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Weekly Open Thread: What Races Are You Interested In?

by: DavidNYC

Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 11:19 AM EST

Which GOP crumb-bum is going to strap on the golden parachute next?

UPDATE (James Hell): Ding ding ding!  It's Dave Weldon! (FL-15, R+4.1):

Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) announced Friday that he will retire from Congress at the end of this session, citing a desire to return to his medical practice.


Weldon, 54, is a seven-term lawmaker who sits on the House Appropriations Committee.


President Bush won Weldon's district in 2004 with 57 percent of the vote, compared to 43 percent for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

P.S. (David): Dan Maffei added to DCCC's Red-to-Blue list. I'm very glad to see this.

Notable User Diaries

We forgot to do this last week, so here are two weeks' worth of great diaries:

  • Plf515 has been absolutely on fire, bringing us no fewer than eight roundups covering twenty-four states: IN & NM, NC & NE, CA, AR, OR, IA, ME & UT, MT, ID, MO, SD & SC, TN, AL & NJ, VA, ND & GA, and FL, CT & MI. Sea to shining sea!

  • Glacial Erratic updates us on an Iraq war vet, Bill Cahir, who has filed for the open-seat race in PA-05.

  • Meanwhile, robert.harding keeps us in the loop on the latest with candidate Jon Powers, running against crumb-bum Tom Reynolds up in NY-26.

  • Down South, skywrnchsr509 surveys the field in Mississippi, where the filing deadline has recently pass and where both GOP-held House seats are now open.

  • RBH explores what might happen if MO-09 opens up, should GOP Rep. Kenny Huslhof run for governor.

  • Sean takes a look at KY-03, where there's talk of GOP failure Anne Northup trying to revive from the dead after losing two elections in two years.

  • The redoubtable Benawu provides a new update on the House race filing situation.

  • And last but certainly not least, Dean Barker, a great friend of SSP's, tell us about the new wingnut challenger who has emerged to take on Paul Hodes in NH-02 - and utterly eviscerates her in the process.
DavidNYC :: Weekly Open Thread: What Races Are You Interested In?
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Dave Weldon, apparently

FL-15, PVI of R+4, Bush 57%

Who do we have to step up?

Like flies.
There's apparently a D county commissioner there in FL-15 who people seem high on...

Darren Soto
There's also Soto who just won a state house seat, though maybe it's a bit too early to run for higher office.

I wrote this on the FlaPolitics blog (;jsessionid=33699C7127EBCE21E4D65C1B99E0BE73?diaryId=2399):

This was a big surprise and it makes this seat go straight to the top of targets in 2008 for Florida. The district has a PVI of only R+3 and this doesn't count the very large influx of Puerto Rican voters into the district in the last few years.
Here's what I wrote in the November House Rankings:

"In 2006 Weldon faced an underfunded 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist in his reelection bid and won with only 56% of the vote. Now that says something. Prospects are looking bright for the future of this district. Darren Soto won a special election in a previously Republican-held house seat in Kississimee, which also takes in this US House district, earlier this year. The recent influx of Puerto Rican voters may help a Democrat win this seat."

Now with an open seat, we'll have a funded candidate and have a great shot at taking this district.

[ Parent ]
Wow, I didn't think I'd pull this out this soon...

In heavy rotation
And I never tire of hearing this catchy tune!

[ Parent ]
Illinois 18th
It looks like things might heat up on the Democratic side in terms of finding a replacement for Dick Versace:

Real reason
Here's the real reason why the loser quit:

haha, gotta love the GOP and their family values!

Democratic candidate announces run in FL-15
It looks like we have a candidate. From Floridatoday:

Former County Commissioner Nancy Higgs, D-Melbourne Beach, said she will seek the vacant seat. "It is my intention to pursue the ... process of filing next week."

Higgs said she had expected Weldon to seek re-election and was surprised by his announcement. She said she had received several phone calls urging her to run as word of Weldon's decision leaked out Friday morning.

"This is really to me an extraordinary time in the country's history. I think it is time to step up and bring change to Washington. And that's what I intend to do."

is actually one of the most winnable Republican seats in Florida.  It is Republican in registration, but is socially moderate district.  Democrats held it from 1978 to 1992.  

Comments like this are meaningless
and ignore the realities of reapportionment.

Turning Florida Blue

[ Parent ]
Its basically the same district
The only difference is that part of Brevard county was taken out and that was already heavily Republican territory.  

