(Chuck Muth) – There was one question in particular that I held out to candidate John Chachas during the Nevada GOP primary campaign for U.S. Senate that the man never satisfactorily answered.
Yes, he was very smart. Yes, he was well-informed. Yes, he had expertise in financial matters. Yes, he had a strong grasp of foreign affairs. Yes, he had enough of his own money to cause people to take his campaign seriously. Yes, he’d have made an excellent U.S. Senator.
But why, if you’ve live and worked in New York for the last 28 years, why not run for the U.S. Senate in New York instead of Nevada?
I think we all know the answer to that question: Because running for statewide office in little Nevada is cheaper than running for statewide office in big New York.
But it’s a shame Chachas didn’t bite the bullet and run from his own state instead of ours. As John Fund of the Wall Street Journal noted yesterday, New York Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to her seat and has never faced a statewide election.
“Despite having held office for 18 months, the latest Quinnipiac Poll gives her no more than 45% of the vote against any of three possible GOP opponents,” Fund writes. “She holds a comfortable lead only because many New Yorkers have heard little or nothing about the GOP candidates.
“Nonetheless,” Fund continues, “a full 39% of New York voters haven’t heard enough about Ms. Gillibrand to form an opinion about her either. In a volatile, anti-liberal incumbent year, anything can happen.”
Fund concludes by noting that whoever wins Tuesday’s GOP primary in New York will be at a significant financial disadvantage against Gillibrand, but “she’s on the wrong side of key issues for many voters, just last week claiming she has no regrets about her support for the TARP bailout of financial institutions in 2008.”
Which means that with Chachas’ money, resume and connections, he would have been in a uniquely strong position to not only win the New York GOP primary, but in this political environment, perhaps even pull off a Scott Brown-like upset in the general.
Ah, what mighta been.