Tuesday, November 28, 2006

4th District in '08

MattW has posted a diary over at MLN speculating about possible candidates to challenge Chris Shays in 2008. He offers a lengthy list of possible candidates and a mini-analysis of potential strengths and weaknesses. A few of us have added our own suggestions in the comments section.

Can Shays be defeated next time around? And more important, is it worth putting funds and energy into another battle?

With the right candidate I think Democrats can run a third competitive challenge. As Genghis pointed out when he mapped the 4th Diane Farrell came within 3% of Shays, closer than her 5% loss in 2004. Farrell shouldn't run again, but looking over Matt's list I think there's hope for an '08 challenge to succeed.

What are your thoughts?

37 comments:

bluecoat said...

Drew's already posturing for a run at the job with his rhetorical opposition to the Broadwater LNG Plant but he doesn't have a prayer..

Genghis Conn said...

I don't know how vulnerable Shays is... how unique were 2004 and 2006 because of opposition to the Iraq War? Before then, Shays was one safe Republican.

Will the issue resurface in 2008? Maybe it depends on the presidential candidate. If McCain is the GOP candidate, Shays stays.

Anonymous said...

Farrell in '04 and '06 was a much classier act than Sanchez in 2000 and '02. Farrell lost her class when she went the DNC model late this year. The poltical landscape is changing in the 4th. Basically, it's too early to tell but great sport to speculate.

Anonymous said...

"Drew's already posturing for a run at the job with his rhetorical opposition to the Broadwater LNG Plant but he doesn't have a prayer.."

Every elected official who represents a shoreline town is against the LNG platform.

This is just more rhetoric from Bluecoat who has no idea what Tom Drew's intentions are.

cgg said...

Drew campaigns well though. I wouldn't consider him a front runner, but I wouldn't count him out if he wanted to run.

I also wonder what happens if Shays declines to run again.

bluecoat said...

Drew is blaming Bush for the LNG terminal. He's posturing - and I didn't give a time frame - and he's postures with national rhetoric on many issues. And you made my point 1:31 almost anyway - since not "every" elected official from a shoreline town is against the LNG platform. Terry Backer, a state rep and the Soundkeeper, has taken a wait and see attitude unless he's changed his tune in the last few weeks. The bottom line is what Spitzer, as guv not AG, does since this thing is proposed for NY waters - and he will quash it.

Anonymous said...

DCCC is falling all over themselves trying to get malloy to run, but he won't. i agree with the comments over at MLN that he'll take another stab at the governor's mansion. at least, i hope that they're true.

therefore, mcdonald is probably the best bet (I put him ahead of gomes for a few reasons: experience, charisma, and the fact that gomes' district will vote for a dem no matter what, so winning mcdonald's district is more important for a democratic victory. i like both however, and would be glad to support either).

Anonymous said...

Farrell’s entire campaign was predicated on one Shays vote… his vote for speaker. With Shays now in the minority, that issue no longer exists. And since Shays is getting paid $200k/year to do whatever he wants to do, why in the world would he retire in ’08?

Anonymous said...

I think Andrew MacDonald would be an outstanding candidate for the 4th, and is probably the one to watch. Malloy is out for sure. He will be the next governor. Blumenthal will be Blumenthal, he is playing it safe. Finch has already run for the 4th CD, and I think he really wants to continue to serve his towns in Hartford.

Andrew MacDonald has been absolutely remarkable as chair of Judiciary and a state senator. I hope he makes the run. I think we can add another seat to the majority.

Anonymous said...

1:51- what factual evidence do you have that the DCCC is "Falling over themselves" to run?

Inquiring minds want to know.

cgg said...

Anon 1:52 that was the Farrell campaign. A new candidate would also come with new slogans.

Matt said...

What's interesting to me is that there's no Dem heir-apparent for the seat, and that Shays holds the seat for the Republicans largely out of force of personality. Even if the 08 nominee lost, they could be the prohibitive favorite when Shays leaves office, so a little planning / encouragement now could do a lot to effect the eventual congress-person in the 4th.

CLP Republicans might have something to say about who would the nominee in a post-Shays world (is the bench pretty much McKinney at this point?)

