May 28 2005
As I had been hoping for months now, Michael Steele could run for the MD Senate seat opened by the retirement of Paul Sarbanes (a name I have lived with my entire life it seems – OK, he’s not that old). Via Polipundit (a great site for election information) we have news from the WashPost:
Steele — who, if elected, would be Maryland’s first black senator — has said he is giving the Senate contest serious consideration. Running for the seat would require Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) to get a new running mate for a reelection bid next year.
Kane said he expects Steele to set up an exploratory committee that includes Republicans and Democrats to assess whether he should move forward with a bid.
“He will analyze this, answer the question, ‘Does he want to do this?’ ” Kane said. “It’s his call, but I’m very excited about the prospect of his campaign.”
Other Republicans who worked on the Ehrlich-Steele campaign in 2002 said yesterday that they believe a Steele announcement on an exploratory committee is imminent.
This is another sign that the reps could gain 3 new seats (at least) in the US Senate in 2006 as I have predicted. While MD is a heavily democrat state, the reason it is are the counties which ring DC and which have a large African American population. And while they do tend to be knee-jerk democrat like their DC neighbors, they are also very politically astute being so close to DC.
Steele represents something to this constituency that is historic: an African American in the US senate representing them. I would say this is right now a rep pickup. The truth of that confidence will become clearer as the election nears – but it is a huge target for the GOP, and another area the dems will have to sink a lot of time and money (they do not have) defending.