So I’m playing a bit of fantasy football with this right now, but here’s a look at some conservative candidates I’m hoping jump in and bring the Senate not just to the GOP, but to a constitutional conservaive majority. And since I’m not an expert on every state, how about some help?
California: Dianne Feinstein – Chuck DeVore. If we are going to go out, might as well go out on our sheild.
Deleware: Tom Carper – UNKOWN. Heard rumors of health problems, maybe this opens up. I doubt O’Donnell can make another run, but perhaps congressional candidate Urquardt?
Florida: Bill Nelson – Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll. Have heard nothing but amazing things about her. She’s young, African-American, and appears to be quite conservative. Was apparently on Charlie Crist’s short list for Senate. Look for botb LeMeuix and perhaps Rep. Buchanan to jump in? But Carroll, like Rubio before her, could be a rock star and prove that conservatism knows no color.
Hawaii: Daniel Akaka – Gov. Linda Lingle. While she’s no right-winger, Gov. Lingle was elected overwhelmingly to two terms as governor in the bluest of states. Akaka is an odious senator, pushing essentially racial segregation for natie Hawaians. But this could be one of those races where Lingle could get side-swiped by an unkown conservative. It feels like it. Watch for Akaka to perhaps retire.
Maryland: Ben Cardin – UNKOWN. I live in the DC suburbs but I can’t think of anyone who would want to take on Cardin and probably lose. Maybe EJ Pipkin will be back for another run, maybe Ehrlich’s running-mate Mary Kane?
Michigan: Debbie Stabenow – Rep. Candice Miller. I like her a lot, always have.
Minnesota: Amy Klobucher – State Rep. Tom Emmer. I have a feeling the DFL machine will sinch the gov’s race for Dayton, but Emmer is a great conservative and I hope he stays with it. Its tempting to think Michele Bachmann, but I’m not sure how she would play statewide. Its not her conservatism, so much as perhaps her style.
Missouri: Claire McCaskill – Sarah Steelman. She took a pass last time to let Roy Blunt win the day, so I think its her time. I love Jim Talent, but rematches historically don’t go well. Steelman is fresh and conservative.
Montana: Jon Tester- UNKOWN. I have no pulse on Montana GOP politics. I’d be interesting if Marc Rocciot got in, but I doubt it. Steve Daines and Neil Livinington are the names I hear but I know nothing abouth either one.
Nebraska: Ben Nelson – Jon Bruning. I like what I’ve seen from him, especially that he’s part of the suit to overthrow Obamacare.
New jersey: Bob Menendez – State Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. Thought he was a great candidate last time, and with Christie’s momentum in the state he could do some things.
New Mexico: Jeff Bingaman – Lt. Gov. John Sanchez. Sanchez as ran twice now statewide and is 1-1. New Mexico Republicans look ressurgent in 2010 and the state is always in plan in a presidential year. Sanchez is young and hispanic, and could pull off the upset. Wouldn’t be suprised if Bingaman retires as well.
New York: Kirsten Gillibrand – Rep. Chris Lee. Not sure if he’s up for it, but I think Gillibrand is beatable running on her own against a well-funded opponent. Lee has a good congressional record.
North Dakota: Ken Conrad – Unkown. with Hoeven and Berg’s wins, he has to see the writing on the wall. I just don’t know who has the marker.
Ohio: Sherrod Brown – Ken Blackwell. Would love to see Blackwell get a fair shot in a better climate at a real Senate seat. Like Carroll in Florida, he would I think get enthusiastic support across conservative circles, and he has the experience to run.
Pennsylvania: Bob Casey – Tom Ridge. It might be a hard sell to some conservatives, and despite Toomey’s win the actual conservative bench in Pennsylvania isn’t that deep. Ridge is a deeply respected figure in the state and I think would run away with it against Casey. But again, he would probably get hit with a primary. Then again, so did Corbett.
Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse – John Robitaille. Let it be know, if the NGA spent some money in RI Robitaille might have pulled the upset once Caprio crumbled. Lets see what he can do with full support of the party.
Virginia: Jim Webb – Corey Stewart. Many of you might not know Corey, but I’ve met him and know folks on his staff. He’s an up-and-coming conservative leader who has cut taxes and now is leading a statewide initiative to fight illegal immigration call the Rule of Law Campaign. More famous names are out there, but Stewart is the real deal and someone you all need to google and check out. Its also likely that Webb will retire and Tim Kaine will run.
Washington: Maria Cantwell – Cathy McMorris Rogers. PLEASE no more Dino Rossi. Rep. Rogers is a good conservative and I think would be a terrific candidate.
West Virginia: Joe Manchin – UNKOWN. Unless he screws the pooch and Obama makes him vote for something bad, I think Manchin is tough to beat.
Wisconsin: Herb Kohl – Paul Ryan. Another retirement watch, but after seeing Walker and Johnson win, Sen. Kohl can’t be pleased and might be content to spend the rest of his days watching his Bucks play. Expect Feingold to run again if Herb retires.
Republicans worth challenging – Luger by Marlin Stutzman, Carker by Marsha Blackburn, KBH by Michael Williams, Hatch by Jason Chavitz. I think we should leave Brown and Snowe alone, based on the nature of their states. The only GOP retirement watch would be Jon Kyl – and I would suspect a very ambitious Ben Quayle might jump.