They’re dropping like flies. Yet another potential opponent for Sen. Richard Burr says they’re not going to run for U.S. Senate. Jeff Jackson, who got a lot of attention in February for his “snow day coup” is instead seeking reelection to his seat in the State Senate.
It’s probably a smart move for Jackson, who is only 32 and has plenty of time to seek higher office in the future if he wants to. He was only appointed to the State Senate last year and is probably a bit too inexperienced to mount a credible Senate bid, especially against an incumbent like Burr. If Jackson ran against Burr and lost, Democrats would probably lose one of their brightest up-and-coming stars way too early. Foregoing a bid allows Jackson to build up more experience in the legislature, making him a more formidable candidate for a future statewide run.
That’s probably Jackson’s thinking. The other way to look at this is that maybe Jackson wants to run in spite of those things, but is going to stay out because Kay Hagan has made it clear she’s planning to run against Burr after all.
I don’t think this is the case, though. Hagan is apparently still undecided and hasn’t set a time frame as to when she’s going to announce her plans. That means Richard Burr is still without an opponent, which at this point in the game isn’t that unusual, nor is necessarily cause for alarm for Democrats.
But for every day that passes without a declared opponent, Burr gets a little less vulnerable. National Democrats are frustrated because they have candidates in place mostly everywhere – mostly retreads who lost past bids – but there are a few exceptions. One of them is Pennsylvania; another is North Carolina. In Pennsylvania they have Joe Sestak, but he’s not the ideal candidate of the Democratic establishment. In North Carolina, of course, they have nobody at all.
Once again – it’s June. Early in the game. Back in the 2008 cycle, Kay Hagan didn’t declare against Elizabeth Dole until October 2007. Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham didn’t get started with their bids until November of 2009. It’s a bit frustrating for Democrats but it’s no time to panic. Now, what if it’s November and Burr still doesn’t have an opponent? Well, maybe then it’s time to hit the panic button.
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.