We just posted an editorial saying that state Sen. Pat Wiggins’ health problems are so serious that she needs to resign.

You can read it here.

With her health so obviously deteriorating, why haven’t her political allies, aides, family members or the legislative leadership pushed her in this direction?  I’m not privy to that, but I can assess the politics.  It’s not a pretty picture.

Wiggins is one of 25 Democrats in the state Senate.  It takes 27 to pass a budget and finding Republican votes will probably be even harder this year than it was last year.

Without Wiggins, they’re three short.  If state Sen. Abel Maldonado, a Republican who voted for the budget last year, is confirmed as lieutenant governor, that makes four.  And if he’s not, that’s one more reason for Republicans to say no.

Then there’s the Assembly.

If Wiggins steps down soon, there would be a special election to fill her seat.  That would make life difficult for Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa.  Facing term limits, she’s already running to succeed Wiggins in the fall.  But if she were to run and win in a special election in June, her Assembly seat will remain vacant for the rest of the year. That’s one less Democrat in the Assembly, where Democrats already are four votes short of the two-thirds needed to pass a budget.

There’s also this: Evans chairs the Assembly Budget Committee.  She’d face some tough questions about abandoning that post to run in a special election for the state Senate.

You wonder why politics turns so many people’s stomachs?  I suppose not.

— Jim Sweeney

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