We have so many GOP candidates for U.S. Senate here in Washington that I can honestly say I’m not sure that I can name all of them. Off the top of my head (in alphabetical order):
- Paul Akers
- Don Benton
- Art Coday
- Clint Didier
- Skip Mercer
- Rodney Rieger
- Sean Salazar
- Chris Widener
- Craig Williams
Do you see who’s missing? That would be Dino Rossi, the non-candidate who puts so much fear into Patty Murray that she has sicced her DSCC attack dogs on one of her constituents. Nice. Way to represent, Patty.
There’s a lot of speculation about Rossi; will he run, won’t he run, will he run, won’t he run, will he, won’t he….
Honestly, the entire state is in a state. A state of limbo, that is. This far into the election cycle, Rossi’s indecision begins to seem like one of two things: timidity (I just need a few more polls showing me in the lead…what was that noise!?!) or arrogance (Hey! I’m the Rossi! I can get in any time and voters will flock to my banner.). Either way, he’s doing a disservice to the to the voters and to the candidates who have been willing to make a commitment.
Looking back at that list, you may notice Rossi’s not the only thing missing from the list of candidates. With the exception of Don Benton, the candidates are entirely lacking in political experience. To be honest, I don’t think that’s going to be a huge issue this campaign cycle – anti-incumbent sentiment is running high – but also absent is state-wide name recognition.
Now I’ve been told that you can buy name recognition but that doesn’t come cheap. Sure, the candidates are making the rounds of Lincoln Day Dinners and candidate forums, but in the end, they need name recognition outside that relatively exclusive group. To build that kind of name recognition, candidates need cash and I suspect the latest campaign finance reports will show our candidates are starving for cash.
Voters are highly motivated but you can’t blame them for waiting to see what Rossi decides before opening their purse strings. Who wants to make a hefty donation to a candidate who’ll be knocked out of the running by a late entry?
It’s time for Rossi to put an end to the speculation one way or another, whether to free up campaign funds and volunteers for other candidates or snap them up for his own campaign. Or just shoot us and put us out of our misery.