SACRAMENTO — Veteran South Bay state Sen. Robert G. Beverly is among a handful of prospective nominees under consideration by Gov.-elect Pete Wilson for a seat on the State Board of Equalization, according to several Republican sources.
The seat is expected to become vacant after current board member Paul Carpenter is sentenced next week for his conviction on felony charges in a federal anti-corruption case.
Beverly, a Manhattan Beach Republican, said: "My quick reaction is that I would be interested (in the board seat), mostly because it is something different. I've been (in the Legislature) a long time."
Should he move to the Board of Equalization, Beverly's appointment would likely set off a scramble for his Senate post, which covers a solidly Republican district stretching from El Segundo to Belmont Shore.
Several South Bay Republicans said Wednesday they would seriously consider running for the seat, among them attorney William Beverly, who is Beverly's son, and South Bay Municipal Court Judge Josh Fredricks.
Beverly, who was elected state senator in 1976 after 10 years in the Assembly, cautioned that he has not spoken to Wilson's transition staff about the appointment and that he is not actively seeking it.
However, he acknowledged that Ernest Dronenburg, a Republican member of the board, sounded him out recently about his interest in the nomination, which would require confirmation by the Legislature.
The Board of Equalization, a five-member panel composed of the state controller and four members elected from districts, decides tax cases ranging from individual appeals of income tax bills to multimillion-dollar tax disputes involving corporations. Board members make $95,052 a year; as a legislator, Beverly makes $52,500 a year.
The district Carpenter has represented since 1987 encompasses the southern and central portions of Los Angeles County, including the South Bay.
The Republican sources, who asked not to be identified, said others being considered for the board post with Beverly are state Sen. Frank Hill of Whittier; Matthew K. Fong of Hacienda Heights, the defeated GOP candidate for state controller; former Assemblyman Charles Bader of Pomona, who lost a bid for a state Senate seat last month, and Oscar Wright, a U.S. Small Business Administration regional administrator based in San Francisco. All are Republicans.
Bill Livingstone, Wilson's transition office press secretary, said he could not confirm names under consideration for the Board of Equalization post. Livingstone also said Wilson's attention is focused on selecting people for higher profile positions, including the U.S. Senate seat he must give up before his inauguration as governor next month, and on putting together a state budget.
Three South Bay Republicans contacted Wednesday said they would seriously weigh a run for Beverly's Senate seat, should it become vacant: William Beverly, Fredricks and Thomas Martin, who heads Beverly's district office.
William Beverly, 40, is president of the South Bay Union High School District Board of Trustees and a former president of the Torrance Chamber of Commerce.
He said he has considered running for Congress if the South Bay is given a strongly GOP congressional district when legislative boundaries are redrawn next year. But his father's state Senate seat, he added, is also attractive.
"I'd definitely take a look at it," Beverly said Wednesday. "I'd certainly strongly consider succeeding him."
Fredricks, appointed to his judicial post in 1986 and elected to a six-year term in November, said Wednesday he would consider competing for Beverly's Senate seat despite term limits on lawmakers imposed by the recently passed Proposition 140.
"Even though as far as a career move it might not be a good idea, the Legislature does hold a certain attraction," said Fredricks, 41. "I have an impact on people's lives in an individual way here in court, but a legislator has an opportunity to make changes on a broader basis."
Local political experts mention many other possible candidates for a vacant 30th Senate District seat. Among them are Torrance City Councilman Dan Walker, who has long expressed interest in running for higher office, and Assemblyman Gerald N. Felando (R-San Pedro), who has been battling cancer but says he has no plans to retire.
Others mentioned are Republicans Deane Dana III, who failed in an attempt to unseat Felando in 1988, Jeffrey Kellogg, vice mayor of Long Beach, and Seymour Alban, a Long Beach physician who made an unsuccessful bid this year for the 58th Assembly District seat.
Freshman Assemblyman Tom Mays, the Huntington Beach Republican who won the 58th District contest, said he probably would not be interested in moving to Beverly's district and running for the state Senate, even though he grew up in Manhattan Beach.