CD 10: 2008 or 2010?
With Sen. Charlie Justice's semi-announcement that he wants to run for Bill Young's seat - but that he is certain to get in only if Young retires - brings up the question of timing.
No one wants to run against an incumbent Congressman, but are there other factors that make running now a better bet than running later?
Assuming this to be a question of 2008 or 2010, let's take a look.
Even though Young is waffling on this - no doubt torn between a clear desire to get out of the game and constant phone calls from NRCC chair Tom Cole, begging him not to retire - any examination of 2008 has to assume that Young will run for re-election.
Conversely, an honest examination of 2010 says that Young will be gone. If he doesn't retire next year, he will certainly not stand for re-election in 2010. Right now, he has spent less than a year as part of the minority. In 2010, not only will be be three years old, he will have spent three years in the minority. This is not something a master of Congressional pork, like Bill Young, will relish.
This all seems to point towards waiting for Young to retire - which means assuming a run in 2010, rather than 2008.
But there are other factors.
All signs point towards the tenth congressional district going for a Democrat in the presidential contest, meaning that 2008 will bring some coattails. In 2010, on the other hand, Crist will be up for re-election and will likely win this seat in his bid. For those saying, "but in 2008, might not Crist be on the Republican ticket," I say to you, "not a chance in h---."
Were the rumors about his orientation not enough to scuttle his odds, someone like Giuliani, a man who has been divorced twice - once from his second cousin - simply cannot afford a bachelor like Crist, whose recent dating choices have been suspect, at best.
So - in 2008, the Democrat is more likely to run against an incumbent, but will have the political winds from the top of the ticket blowing in his or her direction. In 2010, the opposite will true.
For Charlie Justice, there is also the factor that he is up re-election in 2010 and will have to choose, but in 2008, fresh off his upset victory over Kim Berfield, he has no such problem.