Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Candidates Who Choose Not to Run …

In Governor, Presidential campaign, Senate on January 13, 2015 at 10:22 am

Several prospective candidates for various offices made official yesterday their plans not to seek another position.  
 
President
 
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-1), the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, confirmed that he will not run for president in 2016.  Always mentioned as a potential candidate, Ryan was not making the preliminary campaign moves one who is serious about running for president would typically execute.  He showed no overt signs of building a national political and financial operation necessary to becoming a major political party’s presidential nominee.
 
Now ensconced as chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, Rep. Ryan says he will devote his attention and political acumen toward that particular job.
 
In another report, speculation is changing around Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) presidential plans.  Now a train of thought suggests that Sen. Rubio will run for re-election instead of the presidency, and then possibly take a shot at the open governor’s office in 2018.  Then, as a sitting public chief executive from arguably the most important state on the Republican map, Rubio would have the option of running for President in 2020 or 2024, depending upon whether a Democrat or Republican wins in 2016.

Senate
 
With speculation swirling predominantly around Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) regarding Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D) open 2016 Senate seat, the situation became clearer yesterday.  The overriding supposition proclaimed that Newsom and Harris, who are strong California political allies, would not oppose each other in a race.  It was also suggested that neither would run for the Golden State open seat, the first of its kind in 24 years, but rather wait for 2018 when both the Governor’s office and other US Senate seat are expected to be open.  
 
Yesterday, Newsom announced that he will not be a candidate for the Senate in 2016.  This leads to further speculation that he will wait for years to run for a major statewide office, which will likely be an attempt to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown (D).  The governor, who just won an easy re-election, is not eligible to seek another term under California’s term limits law.  
 
The move also means that we can now expect to see AG Harris jump into the Senate race, and reports emanating from California late last night suggests Harris will announce her senatorial bid as early as tomorrow.  Former Los Angeles former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa confirms he is “seriously considering” running, and most believe he will be one of Harris’ strongest opponents.  Despite Newsom being out and Harris probably joining the fray, the 2016 Democratic open Senate race will still feature a large field of political aspirants.
 
Governor
 
It had been speculated for some time that Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), whose Senate seat again comes before the voters in 2018, would run for governor before she seeks a third term in her current position.  Two-term Gov. Jay Nixon (D) is term-limited in 2016.
 
Yesterday, joining the chorus of others declining to make a jump into another campaign, McCaskill committed to remaining in the Senate.  She will not run for her state’s open chief executive position, leaving Republican-turned-Democrat Attorney General Chris Koster with what looks like a free shot for his party’s gubernatorial nomination two years from now.  
 
Missouri is one of 11 states to elect a governor in the presidential election year.  The open Show Me State race is expected to be one of the more hotly contested gubernatorial campaigns of the coming cycle.  
 

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