Saturday, October 08, 2005

   This post of mine begs the question: exactly how strong are party organizations on the congressional district level? The answer:not very. A coalition of elected officials and other party leaders from the district yield influence in finding an establishment candidate for the US House, in the event of a vacant seat or vulnerable incumbent. That is far from the case in the 10th. The 10th century Dems, in that respect, are none too far behind their counterparts in other districts: ensconced incumbents rarely attract viable opponents. Candidates for other offices are effectively slated(in the sense of acquiring establishment backing) by legislative leaders or local consensus.
   Some CD-level organizations are rife with internal turmoil. Committeeman Bill Dam of the 8th and the RALC(who would be better known as the Republican Assembly of the 8th District, they seem to have yet to realize that part of Lake County is in the 10th)enjoy an antagonistic relationship with State Rep. Mark Beaubien, among other local moderates.
   As we said here, Porter's retirement in 2000 found the 10th district Dems at a critical juncture. I hate to make it seem like 20 years of representation come down to a Kenny Rogers lyric, but they had to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. With Lauren Beth Gash's defeat, they chose the latter-at least for the foreseeable feature.
   If the Democrats of the 10th are trying to reprise the success of their counterparts to the Northwest, they haven't found their Melissa Bean. Here's to hoping they don't.

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