Thursday, December 15, 2005

Michael: Tim Sultan to Sit it out

Just in case anyone who was interested hadn't heard already, I'll make it official by putting it on a blog: Tim Sultan has decided not to run for Kolbe's open CD 8 seat. Making him perhaps the first, or even the only, Democratic activist in CD 8 to definitely rule himself out of the race. And making this news about a lack of news.

Tim graciously announced at the Dec 13th LD 28 special meeting to fill the vacant Senate seat in that district that he felt that his candidacy might somehow weaken Democratic chances for taking the Congressional seat from the Republican Party. I don't actually follow the logic of this, except that perhaps too many candidates may somehow impede creating a clear message for voters. Consider the presidential primary debates of '04 with an uncountable number of candidates on stage and everyone reduced to competing sound bites. I can see that as a problem, I suppose. But I think it's a problem that could be overcome in the general as the selected candidate goes head to head with the Pubbie choice.

I suppose it could also be a matter of resources, i.e. money. Though I have been led to understand Tim's last bid was financed primarily with the money of family and family friends more than traditional big Democratic donors. Perhaps he wants to guide those resources into the campaign of his favorite candidate. Nice of him.

Perhaps it was a matter of volunteer resources. Only so many to go around. When Tim announced publicly that he was out of the CD 8 bid, he also put his name forward at the LD 28 meeting for the Senate vacancy left by the retirement of Gabby Giffords. I don't know how many of the PCs Tim lined up prior to the meeting, if any, but he was eliminated from the voting early. I'm not sure how many volunteers were on board with a run by Tim for Congress.

Tim's a hell of good guy, and you gotta throw your hat in the ring to become visible to voters and activists, but I don't think anyone really expected Tim to sign up for another round of what he suffered in the 04 primary against Eva Bacal. With Eva (unofficially, at this point) running, as well as Gabby, Latas, and Shachter, Tim's announcement is really just a nod to reality.

I hope Tim runs for State Rep, or another local office. He's too smart, too talented at legislative voodoo, and too damn nice for people not to take advantage of him and put him to work at slave wages serving the public welfare. He's a man with a lot to offer. I just wish he would offer it in less of a buyer's market where voters could get a real chance to appreciate his sterling qualities.

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