Bill Simon, defeated for governor of California as the Republican nominee last year, is interviewing political operatives to work for him. That raises speculation he may place his name on the ballot in a recall election this fall to remove Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.
Alternatively, California Republican leaders would like Simon to be chairman of the recall campaign -- eliminating him as a candidate for governor. That could impel Simon to run against Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer's third-term bid next year.
A footnote: Interest in recently resigned U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin as Boxer's opponent has diminished among Republican insiders who first put forward Marin's name. They now say she should run for a lesser statewide office next year.
Louisiana Democratic leaders are putting out word that their state, still running counter to the Republican tide in the Deep South, may send two Democrats into the Nov. 15 runoff of this year's election for governor.
Polls show a comfortable lead for Democratic Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco in the non-party primary Oct. 4. Republican Bobby Jindal, a former HHS assistant secretary in the Bush administration, is running second. However, Democratic State Atty. Gen. Richard Ieyoub is moving up, and may soon pass Jindal.
With two Democratic senators, Louisiana lags behind other Deep South states joining the GOP camp. Gov. Mike Foster, who switched from Democrat to Republican just before his first race for governor in 1995, spurned White House pleas to run for the Senate last year.