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prez election 08 campaign finance reform question
i know we've been loathe to introduce election 08 topics, for good reason, but there's one question i have.  a few  months ago, didn't john mccain apply for public funding?  if so, what does that mean for how much money he can spend?

Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.

I believe McCain qualified for such funding
But ultimately chose not to accept it. Pity.

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BREAKING WV-02 news: Unger out
Breaking news story West Virginia Blue. Diary at dKos as well.

Awful news.
Sorry to hear about it.

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Says something about the Democratic party there.  It apparently wasn't a great pickup opportunity (Rothenburg rated it Republican Favored), and Unger had raised some money.  Are we giving up on West Virginia?

[ Parent ]
Tom Davis should be the next to bite the dust by the end of the week
idle speculation re: IL-SEN?
I may have missed a recent recap, if there was one.

Have observers done some preliminary thinking about likely scenarios for Senator Obama's seat, if he does win both the Democratic nomination, and the general election?

If there's a good summary on this that's reasonably up-to-date, just point me toward it.

I think I have a pretty good idea, already, of likely scenarios for Senator Clinton's seat, if she should win the nomination and the Presidency. Politics in Illinois seem to involve players I'm less familiar with.  

Half the population believes our electoral system is broken. The other half believes it is fixed.  

Lisa Madigan...
the state AG, I believe - a political legacy and, if she's not in the Senate, a likely 2010 Gov contender.

[ Parent ]
Edwards and Giuliani out
Giuliani out gives McCain two wins in one day. He gets a big media and monetary boost by winning Florida. He also knocks out his rival for the moderate vote - Giuliani. The bad news for Romney is that Huckabee is still in it. That keeps the Radical Right split between Romney and Huckabee. McCain has run a very lucky campaign - the surge in Iraq has lead to his hard-line Iraq stance not hurting him and Giuliani's inept campaign has lead to him getting all of Giuliani's supporters.

At this point the only threat for McCain is Huckabee getting out prior to Super Tuesday. That is not going to happen; therefore, I predict a big win for McCain next Tuesday.

Now for the Democrats: Edwards out looks like good news for Obama. I think Obama will be getting Edwards voters by a 2 to 1 margin. I can't wait to see the poll numbers without Edwards.

If Obama wins the Democratic nomination, I think he crushes McCain. The Radical Right will come in droves to vote against Clinton, but they will be a no-show in an Obama vs. McCain election. They don't like McCain and don't hate Obama. Obama is also better suited to compete with for the moderate voters. Although Obama is more liberal than Clinton, people perceive Clinton as the liberal thanks to her work on national heath care and years of being bashed by Fox News and Airhead Ann Coulter.

I am giving Clinton vs. Obama a 50-50 split. Clinton should have iced it by now, but Bill and Hillary have been a little too dirty in the primaries. That has hurt them because Obama is perceived as such a nice guy.

MI-07 Fundraising
I know the FEC reports aren't out yet, but can we get a thread for early information?

I just got a press release from the Schauer campaign in MI-07:


Consistently strong fundraising, broad support show powerful momentum in Congressional bid

BATTLE CREEK-State Senator Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek) announced today that in its first full quarter of fundraising his campaign has raised more than $350,000. Combined with the last quarter when he outraised his incumbent opponent, he has raised more than $575,000 and has more than $500,000 cash on hand. The record-breaking amount is already more than any Democratic candidate has raised for their entire campaign in previous cycles for this district.

"The people of Michigan's 7th District deserve a voice in Washington to fight for their jobs, their families, their future," said Schauer. "Their overwhelming support this early in the campaign demonstrates that they are tired of the same old business-as-usual approach. We're going to use these resources to carry our message of change and opportunity across south central Michigan."

In this quarter alone the campaign collected more than 680 total contributions, with 93 percent of individual contributions from donors in Michigan.

"The extreme Club for Growth special interest group that bought and paid for Walberg to take this seat last year just announced their intention to bankroll him again, so our work is cut out for us, " said Maura Dougherty, spokesperson for the campaign. "The strength of our momentum so far is important to balance out the forces who prefer the outsourcing, insider status quo."

# # #

That's pretty impressive, and probably more than Walberg raised. It'll solidify Schauer as the presumptive Democratic nominee, and if Walberg's weak this quarter, I think it might be enough to encourage a Republican primary challenge. That's just a gut feeling on my part.

very interesting race
thanks for these updates. Unusual circumstances combine to keep this district news-worthy in recent cycles. Glad you're on the spot to keep us informed.  

Half the population believes our electoral system is broken. The other half believes it is fixed.  

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