Opinion: Obama’s pick of Hilda Solis for Labor prompts some to eye her House seat

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President-elect Barack Obama’s reported pick of Rep. Hilda Solis as his Labor secretary is causing California legislators to gear up to run for what would be a rare open congressional seat.

First to proclaim interest: state Sen. Gloria Romero, an East Los Angeles Democrat.

Romero, 53, replaced Solis in the state Senate, and her East Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley district encompasses the congressional district. The district is heavily Democratic, 57% Latino and 13% Asian, according to the California Target Book, which tracks legislative and congressional races in this state.

In an interview today, Romero called Solis an “adamant advocate for working families” and ‘a natural choice, a progressive choice” to be Labor secretary.

Romero, 53, has made her name in the Legislature by holding tough oversight hearings into California’s troubled prison system. She had been contemplating a run for California superintendent of public instruction in 2010.


“I have deep roots, and I would certainly give it every consideration,” Romero said. “Definitely, I am interested.”

One of the Calderon brothers also could run. The clan includes Assemblyman Charles Calderon, a Democrat from Montebello, state Sen. Ron Calderon or former Assemblyman Tom Calderon.

‘I’m just hearing about it,’ Charles Calderon said. ‘Certainly, it is too early to tell.’

What about one of his younger brothers: ‘I don’t know. At this point, anything is possible.’

--Dan Morain

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