The two Democrats vying to become House majority leader next year are courting Democratic candidates likely to win in November, hoping to reach out early to those who may one day have a say in their promotion. Rival Reps. Steny Hoyer (MD) and Jack Murtha (PA) have been discreetly raising the issue with candidates, even as they campaign to ensure that Democrats will win control of the House, without which their contest for the majority leader post cannot take place.This isn't exactly startling news. Part of the reason why party leaders campaign for candidates is so that the leaders can call in those markers for everything from leadership positions to legislative battles.
"I am sure Mr. Murtha is a fine person, but Congressman Hoyer came out to my district, held a fundraiser for me. He met with the press. He’s been a mentor for questions, a coach, essentially a father figure," said a Democratic candidate in a competitive race who asked to remain anonymous. The candidate went on to suggest that Murtha’s position on Iraq made him too polarizing for the district. "I have an incredible respect for [Murtha’s] service background, but in regard to the war, I’m trying to give my own presentation."His position on the war is what's thrust Murtha into the national spotlight but that's only one of the things that PA-12 voters are taking into consideration this fall. Other things that they aren't happy about are (a) Murtha's attempt to convict the Marines who were attacked while patrolling Haditha; (b) Murtha's voting against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act and (c) Murtha voting against securing the Mexican border. Each of those issues will be given by PA-12 voters for firing John Murtha this November.
The Democrats will lose seats this November but losing Murtha's seat will sting just as much as Daschle's defeat in 04.
Technorati: Election 2006, Murtha, Patriot Act, Illegal Immigration
Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog