Nancy Skinner, right, is a likely candidate for
the 9th State Senate District in 2016, as is 
Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, right.
PHOTO/Steven Tavares

ASSEMBLY | Former East Bay Assemblymember Nancy Skinner has something to do while she contemplates a likely run for the State Senate next year. The termed out legislator was named a senior policy fellow at U.C. Davis.

Skinner’s expertise will be utilized at the school’s energy, transportation policy centers, including the Energy Efficiency Center, Institute of Transportation Studies, and the Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy, according to a press release.

Most East Bay political observers believe Skinner, a Democrat, will run for State Sen. Loni Hancock’s termed out 9th District seat in 2016.

The race, in fact, could be one of the 2016 campaign season’s main events. In addition to Skinner, former Assemblymember Sandre Swanson is viewed as a strong challenger for the seat, as is current Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan.

However, two of three potential senate candidates may be disadvantaged by their current status outside the political arena. Swanson was termed out of his Assembly seat in 2012 and spent the next two years as former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s deputy mayor. Similarly, for Skinner, the period out of the political limelight between her time in the Assembly and potential campaign for the senate could be problematic.

Ironically, it was the same period of purgatory that some believe hurt Chan’s unsuccessful first bid for the state senate in 2008 following three terms in the Assembly ending in 2006. Chan lost the Democratic June Primary to Hancock.