Cosy: Barney Frank & Chris Dodd facing challenges in 2010 imgage: PA Pundits
Yesterday, a Massachusetts GOP insider, indicated that the GOP will be bringing in a “big-name” to run against Incumbent Democrat, Barney Frank, in the 4th District 2010 U.S. Congressional race. The source, from Plymouth County, had worked to bring Romney back into Massachusetts for the Governor’s race in 2002. As to the accuracy of the claim (be it wishful thinking or an actual fact), this is the second Mass GOP source to hint that a candidate would emerge to challenge Frank in 2010. Of interest - the GOP has sent literature to certain district members regarding a campaign to defeat Frank – the literature sent named no specific candidate.
If this proves to be the case, it would set up a primary battle between Earl Sholley, a Conservative from Norfolk who has run against Frank in the past, and has substantial grassroots support, and someone from outside the State who has “star power”.
That brings up the question, who in the GOP, on the national stage has the “Star Power” (which would equal donor potential) and the political background (backbone) to take on Frank. It would have to be someone who is a fiscal conservative and one who is somewhat familiar with the Districts main industries – fishing. New Bedford is one of the largest, if not the largest fishing port in the world.
One thing to consider: Speculation: The Mass. GOP has been known to “eat its own”, when it comes to high profile races; therefore, it may be a rumor aimed Mr. Sholley, who often is more “conservative” than most in the State GOP. When Sholley ran against Frank in 2008, he did so without the backing of the State GOP. It is not known, at this time, if Mr. Sholley has the support of the State G.O.P.
The role that Frank has played in the Congress has had a direct impact on the current state of the economy; therefore, this race does have national attention. From this blog, there are daily searches from every state in the Union seeking information on “who” is running against Barney Frank. It goes without saying that Sholley’s early filing with the FEC was done so because of donations received from inside the 4th district, but more importantly, outside the State.
Lastly, one must also look to the power of the GOP, in general, when they have their minds set on removing an incumbent – see Tom Daschle. Could it be that the GOP has finally set their sights on the State of Massachusetts – and will no longer treat the State (and the northeast) like a “red-headed stepchild”? Party Chair, Michael Steele, was last in the Bay State in June – at a fundraiser – the national Party, in the past, has made very few forays into the state, leaving the State GOP to fend off the “blue tide” alone.
Note of interest: There are few to no residency requirements when it comes to U.S. Congressional race.
One thing is certain, the Massachusetts 4th Congressional race will keep all eyes on the Bay State, and with over 50% of the voters in that district “unenrolled”, and Mr. Frank’s popularity questionable, this race should not be assumed “safe Democrat” until all the players at the table have shown their hands.