November 25, 2002
THE ROLLING LANDSLIDE:Lucas Mulls Party Switch: Ky. Democrat's Decision May Come Today (Susan Crabtree, 11/25/02, Roll Call)
After a meeting between Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Rep. Ken Lucas (D-Ky.) before lawmakers left town, Republicans expect a decision as early as today about whether the Kentucky Democrat will switch parties.
House Republicans are keeping the details about the potential political coup close to the vest and would only speak anonymously about what one GOP aide called "very serious discussions" between Lucas and House GOP leaders. [...]
Lucas is among a handful of conservative Democrats whom Republicans have tried to coax across the aisle for years. Unlike past efforts to convince lawmakers to swap sides, Republicanleaders did not dangle a plum committee assignment or chairmanship and Lucas did not ask for any tangible incentive, according to the GOP sources.
Instead, the political dynamics of Kentucky's 4th district and President Bush's current popularity have forced the issue this time.
According to one GOP source, Lucas is concerned about his political viability in 2004 if he remains a Democrat.
One suspects Mr. Lucas is not alone in his concern. Posted by Orrin Judd at November 25, 2002 7:27 PM