Matt said...

PS thanks for the hat tip, cgg!

Anonymous said...

Is it true Farrell has moved out of the 4th District?

Anonymous said...

ORCHULLI!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

There could very well be candidates that aren't obvious...

How about sportscaster Jim Nantz -- close friend of Bush 41, of Westport, handsome, articulate...

Former CEO Larry Bossidy -- corporate giant, very philthropic, active with Bridgeport Diocese, of Ridgefield....

Or take a im Lash -- CT's own Bloomberg. Greenwich First Selectman -- articulate -- loaded..

Matt said...

Is it true Farrell has moved out of the 4th District?

Yes, it is.

Anonymous said...

How about Mark Nielsen?

Nearly toppled Maloney in old 5th CD...

Now lives in Ridgefield. Current chief of staff for Romney (so that will be ending)... has made great contacts.... Wife is CFO of Pespi Bottling...

Or, Chris Burnhan.... current Finance guy at U.N.-- former CFO at State Dept.

There clearly is a bench of possibilities other than McKinney.

cgg said...

Matt what's the deal with the Farrell move? Gossipy political geeks want to know!

Anonymous said...

Where's Adam Wood going to live?

Anonymous said...

She had to leave Westport. Taxes were too high! (j/k!)

Anonymous said...

I don't think any of the sitting state senators are likely candidates for 08. If Farrell couldn't pull it off with every possible political wind at her back, who is going to give up a safe seat to run against Shays? I'd look to the mayors and selectmen for the next candidate.

As for the GOP, McKinney think it's wrapped up but I wouldn't be surprised to see attempts by Bill Nickerson, Mark Lauretti, Rob Russo, Toni Boucher, John Frey, ...

Matt said...

Diane's movin' to DC.

No idea where Adam Wood is going to go.

Anonymous said...

Democratic candidates have to carry Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford, in big numbers to win the 4th. Stamford and Norwalk are conservative cities unlike Bridgeport which is true blue. The surrounding towns trend Republican, but are not that conservative. Farrell actually did better in the towns than in '04, but failed to get out the city voters. Republicans have an easier path, apathetic city voters, high turnout small towns lead to decades of election wins. The presidential primaries will give the edge back to Shays, it will take too much money to run a decent challenger campaign, 2010, with a strong Democratic Governor candidate is the year to do it.

Anonymous said...

CD4 may be open in 2010. If Jodi doesn't run, Shays has to be considered the front runner for the GOP nomination for Gov. He's the R with the biggest district in CT. AND he is known statewide. How many times did he make the cover of the Courant in October?

Who else is there? Fedele? Or some millionaire? Nod goes to Shays and that leaves CD4 wide open.

Anonymous said...

Simmons for GOV in '10!

MikeCT said...

Shays is the last House Republican in New England. There is nothing "safe" about his seat.

Anonymous said...

Mike CT- If Shays won in this year which all of you have described as the best democrat year ever, against the best candidate ever (Diane Farrell), how is it not safe for him and for a moderate republican like him after.. please... inform us idiots.

Chris MC said...

In case there is any question in anybody's mind:

Dan Malloy for Governor in 2010.

Bank it.

Anonymous said...

That makes a pretty good case for why it is "safe". Charlie Bass lost. He has a very good district, much better than CT-4. Its a very good performing district for a republican. And to clue you in, its even better performing in Presidentials.

Shays is no different philosophically or politically than any of the other R's that lost. That must mean he has a btter district. And as we all know, minorities don't turn out in off years. Period.

MikeCT said...

Anon (8:07),

If Diane Farrell was the "best candidate ever," it's curtains for the Democrats. She made Iraq her signature issue and I'll be damned if I could tell the difference between them. She explicitly opposed a timeline for withdrawal, which he endorsed. She was the weakest candidate in the state.

Dems in CT were busy trying to oust three long-term Republican incumbents. No one expected them to beat all three at once. The fact that Republicans will be on the defensive throughout the region and country, and that Dems in CT can all focus on ousting Shays in two years makes him considerably unsafe. Or just ask Shays how he feels. Not hard to figure out. But never mind - I encourage Republicans to feel safe. Just like Johnson and Simmons supporters did. You are feeling sleeeepy....

