Maldonado, Blakeslee aren't talking about prospects for changing jobs

Two Central Coast politicians who could be changing jobs soon are remaining mum about their respective prospects.

State Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, has been prominently mentioned as a possible replacement for Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, who resigned this week after he was elected to Congress in San Francisco’s East Bay.

Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, who cannot run for re-election to the Assembly next year because of term limits, has been touted by political observers as likely to run for the open Maldonado seat in a special election that would likely take place sometime next spring should Maldonado move on.

Maldonado’s communications director, Brooke Armour, told The Tribune on Friday that Maldonado is not pressuring the governor for the appointment. “It is the governor’s decision and he is not commenting on it,” Armour said.

Maldonado is only one of several people who could be appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to fill Garamendi’s former job, and jockeying and speculation are already rife in Sacramento.

The governor also could leave the post vacant until next November’s general election.

Should Schwarzenegger tap Maldonado, and the Legislature approve, there would be a primary election for his state Senate seat next year, and, if nobody gets 50 percent of the vote plus one, a runoff election.

The termed-out Blakeslee has been raising money. He had $287,435 in August, most of it from political action committees.

Blakeslee declined to answer questions from The Tribune on Friday about whether he would seek Maldonado’s seat should it open.

Maldonado’s term in the state senate expires in 2012. Bob CuddyCounty Government ReporterThe TribuneSan Luis Obispo Phone: 805-781-7909Email: bcuddy@thetribunenews.com