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Ok, so I know a lot of us here are eager to recruit top notch candidates for both the Georgia and West Virginia U.S. Senate races in 2014 being vacated by retiring Senators Saxby Chambliss (R. GA) and Jay Rockefeller (D. WV).  Two names that have often been mentioned to run for those seats are Congressmen Nick Rahall (D. WV-3) and John Barrow (D. GA-12).  I can understand why those two names have often been floated as potential candidates.  Rahall is a coal-friendly Democrat from a state where the coal industry practically runs everything.  Barrown is a Blue Dog Democrat who was able to get black Obama supporters and white conservative gun owners to vote for him, defying all expectations that he would lose his seat.  Well if you have your fingers crossed that they might make the jump to the U.S. Senate, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D. NY-3) is here to rain on your parade:

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York told reporters Wednesday that he is confident that conservative Democratic Reps. John Barrow of Georgia and Nick Rahall of West Virginia will run for reelection next year, even as they have been mentioned as attractive candidates for open Senate seats.

“I’m confident not only because I believe their path to victory in the House is secure, but also based on my own personal experience,” Israel said. “I too believed that I would be a senator for a short period of time. And then the deeper I got, the more I fell back in love with the House of Representatives. So I can speak from personal perspective here. I’m pretty comfortable they’ll continue to offer solutions in the House of Representatives.”

If either Barrow or Rahall left to run for the Senate, Democrats would be in very tough positions in their districts.

Israel was briefing reporters on the DCCC’s 2014 recruitment strategy and outlook. Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to win back the House majority, a hefty task for President Obama’s second midterm. Israel praised the president’s commitment to retaking the majority and said the committee is in a “very good place” regarding his buy-in. - Washington Post, 3/13/13

That makes sense that they would rather stay in the House than go to the Senate.  They both hold red districts that Mitt Romney solidly won in 2012.  Rahall and Barrow are also top seats Democrats plan to heavily defend come 2014.  Plus when it come to West Virginia, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) is my ideal pick to go up against Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R. WV):

Tennant recently stated that she wants to see more women make a difference in West Virginia which might be a subtle message that she's gearing up for a run for U.S. Senate:

Susan B. Anthony would have been proud of West Virginian women. Anthony, an activist for woman’s suffrage, died in 1906, 14 years before the passing of the 19th Amendment. But in West Virginia, female voters outnumber male voters by about 60,000, according to a press release from West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.

Tennant said women in West Virginia do not realize the power they have over the future in the Mountain State.

There are 660,000 female registered voters in the state, but only one women fills a seat in the state Senate, two females on the state Supreme Court and 21 women in the 100-seat House. Tennant is the only woman on the seven-member Board of Public Works.

Tennant wants West Virginian women to vote and create even more changes in the state.

On her website, she states, “ Generations of women worked tirelessly to gain suffrage. This is by far one of the most important amendments to the Constitution when it comes to voting, because it gave the right to vote to half of the population of the United States.  If you are a female ... you  have/will have the right to vote because a battle was fought for you in history.” - Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 3/10/13

Fingers crossed Tennant makes a run for U.S. Senate and hopefully the Club for Growth will find a candidate that can beat Capito in the primary.  We have a big bench but I for one like Tennant the most.

As for Barrow, he's already a top target for NRCC:

John Stone, a top House Republican aide, will mount a bid against Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., in 2014.

“Get ready, Mr. Barrow,” Stone confirmed in an interview today with CQ Roll Call.

A number of candidates have been eying the race against Barrow, a longtime Republican target who represents a district that voted for Mitt Romney in November. But Stone appears to be the first to decide on a run.

Stone lost the seat to Barrow by more than 30 points in 2008. Stone, now chief of staff to Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, said he will resign his Capitol Hill position this summer to make a second run against the five-term congressman.

The district has changed since Stone’s last attempt. Republicans redrew the 12th District boundaries following redistricting, making it a more GOP-friendly seat.

But Barrow defeated state Rep. Lee Anderson, a Republican, by more than seven points in a heavily targeted race in 2012. This cycle, the National Republican Congressional Committee has already indicated he is one of its top seven targets.

This time around, Stone hopes to have more resources from the NRCC and a higher-profile consulting team than his first run. - Roll Call, 2/15/13

So Barrow already has enough on his plate to worry about.  However, he might be persuaded into running for the Senate:

We’ve come upon what may be the first real evidence that U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, may allow himself to be persuaded to run for that vacant U.S. Senate seat next year.

We’re told that Ed Tarver, the former Democratic state senator and now U.S. attorney for Georgia’s Southern District, has let friends know that he would be interested in running for Barrow’s 12th District seat.

That kind of contingency planning generally doesn’t happen unless the scouting party has been sent a quiet signal. - Atlanta Journal Constitution, 3/5/13

So maybe if Barrow is convinced Tarver can win, maybe he'll make the leap.  Barrow would seem to be the right fit that PPP described as the right type of candidate for this race:
Chambliss' cross over appeal to Democrats would make him hard to defeat in a general election. But given the very real possibility of him losing to an extreme conservative candidate in the primary it might benefit Democrats to get a Joe Donnelly caliber candidate who doesn't have a lot to lose into the race, just in case... - PPP, 12/4/12
Barrow just be that guy who has nothing to lose if Traver can hold his seat.  I'm sure a great candidate for Team Blue will come about eventually.  Right now, I say let the GOP primary get crowded with whack jobs to help make any Democrat we pick in Georgia look sane and appealing to voters, even if it does end up being Barrow.  For now, I'll say Barrow isn't likely to run but that could change.

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Kos Georgia.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rolet, MrAnon, Egalitare, sebastianguy99

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 03:34:07 PM PDT

  •  Can Barrow get Metro Atlanta Dems... (0+ / 0-) rally around his candidacy? I seriously doubt it, but I don't live in Georgia.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:16:28 PM PDT

    •  Of course he can. It is outside the metro area (0+ / 0-)

      ...that will be his toughest challenge but is also the reason why he is likely the strongest candidate. Barrow is just Sam Nunn from out further.

      His second toughest challenge will be to energize African-American voters more than previous Democratic candidates for statewide office.

      The math to a Democratic victory is known: win at least 25% of the white vote and turnout the minority vote. A Dem may be able to get by with slightly less than 25%, but she/he would really need to energize the rest of the base.

      "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

      by sebastianguy99 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:58:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another off-topic question (0+ / 0-)

    Is Brian Schatz of Hawaii facing reelection in 2014? If so, is he expected to be in danger? For the first time in history, the state is without Daniel Inouye as a member of Congress.

    Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

    by MrAnon on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:35:44 PM PDT

  •  Chambliss doesn't really have crossover appeal (0+ / 0-)

    There are just some Dixiecrats that never officially switched party affiliation.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:50:46 AM PDT

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