Republican House Minority Leader Rep. Larry Cafero is putting together an exploratory committee to run for an unspecified statewide office in 2010. Just which office he’s interested in is unknown. Said Cafero:
“I say that with the expectation — with the hope — that Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele run for re-election. And I want to be on the ballot with them. It’s my complete expectation and hope they are renominated and elected for those offices.” (Lockhart)
Cafero would not say whether he’d run for governor should Rell not run.
Why form an exploratory committee? Cafero explains it himself in the article, but the upshot is that he can raise (and spend) more money over a longer period of time before declaring his intentions. He may not like public financing, but he apparently does know how to use it to his advantage.
So what position would Cafero be running for? Public financing might help Republicans seeking one of the constitutional offices, but it would still be a difficult race should he run for comptroller, for instance, or attorney general. Recent Republican campaigns for those offices have been lackluster at best. The current secretary of the state is (probably) running for governor, so there may be an open seat there–though it would certainly still be an uphill climb. He has ruled out running for treasurer, because of the specific fundraising requirements there.
What about governor or lieutenant governor? If Gov. Rell is running, and Lt. Gov. Fedele is her running mate in 2010, then neither of those offices are options. But what if one or both of those things aren’t true? Maybe Cafero knows something we don’t. Or perhaps it’s just a prudent move.
Something to keep an eye on, to be sure.
Lockhart, Brian. “