Friday, November 7, 2014

Dilemma: who will Dems pick for possible CD2 special election?

With the prospect of a 2nd Congressional District special election looming, and the need to select a substitute candidate, the Oklahoma Democratic Party is in a pickle.

Their Party is in electoral shambles. They have not won a statewide race since 2006, and lost their lone congressional district to the GOP in 2012 after Dan Boren did not seek reelection. They are down to a mere eight seats in the 48-seat State Senate, and outnumbered 72-29 in the State House.

What's a Party to do in such a circumstance?

ODP Chairman Wallace Collins has told the media that they are considering "10 to 12" candidates to substitute for deceased nominee Earl Everett in a hypothetical (but likely) special election. Their new nominee would go up against GOP incumbent Markwayne Mullin and Independent Jon Douthitt, who received 70% and 5.4% in the November 4th election, respectively.

So, who would might they be considering? I'll take some guesses, and throw out some possibilities (some more realistic than others). I'll rate them on Likelihood of being selected, and Competitiveness in a 2nd District election.

Listed in order of my "competitiveness" rating, we start with...

BRAD HENRY
Likelihood: 0-0.5
Competitiveness: 10
Review: Brad Henry would probably be the most viable candidate the Democrats could put forward, and since residence in the district is not a requirement for federal offices, that wouldn't be a hindrance for a Henry candidacy. Henry is easily the most popular Democrat in Oklahoma, and won the 2nd District counties by huge margins in his gubernatorial races. However, the likelihood of Henry going for it is practically nil, so Republicans can breath a sigh of relief.

DREW EDMONDSON
Likelihood: 2
Competitiveness: 8
Review: Drew Edmondson is an intriguing option for the Democrats. Edmonson has deep ties to the 2nd District; his father Ed was 2nd District congressman from 1953 to 1973 (the U.S. Courthouse in Muskogee is name after him), and his brother James is on the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Drew was the Muskogee County DA from 1983 to 1995. Drew would probably be pretty competitive, but at 68 years old, it's doubtful he'd want to re-enter the political world.

BRAD CARSON
Likelihood: 1
Competitiveness: 7
Review: Carson held the seat from 2000 to 2004, before losing the U.S. Senate race to his 2nd District predecessor, Tom Coburn. He expressed interest in the seat again when Boren made his announcement in June 2011, but changed his mind later in the month, and was appointed Under Secretary of the Army in September 2011. Would he be interested in leaving his Army post for a tough Congressional race? I doubt it.

JOE DORMAN
Likelihood: 4
Competitiveness: 6
Review: Dorman lives in the 4th District, but was just on the ballot for Governor and as such has high name recognition. He got around 43% of the gubernatorial vote in the 2nd District, which was slightly higher than he got statewide, and won four of the six counties he won are in the 2nd District. I could see the ODP trying to get Dorman to step in here.

JERRY ELLIS
Likelihood: 7
Competitiveness: 4
Review: Ellis termed out of the State Senate this year, and has put his name in with the ODP Central Committee. I view Ellis as the most likely pick for the Democrats. However, I don't see him as all that competitive, for several reasons. His old seat went Republican on Tuesday, Mullin has a significant bank account still and will far outraise any Democrat, and Ellis has practically no base outside of his old far-southeastern district. 

PETE REGAN
Likelihood: 1
Competitiveness: 4
Review: Regan was chief-of-staff for Dan Boren, lost to Jari Askins in the 2006 Lt. Governor primary, but was appointed by Gov. Fallin to the Transportation Commission, surprising many Republicans. He could be a fairly competitive candidate, in large part due to ties to political money.

KENNETH CORN
Likelihood: 4
Competitiveness: 3
Review: Kenneth Corn was mentioned as a possible candidate in 2012, but declined to make the run. A former state senator, he lost the Lt. Governor race pretty badly against Todd Lamb in 2010, winning just two counties. Lamb had a 40%+ margin of victory in 13 of the 26 counties in the 2nd District, so I just don't see Corn as a very viable candidate.

JIM WILSON
Likelihood: 5
Competitiveness: 3
Review: Wilson ran against Boren in 2010, and lost badly. Term-limited from the state senate in 2010, he's probably the most liberal individual on this list, and as such would be easy to beat.

WAYNE HERRIMAN
Likelihood: 4
Competitiveness: 3
Review: Herriman lost in the 2012 runoff to Rob Wallace, but might be open to another run. Could he do better than Rob Wallace? I don't think so.

EARL GARRISON
Likelihood: 1
Competitiveness: 3
Review: State Senator from Muskogee, Garrison will be term-limited in 2014. Garrison isn't a particularly charismatic candidate, and his district base just isn't enough to make him that competitive.

ROB WALLACE
Likelihood: 2
Competitiveness: 3
Review: Wallace got 38.34% in 2012 against Mullin. I doubt another attempt would be more successful, or that Wallace would be interested.

MIKE BROWN
Likelihood: 2
Competitiveness: 3
Review: State Representative from Tahlequah, Brown is serving his final term. Would he be interested, since he'll be out of office soon anyway?

JERRY MCPEAK
Likelihood: 2
Competitiveness: 3
Review: Like Brown, McPeak will also be term-limited from the House in 2016. With so few elected officials left in eastern Oklahoma, will the ODP ask McPeak? 

JOSHUA HARRIS-TILL
Likelihood: 6
Competitiveness: 1
Review: Harris-Till lost with 37% to Earl Everett in the primary this year, even though Everett suffered a stroke two months before the primary. He has publicly stated that he is interested. He wouldn't have a chance at winning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonder if the Dems will ask Dr. John Cox?