In a recruiting victory for the DCCC, retired Marine Lt. Col. Andrew Horne, yet another fighting Democrat, has decided to challenge Tom DeLay rubber-stamp Rep. Anne Northup (R) for her Democratic-leaning congressional seat.
The Hotline has the scoop via subscription-only Rollcall:
"Attorney and retired Marine Lt. Col. Andrew Horne (D) said Tuesday that he has decided to challenge" Rep. Anne Northup, R-Ky., "in 2006, after being influenced by the experience of his friend and fellow Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett," Roll Call reports. "Horne, 44, was in Washington, D.C., this week and met with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) about the race Tuesday. He also began interviewing consultants to work on the contest."
Please consider helping the effort by contributing to the ActBlue General Election Fund for KY-03.
The recruitment of Lt. Col. Horne is a major relief for Democrats who were seeming to have difficulty convincing candidates to run for the seat. Attorney Jack Conway, who had been defeated by only 4 points in the 2002 election had been courted for the race but opted out only recently. Several other local and state politicians who had been mentioned as candidates had also denied interest in the race.
KY-03 encompasses nearly all of Jefferson County (Louisville) and is actually a Democrat-leaning district even though Northup has held the seat since 1996. Though she had a close call in '02, last year she beat lackluster Dem. candidate Tony Miller by her largest margin ever, 60%-38%.
President Bush, meanwhile, failed to win the seat in both elections. In fact, Kerry improved on Gore's 50-48 tally by eking out a 51-49 win.
If Horne can raise the money and is an effective candidate, I think that he will be favored to win this race. After all, Northup was held to a four point margin by a somewhat flawed candidate (Conway has connections to scandal-tainted ex-governor Patton) in a very Republican-friendly year. I think that its fair to assume that '06 will be comparably more trying for Republicans.
That said, while Northup is a terrible congressman, she's a stellar campaigner and fundraiser. Right now she's sitting on over $1,000,000 cash on hand and she will have the full backing of the McConnell machine.
Here's hoping that Horne will be as inspiring a candidate as Hackett proved to be. Don't forget to send some $$ support!