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The Skinny: Musical chairs

Doesn’t anyone want to be a state lawmaker any more? This week, Sen. Dave Cogdill said he wanted to “spent more time with my family” and checked out of his 2010 reelection bid. And why not, really? Cogdill has been the Republican lead on water policy, and now that the issue is going to be before voters, his work is largely done. And don’t forget, he’s checking out of a club that dumped him as its leader for having the audacity to negotiate with Democrats. Cogdill joins Assemblyman Danny Gilmore as likely GOP no-gos in 2010. He also vaults to the top of the lieutenant governor list, after Gov. Schwarzenegger said Cogdill was under consideration this week. A self-proclaimed desire to return to the private sector seems to be a top priority for ensuring legislative confirmation to the lite gov’s spot. The question now is what happens to Mike Villines, the other GOP leader who was eased from power because of his budget vote, albeit a bit more gracefully than Cogdill. Villines is currently a candidate for insurance commissioner, but the Senate opening in his district gives Villines another appealing, and less expensive, political path. Many Democrats and self-proclaimed guardians of the Senate would like to see Villines join the club. So, Mike, what’s it going to be?

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