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California: Handicapper: Brown Could Be Next Governor

The California Majority Report, a left-of-center Web site of political news and viewpoints, has released its rankings of possible 2010 Democratic gubernatorial candidates and who among them is considered most likely to win the party’s nomination.

The Majority Report’s rankings include just one member of California’s Democratic Congressional delegation, Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She is ranked No. 9 on the list, primarily because she is not expected to run.

“Feinstein seems more than happy just where she is, particularly with Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate and likely to add to their totals after the 2008 elections,” the Majority Report’s analysis said.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D), who already has opened a fundraising committee for a potential gubernatorial run in 2010, was on the Majority Report’s previous list. However, she was dropped from the current rankings, on the theory that she also is unlikely to run now that Democrats control Congress.

Topping the list of those Democrats considered most likely to win the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary are ex-presidential candidate, former governor, ex-Oakland mayor and current state Attorney General Jerry Brown.

Following him in the rankings are San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former state Controller and 2006 gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly, former state Attorney General and current state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, state Speaker Fabian Nuñez, Feinstein, and former state Treasurer and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is termed out in 2010, and has not ruled out a challenge of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D).

— David M. Drucker

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