November 10, 2014

BOATS SUNKEN IN A RISING TIDE:

GOP waves knocks out bench of future Democratic candidates (MICHELLE RINDELS and NICHOLAS RICCARDI, 11/10/14, Associated Press)


As Democrats lost more than 300 statehouse seats last week, they watched some of their most promising political up-and-comers go down in defeat. Republicans, meanwhile, stocked their bench with a roster of rising stars who could someday run for higher office.

"We knocked out some really golden people for the Democrats, and provided a strong platform for our candidates to cut their teeth," said Jill Bader, spokeswoman for the Republican State Leadership Committee. "Our candidates who won are going to be in an unbelievably stronger position and have two-to-four years of statewide media exposure, build strong teams and staff."

Flores left a safe assembly seat to seek the part-time lieutenant governor's post, which could lead to the governorship if popular GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval challenges Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Harry Reid in 2016. But she was up against Sandoval's chosen successor, state Sen. Mark Hutchison, who rode the coattails of the governor's blowout win for re-election, and drew from his vast cash reserves.

To see how important it is to build a bench, just look at the Republicans' class of 2010. That wave election knocked out possible national Democratic figures like Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and stocked the GOP's cabinet with possible 2016 contenders and other rising stars like Florida Sen Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez and Sandoval himself.

Republicans this year are celebrating a number of diverse new office-holders that they hope belie the image of their party as the preserve of white men -- Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Janet Nguyen and Young Kim, who won state senate seats in Southern California. Democrats can boast of some potential rising stars too, like New Mexico's new Attorney General Hector Balderas or Rhode Island's next Gov., Gina Raimondo. But there are far fewer Democrats to tout.

Posted by at November 10, 2014 8:35 PM
  

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