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Monday, April 03, 2006

ND-AL: That Was Quick

Posted by DavidNYC

Just last week, I fretted a bit about ND-AL, thanks to a post at CQ Politics. The local GOP was backing state Rep. Duane DeKrey and touting him as a top-tier challenger. Turns out, not so much:

North Dakota Republicans picked Mechtel, a rural Cass County resident who has never sought political office, on Sunday as their candidate to run against U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. Mechtel defeated state Rep. Duane DeKrey, R-Pettibone, by 15 votes, 270 to 255.

Pretty amazing that an experienced politician with establishment backing would get whooped at a party convention by a soybean farmer, but there you have it. Mechtel apparently ran a clever, charismatic mini-campaign to get the GOP nod, but he's a total newcomer who doesn't even appear in the FEC databases yet. I'm thinking Pomeroy ought to be just fine this year.

And, in a related but out-of-left-field aside, incidents like this suggest that Ned Lamont might be able to accomplish some interesting things at the CT Dem convention.

(Thanks to Predictor.)

Posted at 04:43 PM in 2006 Elections - House, North Dakota | Technorati

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Unreal. Right when you think the GOP candidate recruitment efforts were finally starting to produce some successes, the GOP locals manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Apparently, North Dakota Republicans are as hopelessly dysfunctional as Minnesota's DFL, which has brought us such statewide success stories as Ann Wynia, John Marty, Mike Freeman, Roger Moe and Jerry Janezich in recent years.

It amazes me that in states where the Republicans control every level of local politics, they repeatedly to produce a single credible candidate to take on Democratic incumbents in North Dakota...or Stephanie Herseth in South Dakota for that matter either. Who would have thought that by April 2006, she'd still be running unopposed?

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2006 05:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Wow, is Herseth really unopposed? Isn't the South Dakota filing deadline tomorrow?

Posted by: Rob [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2006 05:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The last I heard, Herseth was unopposed. Anyone can feel free to correct me on that if she now has an opponent.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2006 06:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I thought I saw somewhere that Herseth does have an opponent now - another total unknown. I can't remember where I saw this - maybe someone even posted it in comments here. Not sure. But according to the SD SoS, there are no Republicans running.

If Herseth gets a total pass, that would be just amazing. And if she does, she better spend a LOT of time on the trail helping out her fellow Dems.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2006 06:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Don't know what was up with that. Turns out De Krey is also a Soybean Farmer (is this a republican thing? tofu wars?). He served in the State Senate from 91-92 then elected to a House seat in 95. I'd say his political fortunes have been going downhill.

So, CQ Politics has just issued a revision, its now back to "Safe Dem" (love the title):

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2006 07:09 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I have a feeling Herseth is gonna lay as low as possible in the absence of a serious challenge. The last thing she wants is to get entangled in South Dakota's abortion wars.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2006 07:34 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Did I detect a tone of dismissiveness about soybean farmers? Mechtel is a highly successful soybean farmer, i.e., successful businessman, who headed the statewide commodity group. Whether that translates into political success, well, it's tough, but soybean farming is nothing to sneeze at.

As for for difficulty in finding top GOP candidates in N.D. and S.D. to challenge Democratic incumbents -- eh, it's not a matter of party dysfunction so much as realistic thinking. The powers of incumbency -- i.e., media domination and access to PAC money -- are magnified in small states, where retail politicking also builds personal familiarity.

Look at the most popular governors and senators in the Survey USA polls. You'll find a disproportionate number of them from small states.

Posted by: ncwood [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2006 12:50 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Last I heard, Herseth was facing the head of the Shannon County GOP.

Posted by: RBH [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2006 01:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment