Cruz Bustamante's exploration of a political comeback, it seems, caught just about everyone in the central San Joaquin Valley -- even longtime friends and political supporters -- by surprise.
There are also some political realities in the region that may give a well-known politician such as Bustamante a competitive edge -- even though he's been out of politics for six years and turned off many influential Democrats when he sought the Governor's Office in the 2003 recall election.
On Tuesday, Bustamante confirmed that he is considering a run for the newly created district, which includes rural parts of southern and western Fresno County, all of Kings County, and parts of Tulare and Kern counties.
For background, he's got some pretty solid support among Hispanics in the Central Valley; however, the local Democrats remember how he helped win the election for Ahnie in 2003 and will not forgive him. Having said that, in that the Democrats aren't running anyone (so far) for the 21st, at least there would be an alternative for those who choose to forgive and forget.