Here's yet another look at the races in 2007.
Another high-profile potential candidate, Attorney General Greg Stumbo, said yesterday he won't seek the Democratic nomination if Chandler gets into the race. He noted that he and Jones share a similar philosophy on the key issue of expanded gambling.If you take out the baggage with Stumbo, he would look like a good candidate but you have to factor in his being close to Jerry Lundergan. I am in favor of expanded gambling in Kentucky and my support will not decrease no matter who is in office.
"Jones is telling people he probably won't run, but is interested, like me, in expanded gambling," Stumbo said.[...]
Chandler, widely seen as the Democrats' front-runner should he decide to make the race, had said he was more likely to remain in Congress if the Democrats take control of the U.S. House, as they did last week. He said he plans to think over his options between now and Thanksgiving. Jones and he have agreed not to run against each other, he said.
State Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Lundergan said his party "still has a strong bench of potential candidates," including these "five major players": Jones, Stumbo, Henry, House Speaker Jody Richards of Bowling Green and Louisville businessman Charlie Owen.
"I'd like to get all these people together and try to work something out," Lundergan said.
Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith and Otis Hensley Jr. of Harlan have also said they expect to run as Democratic candidates.
Stumbo said he hopes to make a decision by early December.
Henry said he will officially announce his candidacy soon, and that his wife, former Miss America Heather French Henry, will serve in his administration for only $1 a year.
McBrayer, who ran for governor in 1979, said he has been working for months to get people such as Luallen, Abramson, Chandler or Jones to run. "With Crit and Jerry out of the picture, this compels me to give a more serious look at whether I should run," he said. "I have not ruled it out."
Louisville's Conway, who narrowly lost a race for Congress in 2002 to Republican Anne Northup, said he will now "step up and look at the race." Conway said he would support a run by Chandler and would be "happy to talk about supporting" Jones.
Conway was candid about his own hurdles, saying he would need the support of party leaders and would have to work quickly to have any chance of raising enough money to run a viable campaign.
Senator Chuck Schumer did get a leadership position in the new Democratic caucus.
Congressman-elect Brad Ellsworth placed his vote for Congressman Steny Hoyer.
Ellsworth announced his choice for Hoyer in a press release sent Wednesday after he and two other incoming Democratic congressman held a news conference with Sen. Evan Bayh.
Bayh embraced Indiana's three new Democratic congressmen and wished aloud that in 2008, the Democrats would win the White House.
"As Indiana goes, so goes the nation," he said.
Brad Ellsworth, Baron Hill and Joe Donnelly praised Bayh, too, with Ellsworth saying Bayh called and encouraged him "when I was at my lowest in a campaign."
They mostly stood in the background, however, as Bayh faced question after question about the war in Iraq.
Bayh said he thinks the idea of carving up Iraq into three countries will lead to worse ethnic cleansing. That's a plan put forward by Sen. Joe Biden, who will replace Sen. Richard Lugar as head of the Foreign Relations Committee.
The power to save Iraq lies only with the factions in that country, not with American soldiers, Bayh said.