Anonymous said...

See.. thats where you're wrong. Republicans will not be on the defensive in 08. Your party is in the majority. Its time for your party to prove that they belong there or the American public will throw them out just like they threw my party out this time around.

Quite frankly its nice to sit back for a while and watch the democrats get savaged, it's not a whole alot of fun.

BTW, your analysis, or lack thereof, about how unsafe Chris Shays is, is still wrong. But i encourage you to take your best shot (well, not you, you have no say in what happens anyway) but the democrat party, Shays is there for life.

Jim said...

Shays is safe, but so was Nancy Johnson when Chris Murphy entered the race. He will be hard to beat, but it's certainly not impossible.

I completely disagree that a moderate Republican like him would be "safe" or even favored after Shays leaves that seat. Shays didn't win because he's a Republican or because he's moderate Republican. He won because he's Chris Shays. John McKinney will have a good shot at the seat, but he's not Chris Shays, and can't be given the same advantages of Shays just because of ideological similarities. I think a Democrat will take this when he's done.

But who? I think it'll be MacDonald. I hope it's Bill Finch.

GMR said...

I would imagine that the fourth district is probably growing faster than Murphy's or DeLauro's districts.

Thus, even if Connecticut doesn't lose a seat in the house, some towns are probably going to be moved out of the fourth district to the surrounding districts to keep the districts equal in size.

Last time, CT lost a seat, so all the other five districts got bigger. If we don't lose a seat this time, then would any fourth district territory be moved to other districts? Any possibility of Ridgefield (which was previously in Maloney's or Johnson's district) moving into Murphy's district? How about Bridgeport or Oxford? This could have an impact on how safe Shays is.

Take out Bridgeport and Shays is pretty safe, except he lives in Bridgeport...

Ridgefield goes for Shays, but not by a huge amount. Oxford might be tempting to move out since it is not really linked to the rest of the district geographically. Redding is also a candidate for removal.

Anyone have any idea if the fourth district is growing faster than the rest of the state? This wouldn't have an impact until the 2012 elections.

Anonymous said...

Blumenthal, McDonald and Malloy are the only potential major leaguers on that list. Everyone else is a solid Triple A player. Good on the state or local level, but they don't have the stuff for Washington.

Anonymous said...

George Jepsen is moving back into the 4th CD. He obviously has all the base McDonald has, having served that state senate district for years. Has the leadership abilities as he was senate majority leader, and has the ability to raise funds as he did when state party chair.

George is one of the most likeable guys you will ever meet; is always policy-wonkish, but knows when to exude that quality and when not to; has a loyal following; has had to bridge the gaps between many factions before; appeals to both DLC-types and liberals alike; his wife can help him reach out to the hispanic community; and most importantly, he is the kind of guy you want to have a beer with.

Finch, like Farrell, has had his shot and doubt he will think of another shot. McDonald is certainly qualified in every way possible, but don't think it is what he wants. Blumenthal is simply silly as he would never take on a race unless he is 100% certain he will win and will continue to bide his time for US Senate; and I agree with the Malloy in 2010 sentiments above.

Also, of all the people mntioned on the R side, McKinney is far and away the best choice. Boucher would be in way over her head. Nickerson couldn't connect with the average voter if a surgeon sewed one onto him. It's only a matter of time before Lauretti's questionable land deals in Shelton get the attention they deserve, drowning out any possibility of a run on his part. Russo could do it if he pledged to fund his race to the insiders and hired some real pros, but he hasn't proven himself electable yet. And Frye from Futurama has a better shot than Frey at this race.

Bottom line. Jepsen and McKinney - wow, what a race.

Anonymous said...

I think the Dems will run a moderate from either the City of NOorwalk or Bridgeport. I would not count out either FInch or that Council President from Norwalk, Michael Coffey. I was a delegate for Diane last year and was impressed with the seconding speech that Coffey gave on her behalf. Running a super liberal candidate in 08 will not be a successful strategy and the only hope is to run a moderate who can sway more independent votes.