The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Since When Is Filling House Vacancies Optional?


This sentence makes no sense:

Multiple Democratic sources now confirm that party chairs decided Monday night that Matthew Zeller is their candidate should a special election to replace Rep. Eric Massa take place.

“Should”? How about “when”?

If they don’t hold a special election, this corner of New York state goes unrepresented in the House of Representatives for three-quarters of a year.

It’s expensive? The cost is put at $700,000, in a state with a proposed budget of $134 billion in 2010. Boy, that would have made a hell of a rallying cry at Omaha Beach. “Remember, boys, we’re fighting for democracy, representative government, and free elections, unless, you know, it’s expensive.”

Look, if Zeller looked like a sure winner for the Democrats, David Paterson could probably set up a special election in a manner that breaks land speed records. Instead, Republican Tom Reed looked like a strong candidate before anybody had heard Massa’s tales of shower showdowns and office tickle-fights, and he obviously looks like he’s got a good shot in a special election. After two special elections in New York state since January 2009, suddenly the state’s Democrats aren’t all that eager to see an empty House seat get filled.

Tags: Barack Obama , Horserace , Joe Biden , John McCain , Mitt Romney , Rudy Giuliani , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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