Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Rants is wrong about fallout from a Roberts bid

Last week in Sioux City I had the chance to talk with a state representative from there, Christopher Rants, a Republican who is considering running for governor.

It's quite possible that Rants could face State Rep. Rod Roberts, R-Carroll, and many other GOP candidates in what promises to be a crowded gubernatorial primary field as the party works to redefine itself in the wake of a 2008 thrashing. Roberts is mulling his own Terrace Hill bid.

Rants applied the expected niceties to his fellow Republican, calling Roberts a swell fella and holding true to Ronald Reagan's famous 11th commandment: Never speak ill of another Republican.

But Rants told me a Roberts announcement for governor would open the door for Democrats to run for his House seat, that if Roberts entered the primary, and lost, voters here wouldn't be accommodating and send him back to the Legislature.

I'll be direct: Rants is wrong.

First, I have heard no rumblings about a Democratic contender for Roberts' seat.

Both Roberts and State Sen. Steve Kettering, R-Lake View, ran unopposed in their last races in districts in which Carroll is the dominant city. This is an embarrassment for the local Democratic Party.

Voters in Carroll should have no problem giving Roberts a chance to run in a gubernatorial primary next summer and keep his name up for re-election to the House should he fall short with his greater ambition.

The truth is voters probably won't have a choice. I'll be surprised if a viable Democrat steps forward even though there are several highly qualified potential candidates here.

This appeared in Carroll Daily Times Herald.

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