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.