Diego councilmembers and the son of Egyptian and Swedish immigrants. There is the son of a former Democratic lawmaker who has been elected as a Republican. All of them must wrestle with the state’s $25 billion deficit and a new set of budget rules and a new governor. Not to mention the fact that none of these people know what their legislative districts will look like next year. Here’s hoping it isn’t quite the recipe for paralysis that it seems to be. Among the things we’ll be looking for is the new Senate majority leader. With Dean Florez termed out, we hear Alex Padilla’s name mentioned quite a bit for the post. And it would be a good spot for Darrell Steinberg to place one of the growing hordes of Senate moderate Democrats. But we don’t know if Padilla will be allowed to get the new title and keep his chairmanship of the Senate Utilities Committee – a true juice committee and one of the most powerful chairmanships in the Legislature. The answer is only four days away…

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