God Bless Dave Cox. A good man and someone who let it fly on the floor of the legislature with some of the most memorable quotes ever.
With his passing – there has been a flurry of rumors as to who is going to run to replace him.
1. Roger Niello – the choice of the deceased Senator. Cox wrote Niello a $7800 check literally the day he died. Niello followed Cox up the ladder from Supervisor to Assembly and you’d assume that Cox had the 1st Senate district drawn for himself and also for his protege’ Niello. Rumor also has it that Doug Ose – who goes back 20+ years with Roger Niello is going to throw his considerable weight behind Niello.
Niello’s Achilles heel? He voted for the Feb 2009 budget with the largest tax increase in state history.
2. Ted Gaines – like Niello had a State Senate Campaign account open, with $500K in it already. Gaines is a Conservative who made the right endorsements from a Conservative perspective.
Gaines’ Achilles heel? There is a perception in insider circles that Gaines is distant and controlled by his staff. This perception started when Gaines made an abortive run for Congress in late 2007 after only having been in the Assembly for about 6-8 months.
Ted Gaines has also never run a competitive race. However, Doug LaMalfa had never run a competitive race and he smoked Rick Keene who outspent him… Gaines has the same political consultant that LaMalfa does.
3. Dan Logue – the proponent of Prop 23 whose Assembly District overlaps the 1st Senate district to the north of Ted Gaines Assembly District.
Dan Logue is the absolute WildCard. The notariety that he is getting and will be getting from going head-on against Arnold and the global warming cult should boost him substantially.
Dan Logue carries none of the baggage that either Ted Gaines or Roger Niello bring to the table. Dan Logue can also raise money – but can he raise enough to compete with the Niello establishment and the $500K head start of Ted Gaines?
Other names are being rumored – only because this is a special election with a different dynamic.
Right now – if I were Ted Gaines and Roger Niello, I would be on the phone trying to convince Dan Logue not to run.
As for this blogger – the headache of the 2010 cycle continues.
Blogger’s Note – Dave Cox was a statesman and a great man. He condolences to his family and staff in this difficult time –
please do not construe this blog post as anything other than an analysis of the political intrigue and a recitation of several insider conversations that Senator Cox’ untimely passing has brought on.