Saturday, November 25, 2006

Who's Next?

Jim Walsh will have a big ole target on his back if he decides to run for re-election, though I think it's more likely he'll be retiring to K Street, so let's look at his potential challengers in 08:
  • Dan Maffei - Dan is an obvious first choice, 1,500 minds change before election day and Dan is our new Congressman. Dan raised money and proved a more than competent candidate. I think he'll get a lot more DCCC love this time. At this point he is the front runner, but I'm not sure how much deference he gets, a job never before thought available is now taking resumes.
  • Dave Valesky - He might be on the top of the DCCC's call list. He just logged an impressive win. He's a polished candidate who can raise money and has won twice in a seat that covers part of Syracuse, Dewitt, Cicero and Manlius. However, Valesky does live outside the district. Ultimately I think Valesky will stay put if the Senate Democrats are going to make a serious run at the chamber and with a new Democratic governor and a Senate seat that looks pretty safe, I doubt he'd take the risk.
  • Matt Driscoll - I've heard he wants to do one of three things get a job with the Spitzer administration, run for County Executive or run for Congress. The last two are much more likely if the first falls through. I don't have a great read on how popular Driscoll is in the City/County, I think he is in better shape now than he was in 05, but no where near his 01 levels. To win the seat you need to win convincingly in the city, and the 49% he took in 05 isn't reassuring. I expect to see him with a job in the Spitzer administration.
  • Bill Magnarelli - He's got a safe Assembly seat, he's in leadership and there's a Democratic governor now, unless he doesn't have to risk he seat I'd wouldn't bet on him running.
  • Joan Christensen - While I thoroughly enjoyed the beat down she gave Bill Sanford, I don't think she would run, for a lot of the same reasons as Magnarelli.
  • Al Stirpe - Our newest Democratic Assemblyman, he won a close race against one of the worst campaigners alive who shared a name with a congressional candidate getting pummeled in the Syracuse media market. I don't see him as a viable candidate yet, but the 121st is the best Assembly seat to launch a campaign from.
  • David Koon - An Assemblyman from the Monroe County portion of the district, he was an early support of Paloma Capanna and later a supporter of Dan Maffei. Other than that, I don't know much about him and I don't think someone from Monroe can win this district.
  • Bea Gonzales - She might find herself Mayor in the next few months, but if not she's often been mentioned for higher office.
  • Kate O'Connell - Seems like she's been out of the picture forever. She was pushed to run against Hoffman in 04 but declined (oops).
  • Stephanie Miner - Wants to be Mayor but that race is still 3 years away, plus she's term limited so she will need to find something else to do soon.
  • Joe Nicolette - I heard he is back kicking his name around political circles looking for an office to run for.
  • Paloma Capanna - She's been trying to keep a profile, but she was hampered by being from Monroe and weak fundraising last time around. However, if there were a devisive primary between Onondaga County Dems someone from Monroe might be able to sneak through the primary.
  • Mike Bragman - Whenever you mention higher office you are contractually obligated to mention him. Two words: not happening.
  • Phil LaTessa - I guess if he movement to draft him for Comptroller falls through he has other options.
  • Tom Young - I know he was looking at primary against Driscoll in 05, so who knows.

I just wrote this quick so I'm sure there are people I am forgetting. Leave anyone else you can think of in the comments, we'll go back and revise this numerous times, maybe even take a more indepth look at the potential candidates at a later date.


At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy! The only likely candidate on that list is Dan. The mayor is toast after his squeaker victory and subsequent Mall debacle. Bea Gonzales and Stephanie Miner both have their eyes on the mayor's job. Joe Nicoletti and Kate O'Connell have been out of the picture too long. You left out Jean Kessner, who was definitely thinking of running this time, but got cold feet.

I would bet my house that Dan will run again and get the nomination. No one else in this district has the Washington connections that he does. He has his donor list, his volunteer list and his contact list freshly intact. He has the experience of running a close race. He came within 3,000 votes of actually knocking off a cardinal on the appropriations committee(!) He would be crazy not to run. Furthermore, he can use his connections and obvious candidacy to store up enough cash on hand THIS YEAR to force out anyone who wants to lay low until NEXT year. Who would jump in against someone with a couple of hundred thousand dollars in the bank already?

I think a more interesting question is who will the Republicans put up after Walsh retires with his full 20 years? Tim Green has been rumored to want in, but he will have to wait until Walsh makes it official. Experience hosting BattleBots is a plus, but having his lips firmly pressed against Bob Congel's ass is definitely not. Giving his kids pretentious Shakespearian names doesn't help either. Neither does writing bad fiction. I can't wait to see someone trot out quotes from his psuedo-MacBeth novel. This oughta be good!

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If maffei wishes to run nobody gets the nod but him. If he doesn't decide to run (he will) I think somebody other than your list can do it. The list has a lot of baggage that can't be over looked. If I had to pick from your list I would say Bea would be the best choice. I also would like to see Van Robinson, Ed Ryan,Mayor Heindorf or Mayor ohara consider it. Fundraising is the key.

At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valesky lives outside the district.

At 3:05 PM, Anonymous kml said...

It's gotta be Dan. He has definitely proven himself, imo, and I think the D-trip saw it as well.

I got a good laugh with your blurb about Bragman. My family and him go back a ways and he's always struck me as a toady.

At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No way can Miner get it. She's taken a gun to her head, pulled the trigger and let the bullets fly. She has built an image of herself as being a far left wing fringe reactionist.

Maffei built his rep as being a moderate, level headed leader.

Same with Gonzalez, Van Robinson, Latessa, as well as all the others on your list.

However, it has to be Dan. He ran a great race, he's connected, he can be effective when elected in two years by being in the majority.

We want Dan.

At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, its comments like this that destroyed Miner's ability to get elected to anything:

Miner, a Democrat, said she thought Gonzalez and the others had another reason for the news conference. "I think they were trying to cover up for their grossly negligent political miscalculation," she said.

Maffei is the ONLY ONE!!!!!!!


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