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Thursday, November 17, 2005

KY-03: Democratic Recruiting Woes

Posted by DavidNYC

This is the kind of stuff I really hate to see. Kentucky's third district, which encompasses Louisville, is one of those rare CDs which went for Kerry (admittedly narrowly) but is held by a Republican. It should be a prime target for us. The current holder of that seat, Anne Northup, won re-election by just 52-48 in 2002, in fact. Though a weaker candidate got crushed last year, 2006 is shaping up to be the sort of year where a Republican incumbent with a recent history of winning narrowly in a lean-Dem district ought to be very, very endangered.

Unfortunately, two top potential challengers - including the guy who almost beat Northup three years ago, and the son of a former governor - have bowed out in the last week. And prior to all this, a state senator has also declined to run.

I know that running any kind of campaign is tough. And when you're running in a red state against an incumbent, it's even worse: It's brutal and expensive; you'll be the subject of endless cheap shots and unfair attacks, which the media will repeat, free of charge; and after countless days of making fundraising phone calls, you'll probably feel a bit demeaned. Plus your kids will probably wonder where you disappeared to for the better part of a year. Like I say, I have no illusions about how horribly hard this endeavour is.

But I also think that passing up this opportunity is one that these guys might really regret. No one is being asked to take on a suicide mission here. The DCCC itself is getting involved in recruitment, which suggests that they plan to offer financial support as well. The lay of the land here is favorable to us. Republicans nationwide are running away from Bush as fast as they can. And like I say, if 2006 is the big Dem year that everyone - even many on the right - are expecting, that'll be enough to nudge anyone over the top.

Superribbie had this seat all the way up at #11 on his first list of vulnerable GOP districts. Unfortunately, with no challenger, he had to remove it entirely with his second installation. It would be sad indeed if this state of affairs continues much longer. I hope some of the top names reconsider. It would be well worth their while.

Posted at 10:13 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Technorati

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Sad indeed. Seems like the current climate would produce somebody to challenge Northup in a blue district. Every two years, this district disappoints. Apparently the people of Louisville have finally conceded that perenially "vulnerable" Northup has nine lives and has only used six of them so far. Is she a moderate or a typical Kentucky Republican? I never hear much about her.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 18, 2005 02:08 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

While I certainly agree that, especially in what's shaping up as a "high tide" year for Democrats, we can't let this very purple Louisville district go uncontested, Congresswoman Northrup has proven very difficult to beat, even in some fairly good Democratic cycles. Mark, from what I know about her (living a couple hours north of Louisville) is that she is not a right wing idealogue at all. She's more of a northern suburban "Chamber of Commerce" Republican than a typical socially-conservative Southern Republican. For example, I believe she's pro-choice (someone correct me if I'm wrong here), and has been more supportive programs like education and veterans benefits than most of the GOP. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying we should give her a pass (especially with the sleazy mess the governor has created in Kentucky), but even in a good year with a good candidate, she's going to be really tough to beat.

Posted by: IndianaProgressive [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 18, 2005 12:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

IP: 2002 was emphatically not a good Dem year and yet she only won 52-48 that year. I don't believe Northup is all that strong, and based on the research I've been doing recently about 1994, I think incumbents like Northup are some of the likeliest victims of tide-changing years. (Not saying that 2006 will be as big as 1994, but it will be big.)

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 18, 2005 02:54 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't completely disagree with you David -- and completely agree that this is the type of district we need to win if there is any hope of being a majority party again. For the forseeable future, I think this district will always be in play. From my perspective, though, I've listened to Democrats in this part of country say almost every cycle that "We're going to beat her, we've got our best candidate to go against her," etc., etc., and she's proven really tough. It doesn't mean you give up, though.

Posted by: IndianaProgressive [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 18, 2005 03:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It's unfortunate because she's a rubber stamp, too.

The DCCC is focusing on Col. Weaver in KY-2.

I'm keeping everyone updated through my blog.

Posted by: Daniel [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 19, 2005 01:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Jack has his reasons for not running: He is getting married right after the primary and has 3 jury trials scheduled that would take away from his campaigning for Congress. As others have said on other blogs, he would be a better policymaker than legislator.

Posted by: Daniel [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 19, 2005 01:24 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Folks, this thread is probably long dead, but by now you should all know that Marine Lt. Col. Andrew Horne is running in this race, and should be able to defeat Northup. There is a primary ahead, but the general election is winnable with Horne at the wheel for the Dems.

Check out his site here:

Posted by: mikebailey2000 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2006 01:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment