Crist Will Run for the Senate
Florida's popular Republican governor, Charlie Crist,
yesterday that he is not going to
run for reelection as governor but will run for the open Senate seat Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) is vacating. NRSC
chairman John Cornyn is ecstatic and endorsed him instantly
as this this move increases the chance the Republicans can hold the seat.
But it is not a done deal yet. Former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio (R),
a telegenic young Cuban-American, is also running for the
Republican nomination. Rubio is very conservative and will attack Crist from the right.
In fact, he already launched
an ad attacking Crist for appearing with President Obama and willingly accepting stimulus funds.
a closed primary, so only registed Republicans can vote in it and many of them consider Crist to be
a moderate, which is a dirty word to them. A bitter ideological primary is now a certainty and it is
Aug. 24, 2010, giving the winner little time to heal wounds and rebuild his warchest.
Also certain is that conservative Republicans from other states will be helping Rubio and pouring money
into his campaign.
On the other
hand, the Democrats don't have a strong candidate yet, and without one, even a wounded Crist will
be the favorite to win the general election.
Interestingly, Cornyn has refused to endorse Pat Toomey in the Pennsylvania senatorial primary
even though Cornyn and Toomey agree on everything and Cornyn and Crist have numerous differences,
for example on the environment and on some gay rights such as civil unions.
The reason, of course, is that Cornyn thinks Crist can win and doesn't think Toomey can win, so why
back a loser?
Crist's move completely shakes up Florida politics. With Crist not running for reelection, there
will be a battle royal for the governorship. The state's Chief Financial Officer (treasurer), Alex
Sink, is probably going to run on the Democratic side, opening up her position. Attorney General
Bill McCollum (R) is probably going to run for his party's nomination. Agriculture Commissioner
Charles Bronson (R) may run as well, and possibly Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp (R) may also try to grab the
brass ring. That would mean that all four state offices will be vacant, greatly increasing the chances
the Democrats can can go from one office (Sink) to two or three.
McAuliffe Gets Big Union Endorsement
Terry McAuliffe (D), Mr. Moneybags to Bill and Hillary Clinton, is running for governor of
Virginia and got a key
yesterday, from the Service Employees International Union.
McAuliffe has never held public office before, but he has been a phenomenal fundraiser for Democrats in
the past and now for himself. He is clearly the 800-pound gorilla in the Democratic primary against
state legislators Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran.
The primary is in about a month, June 9th, and the general election is this Fall.
Gillibrand Supports Medicare for All
Appointed senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is losing no time moving to the left for
her possible primary against
one or more Democratic House members. When she represented NY-20, a conservative upstate district, she supported
gun owners' rights, which terminally irritated many downstaters. Three Democratic representatives, Steve Israel,
Carolyn Maloney, and Carolyn McCarthy, have all threatened to primary her from the left.
So what does Gillibrand do? She comes out in favor of a public option in the health care reform plan,
something that will endear her to the left wing of the NY Democratic Party.
And she does it on Daily Kos
(English translation: Hello Netroots. I am well aware you don't trust the market on this one.
I hear you.)
Whether the ploy will keep one or more of the House members out of the race remains to be seen, but
no one should underestimate this young woman's very considerable political skills.
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