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The Skinny: Joan on the run?

The congresional vacancy left in the wake of Ellen Tauscher's appointment to the Obama administration has a lot of people talking, and not all of them are happy campers. Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan is still mulling a Congressional run, or at the very least, a Senate run if Mark DeSaulnier glides off to Washington. But neither option sits very well with Assembly Democrats, who spent millions to get Buchanan elected last fall. If Buchanan leaves, Democrats fear they will lose the seat in a special election. Republicans have a strong bench in the district, including Abram Wilson, who nearly beat Buchanan in November. Democrats are beginning to talk up John Garamendi Jr. as a possibility for the Assembly seat, but their preference is to have Buchanan stay. That may explain why more than one Assembly Dem is quietly, very quietly, talking up Contra Costa supervisor Susan Bonilla as the best candidate to replace DeSaulnier. Buchanan has thus far proven impervious to caucus pressure, but all this political angling is straining some relationships inside the Democratic caucus… Who says the state isn't hiring? Sen. Leland Yee continues to staff up under new chief of staff Adam Keigwin. The latest member of Team Yee is Eduardo Martinez, who has left the office of Assemblyman Anthony Portantino to become Yee's legislative director.

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