Word got around today that Bruce McPherson is re-entering the world of elective politics. He's going to run for -- not Congress, not state office -- but for a local office -- Fifth District County Supervisor. See the breaking news story on the Sentinel website.
The main reaction is first -- "You're kidding." Then the second reaction is "That's great." But upon further review, it makes sense. Bruce is essentially a homebody. He likes being in Santa Cruz, and his time in Sacramento as state senator and later secretary of state made it difficult for him to enjoy the good Santa Cruz life.
So now, he's eyeing local elective office. The irony here is that most politicians start with serving in local office and only then go statewide. Bruce did it differently. As most folks know, he was a reporter and editor at the Sentinel for many years, and only ran for office as a Republican after retiring from the Sentinel. He didn't start low -- he ran for state Assembly and staged a major upset against former Supervisor Gary Patton. His win was a ahocker -- registration ran almost two-to-one in favor of the Democrat.
The post he's running for is now held by Mark Stone -- who himself is running for higher office in the state Assembly.
It's too soon to know whether McPherson will run into opposition. But if he were to win, it could change significantly the makeup of the county Board of Supervisors. Right now, the board majority -- Stone, Neal Coonerty and John Leopold -- all come from the so-called "progressive" movement. A McPherson election could well change the political slant of the board. Additionally, Second District Supervisor Ellen Pirie has announced that she's not running for re-election, so there will be more change there.
The best thing about McPherson running is that his experience at the state level is crucial to serving in local elected office. Local counties and cities are dependent on state dollars to a greater extent than ever, and his knowledge of how the state works -- and his contacts at the state governmental level -- will bring a payoff for his constituents.