Monday, November 17, 2008

Next Man Up?

With the 2008 Presidential election behind us, it's now time to focus on 2010. For those that say it's way too early, just look around and you'll already see certain people jockeying for various offices. As it looks now, Martin O'Malley will not face a serious challenge in the Democratic primary. Initially, I thought Peter Franchot would step up. That being said, I think he may be eying a different seat. (More on that in a later post.) Obviously, the Republicans will not allow O'Malley to go unopposed. Therefore, who are the contenders in line for this opportunity?

Naturally, everyone mentions former Governor Bob Ehrlich. I think that possibility fizzled completely when Andy Harris lost his bid for Congress. Besides, Ehrlich had his chance against the same weak opponent in 2006 and failed to deliver. No doubt, Bob Ehrlich will not enter any race he does not think he can win. Hence, I think he declines the invitation all together.

Next, Michael Steele makes for an interesting choice. With Steele, we have a down to earth conservative who had the misfortune of running against a squeaky clean Democratic Congressman back in 2006. Still, he managed 44% of the vote in this blue state. Currently, Steele has his eye on being the heading of the RNC. If he secures that position, it's highly unlikely he'd focus on a Maryland Gubernatorial run.

Third, there's always John Leopold. Although most people are not aware of this, John Leopold once ran an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Hawaii. Therefore, it's not a stretch to think he's weighing his options. Should he elect to seek this seat, he would not be allowed to seek re-election as Anne Arundel County Executive. Granted, he can only serve one more term as County Executive anyway and he'll likely be viewed as too old in 2014.

After Leopold, the last big name contender would be Roscoe Barlett. Barlett remains a popular figure in Western Maryland. That being said, he did have to camapign harder in 2008 than in previous years. Really, that may have shown him it's time to try a new venture prior to retiring from political life.

After this group, the Republicans are left with a bunch of sacrificial lambs with limited ability to compete. Admittedly, none of the names listed above are slam dunks themselves. Still, they are the biggest names on the market. As someone unimpressed with the current Governor, I am hoping someone can emerge as a legitimate contender.



Jane riddle said...

Steele should remain a talking head at Fox. The things he has said on Fox News have made him very unpopular with the majority of Marylanders.

Anonymous said...

Andy Harris should be considered a major contender for Governor. He lost only because of the anti-Republican tide sweeping the country and in two years, the tide will be against Democrats.

Further, Andy Harris is the type of conservative that appeals to Democrats and unaffiliated voters. And Republicans statewide can get energized about...

Finally, Andy has the fundraising prowess needed to get the job done. He raised more in his Congressional race than Ehrlich raised in his successful 2002 bid.

bud said...

Andy Harris would struggle to get 33% of the vote in a statewide race. Heck, he couldn't even win in a district designed for a Republicans.

jane riddle said...

Andy Harris ? you are kidding right ?

streiff said...

"jane riddle":

for future reference, if it takes longer for me to moderate your comment than it took for you to write it, then it is a waste of my time.

In the future, your time will have been wasted also.

bud said...

The following anonymous comment got posted on my blog. Very interesting perspective:

"Leopold is the only one that really makes sense for them. He is the highest ranking republican elected official in the State, and (though we all know the truth) has been successful selling himself as a moderate to Democrats and Independents. While he is not well liked at all within his party, I think Republicans would need to grudgingly accept that he is the best shot they have got. He can and will raise the money once he is the concensus choice.

2010 should be a good year for Republicans, and O'Malley will remain unpopular. I hate to say it, but Leopold is a potentially strong candidate."

Dr. Internet said...

Don't get me wrong: I'm a Dem and won't be voting for the Republican candidate. But, I love elections and pondering the Republican nominee is good fun. I think a name that has been too easily dismissed is EJ Pipkin. I know he's not the favorite of a lot of conservatives, but his story, his ability to finance a good chunk of his campaign, and being on the right side of the BGE issue time and time again makes him a possibility. Sen. Allan Kittleman would also make an attractive candidate. And if the party really wants to make a statement, why not encourage Sen. Nancy Jacobs? Is there a chance for Connie Morella to get back into public life? Anyway, just trying to throw out some not-so-obvious possibilities. I ignored the reasons they won't run (giving up seats, keeping jobs, etc.) because I don't know enough about their motivations and long-term plans.

bud said...

E.J. Pipkin is a fine man. Still, I don't think he'd give up his safe Senate seat to run though. If he got the firm backing of the GOP, that would be a different story. Unfortunately, I think too many harbor bad feelings over his entry into the 1st Congressional race. Bottom line, I would firmly get behind Pipkin should he chose to run.

As for Connie Morella, she'll be 79 years old at the time of the 2010 election.

Brian Griffiths said...

I would sooner light myself on fire and run down West Street than see either John Leopold or Andy Harris as the GOP nominee for Governor.

Frankly, this emphasizes the need for grassroots candidate development at the municipal, county, and General Assembly level more than anything else.

Anonymous said...

When that day comes, there will be a run on marshmallows and weenies at the Safeway! Heck, maybe for gasoline too! The crowds will be lining up five deep.

Anonymous said...

John Leopold, well Bud, I am totally perplexed. I thought you said he was a phony a few months ago, and couldn't wait for his exit from politics.

bud said...

Anon 6:35,

I never endorsed John Leopold, or any of the others I mentioned. Still, his name continually comes up in conversations about GOP candidates for Governor. My personal feelings aside, he may be the Republican nominee.