Thursday, December 18, 2008

2010 Senate - NY and MD

2010 will see a Senate race in both Maryland and New York. As a resident of the former and an ex-patriot of the latter, I have some thoughts on who I think the GOP should try to recruit for the Senate races. In New York, there will be two Senate races, assuming Mrs. Clinton is confirmed as Secretary of State. In New York, the Governor's appointment lasts until the closest election cycle and then an election is held for the duration of the term. This would require the Governor's appointment to run for office in two back-to-back election cycles, but that's neither here nor there. Here are my thoughts, I'll break them down by state.

New York

George Pataki - Pataki is the former three term Governor of New York. He's the kind of "principled moderate" Republican that New Yorkers are likely to elect. Pataki has statewide experience, has run incredibly successful statewide campaigns, and has a unique perspective on foreign policy that was displayed with the Pataki Plan for Iraq. There are those who call Pataki a RINO. There are those who call Pataki a fiscal failure. Ignore them for a moment. He's a Republican who successfully won three terms in New York for Governor, fiercely campaigning each and every time, and has stood for fiscal moderacy the entire time. Pataki still has support in New York and could pull off a good campaign for Senate against Schumer or whomever becomes the appointed Junior Senator.

Peter King - Peter King has already announced that he's running for Senate. Probably for Hillary Clinton's old seat, but I could see him trying against Schumer. King is one of those rarities - a fiscal and social conservative who knows how to win reelection to Congress in trending-blue Long Island. King has known how to package his conservatism to moderate and at times liberal voters winning reelection bid after reelection bid. King has experience in Congress, first being elected in 1992. He's a foreign policy nut who's got a tendency to speak from the hip from time to time, which may be a blessing and a curse. Straight-talk is appreciated, but can lead to gaffes.

Rudy Giuliani - The former Mayor of New York and Presidential candidate, Giuliani is another who knows how to sell fiscal conservatism and traditional conservative views on crime and punishment in a liberal setting. In fact, he did so for two terms in NYC with the support of the now defunct NYS Liberal Party. His leadership as Mayor of New York allows him to point to genuine fiscal restraint, which would be a fresh new idea coming into the Senate from New York. His recent foray into Presidential politics and his stumping in New York has kept him in the spotlight. His flirting with a Gubernatorial run has made him a figure not to be ignored in New York politics. Giuliani has his pick of seats to run for, one of the two Senate races wouldn't be out of the question.

Randy Daniels - He may not have held elected office, but Randy Daniels is a solid New York candidate for any office. The former Secretary of State of New York exudes charisma and can give a speech that makes each person there proud to be a Republican...or wish that they were. His candidacy for Governor was shot down early on by Pataki people who were annoyed that he announced before Pataki officially said he wasn't running for reelection. Daniels has charisma and has some interesting executive experience from back when Pataki was a center-right Governor. He also has a seat on the SUNY state board, giving him some great insights into our education system. Daniels would be a great candidate for US Senate...Governor...Mayor of NYC...or Congress.

John Faso - John Faso has run two failed campaigns for statewide office. Third time may be the charm. Faso's background is as State Assembly Minority Leader. This experience can be directly parlayed into a campaign for US Senate. I still wonder why he ran for Governor instead of Senator in 2006.


Robert Ehrlich - Former Governor Bob Ehrlich's early career was marked by legislative experience. State legislature followed by Congressional experience. Now, combine that with an understanding of how to run a successful statewide campaign in a deeply Democratic dominated state and you've got the potential for a winning campaign for Senate. Ehrlich is a center-right politician and knows how to run a solid campaign. His stumping for Harris gave him some support among those on the far right, which could help bring out the grassroots activists he'd need for a good campaign.

Michael Steele - If he becomes the next Chairman of the Republican Party, this entire point becomes moot. If he doesn't, Steele would be a great candidate. He ran a great campaign in 2006 and is an amazing fundraiser. In a year which was less anti-Republican, Steele would have won. If the seat was up open in 2004, I have a feeling Steele would be a Senator right now. That's not the point. Steele is a good campaigner and knows how to organize a statewide campaign in Maryland. He also knows how to fire up grassroots party activists with traditional conservative rhetoric. He'd make a great Senator or Governor.

Susan Schwab - Here come the first in my series of outside the box candidates. Ambassador Schwab is the current US Trade Representative. I've mentioned her before as a potential Congressional candidate and as a potential Comptroller candidate. She would be a solid recruit for either role. A little background on Schwab - prior to her stint as US Trade Representative (2006 to present), Schwab was the President and CEO of the University System of Maryland Foundation from 2003 to 2006 and Dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park from 1995 to 2003. Schwab also worked throughout the 1980s as a trade policy specialist and then legislative director for former Senator John C. Danforth. Her varied background in public policy, education, and trade make her a uniquely qualified candidate for US Senate.

Andy Harris - He's already pumped from his bid for Congress. He's a solid campaigner. We all know where he stands on the issues. He's a good fundraiser and has solid support from conservative grassroots activists statewide. He's got the Club for Growth stamp of approval. He's got legislative experience. He's got the itch to be in Washington. What more does he need? I don't know. Harris could be a strong contender for Congress in 2010 as well as a decent contender for Senate. He's a scrapper, so I completely anticipate him running for something in 2010. Senate is definitely one of those options.

Roscoe Bartlett - The big drawback with Roscoe Bartlett, is that we lose him as a Congressman. The benefit? He knows how to run a campaign and fundraise. Bartlett is a Republican who has been in Congress for years and would be a fine addition to the US Senate from Maryland. I don't think there's really much else to say about Bartlett.



Anonymous said...

Dems in maryland go to bed every night and pray that Andy Harris will run for congress again.
Please god, give us Andy Harris as a candidate in 2010.

Justin said...

I'm an Independent, but I like what I see from the GOP in these normally Blue States. Let's not forget both had Republican Governors just two years ago. With Bush no longer in office, these guys exemplify change. In NY, the 5 candidates to vote for are Rudy 4 gov, Cuomo 4 AG, Faso 4 Comp, King and Schumer 4 senate. I'm from NY, so I dont know too much about MD, but I like the dems except Gov O'Malley. You guys should vote Ehrlich back in.

Darrelle said...

Justin I agree with everything you said, I am also an Independent from NY. Come on guys, the only states that become great are ones that have a 2 party system, because then both parties will have good candidates.