Sunday, January 25, 2009

Northey for Governor?

Iowa Secretary of Agricutlure Bill Northey appeared on Iowa Press over the weekend and was asked about the possibility of running for Governor against Chet Culver in 2010.

''I think you certainly wait until after this session to see where things go,'' said Northey, a Republican. ''I think it's six months or so out for me to be able to make a decision by the end of summer.''

Northey conceded that winning election against an incumbent governor would be difficult, but he said a sour economy and the state's budget snarls could create an opening.

Now, Northey might be consulting his family about a run, talking with big fundraisers, etc.

However, I think Northey is waiting to see what Sen. Grassley decides to do. If Grassley retires, running for an open senate seat would be much more appealing than challenging an incumbant Governor considering that Iowans haven't voted to cut out an incumbant governor in decades.

Both history and political reality would make a challenge to Culver an uphill struggle, Northey conceded, with Iowans typically showing a willingness to return governors to office.

Former Gov. Robert Ray served for 14 years, former Gov. Terry Branstad topped that with a 16-year tenure and former Gov. Tom Vilsack was in office for eight years and probably could have stayed there if he hadn't chosen to launch a brief bid for the presidency. None of the three faced serious challenges, despite serving during troubled economic times.

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