Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The More the Merrier
The democratic field for goveror has skyrocketed to two. Yes two. Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith is in and now Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is, too. Oh, they're around, just not ready to announce just yet. The former State Treasurer under Gov. Jim Blanchard was in the state last week. Bob Bowman met with Wayne County Executive Bobby Ficano and who knows how many others. House Speaker Andy Dillon told Nolan Finaly that he would announce by the end of the month with a million smackers in his coffers. Then there is Dan Kildee out of Genesee County and Denise Ilitch who still ponder what to do. The good news for Dillon is, the more the merrier and ditto for Ms. Smith. Smith, the veteran legislator and former candidate for both governor and lt. governor, is the only female in the field. If she could, she would recruit about ten more guys to get in. That would increase her chances of using her female base to win the nomination while the men divided up the rest of the vote. Dillon also benefits from a larger field, too, if you buy the popular wisdom that a lot of organized labor will go for someone else. Do the math. If it's a two-person fight, and 50% of labor's vote goes to Dillon's opponent, Dillon loses. But if four or five candidates divide the labor vote, not one of them can get to 50%, and Dillon's 20% or 30% of the vote could result in his victory. On the GOP side where the field has been stable for months, it is West Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra who wants everyone to stay put. As long as the two Mikes from southeast Michigan remain in the hunt, Hoekstra has a better stab at winning. But if either Mike Cox or Mike Boucahard somehow take a powder, than the person who remains, will get the bulk of the powerful southeast Michigan vote which makes it tougher for Hoekstra to use his west Michigan base to win. Back on the D side, look for the wanna-bees to fish or cut bait by the end of this month.