The next two years of the state Senate are going to be marked by gridlock and division. But after that Rodney Tom is up for reelection. And I can’t believe that in the wake of his Senate shenanigans, that Rodney Tom plans on getting reelected. When he switched parties the first time it was for an election and everyone knew where he stood going forward. It was also a product of the district becoming more Democratic.
The district has continued to become more Democratic since 2006, and I just don’t see a majority of his constituents are backing him up on his giving the GOP control. So if he runs for reelection again, you’ve got to think he’ll lose.
Now maybe I’m reading the tea leaves wrong; It’s been known to happen. Maybe he thinks he can — and maybe he can — win reelection in an off year with a more conservative electorate. Still the party will go after him something fierce, and it’s a Democratic district. And even if he can get reelected, if the Democrats or the Republicans gain seats elsewhere, he’s still going to be sidelined. Maybe he doesn’t plan to run again, and this is him going out on top.
But still, I wonder if he’s thinking of greener pastures. I wonder if he’s planning to run for Congress.
Now, I know that sounds wrong, but hear me out: I assume he’s still in the 1st district. And we know he wants to be in Congress since he has run before. So maybe he thinks he can present himself as a moderate alternative to DelBene (never mind that she’s quite moderate herself).
I think it would go one of two ways: if the GOP are willing to clear the deck for him, he runs as an R. He hopes to get moderate Democratic votes (again DelBene should get moderate Dem votes since she’s a moderate Democrat) and all the Republican ones. If the GOP lets whoever run, he hopes there are a lot of Republicans and runs as a Democrat hoping to squeak through the top two and then in the general get all the Republican votes and some confused Democrats.
It’s a long shot, and DelBene still has the advantages of incumbency, a lot of her own money to spend if it gets close, and the qualities that got her elected in the first place. But I can’t imagine Rodney Tom sticking around the legislature.