"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Friday, March 21, 2008

GOP Can't Decide

Republican Patty Ritchie, front runner candidate for the 118th Assembly made it official this morning, she is out of the race! It is reported she did well in a phone poll across the district, positioning herself as the candidate of choice and presumed to be a race she could have won.

The candidacy was not to be, and for a couple of reasons that both played into one another. First, when unity was needed some of the Republicans were off the reservation. This included St. Lawrence County chairwoman Janet Kelly, contrary to her comment in the paper this morning, she was not a supporter of Ritchie and did not want her to run. Others off the reservation are the wannabe potential candidates David Button and Phil Reed, who were making noise in the back ground at any candidacy other than theirs. The two of them are reportedly very interested in running, even though they did not finish in the top tier of the poll of the candidates like front runner Ritchie and runners up Tom Nichols and Carolyn Fitzpatrick.

Secondly, Mrs. Ritchie is extremely popular in St. Lawrence County and happy in her job which makes her secure for re-election to that post for the foreseeable future. While, a Republican facing election to the Assembly, not once in a special, but twice in a special and immediately following in a general, is an uphill battle against a well funded Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee.

As mentioned in previous postings a primary election is not a bad thing to happen for both parties and a special election this close to that process is difficult at best. A primary will position the candidates who want to be their parties choice to discuss the issues, organize their efforts and show their commitment through the use of their own money. The primary winner will emerge as a stronger, well known, and vetted candidate and providing there is a party commitment to support the winner, then better positioned to win.

The same recommendation applies to both sides of the aisle. Democrats as well as Republicans can be well served by a primary. Democrats would be well advised to run a primary and vet their candidates such as front runner John Burns or June O'Neill's choice of Greg Pacquin.

The strongest candidate, who is the voter's choice will emerge from both parties. Governor Paterson hold off from a special election and let the announcements begin.

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