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2014 US Senate Recruits, Lets Go Get Them!

by: aas34

Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 16:10:59 PM EST

We cannot go another cycle with poor recruitment leading to horrible candidates. Therefore, lets not settle for B or C level recruits. I have tried looking for contact information for the candidates I think give us the best shot, so feel free to contact them.

Here are my choices:

1. Lousiana - Governor Bobby Jindal (

2. New Mexico - Governor Susana Martinez ( - message)

3. Virginia - Governor Bob McDonnell ( - message)

4. Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell (

5. Iowa - Governor Terry Branstad/Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds ( and

6. West Virginia - Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito (

7. Arkansas - Congressman Tim Griffin (

8. Minnesota - Congressman Erik Paulsen (

9. Colorado - Former Lt. Governor Jane Norton (

10. Michigan - Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land ( or - message)

11. Delaware - State Auditor Tom Wagner ( or

12. North Carolina - Former Carolina Panthers Safety Mike Minter (

He might be a stretch, but I've heard him speak publicly before and he has great potential and given the Demographic shift in NC, he could be of great benefit to us.

Others that are good, but I could not find any contact information:

1. South Dakota - Former Governor Mike Rounds

2. Montana - Former Governor Marc Racicot

3. New Hampshire - Former Senator John Sununu

4. Oregon - Former Senator Gordon Smith

5. New Jersey - Biotech Executive John Crowley

And the following seem like lost causes unless they become open seats:

1. Illinois

2. Massachusetts

3. Rhode Island

aas34 :: 2014 US Senate Recruits, Lets Go Get Them!
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A FS is our best recruit in NC?
I know we keep trying to get John Elway to run in CO but he's a Hall of Fame QB  

To be honest
I have no idea who are best recruit would be in NC. Tillis, McHenry, Ellmers, and now Dan Forest are being mentioned, but they all scare me. Hagan isn't anything special, but the four I mentioned might get shredded into pieces by her. Minter would be a fresh face, he's socially conservative, which could drive up his support during a mid-term and with no legislative record, he could go on the offensive.

I forgot about Elway, he would actually be our best choice in CO, but if he runs for anything I'm guessing it would be for governor.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Terri Land
I'll try and find out if she's interested next time I see her. I doubt she'd run against Levin.

I think she's a good candidate, but she's cautious and declined running a couple of times.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

That would be great
I doubt we would be competitive against Levin, so I'm assuming he retires.  

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
The guy raised like $300 last quarter. That's almost as good as a neon sign that says "I'm not running again."

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
I'll believe it when I see it
Levin's an institution. I think he'd be tough to beat spending $300. He's just there and has the unfortunately reputation here of simply "putting on his half glasses and rolling up his sleeves to work for Michigan." /eyeroll.

Personally, I think he and Dingell die in office.

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

[ Parent ]
I think Greg Walden might be open to run against Merkley
in Oregon

And you probably can cross off McDonnell (VA) and Jindal (LA)
I don't think they are running...

Governor Martinez (New Mexico) will likely run for Reelection.

She could be a potential VP Candidate for 2016.

[ Parent ]
Martinez for Gov. '14
She previously stated she would not be VP to Romney because she needs to take care of her sister in Las Cruces. So I'm quite sure she'll run for reelection and not Senate. If there's anything that will take her away from that, it would be president, and even then she'd have to be away from her family AND the Governorship for at least a year campaigning in IA, NH, etc.

20-Cubano, R, CA-38
City Commissioner, College Republican Club President

[ Parent ]
I doubt it would be the reason
She could care for her anywhere. Another person I like is Diana Duran.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Walden would be a good candidate
But he's almost certain to take the NRCC job, which would prevent him from running for Senate. Smith is our best bet here.

[ Parent ]
Gordon Smith (R-Montgomery County)
He's got himself a cushy job and is living in Maryland. I doubt he'd be up for it. How about that radiologist that Shamlet liked a lot who ran statewide?

[ Parent ]
Smith lives next door to Bill Marriott, retired CEO of Marriott Hotels and, yes, fellow Mormon.

More importantly, Smith had a son commit suicide a few years ago. I can't imagine what going through something like that would do to someone, but it would surely make holding public office seem less important.

[ Parent ]
Erik Paulsen?
Why in the world would you want to sacrifice the most promising member of the Minnesota delegation in what will be a rather uphill race against Al Franken? It's Ramstad or no one, in my opinion (and I don't see him wanting to run).

Uphill race against Franken?
The guy who barely won with 41% when Obama's coattails were as long as ever. MN is a swing state, and Paulsen can win. Plus I'm sure the gubernatorial race will be competitive, which will help someone like Paulsen.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Attn OGGoldy
Please respond to this.

Hate to break it to you but Mark Dayton is pretty popular.

[ Parent ]
I'm with you man
Paulsen would be stronger than any other Republicans, sans Ramstad, but he would be far from even money.

Also, it should be noted that no Republican has won against a living opponent in a senate race since 1-term wonder Rod Grams in 1994.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
MN a "Swing State"
Huh? We haven't won it since '72. Minnesota is one of those high floor/low ceiling places, like New Jersey.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
It was a D+2 state before and after the election

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
A low PVI does not make a state a swing state. A swing state actually has to swing under the correct circumstances.

[ Parent ]
Okay, you're right! Minnesota is just like Maryland and Massachusetts, I completely forgot
So, we should never contest another statewide office there.  

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
You're right, it's not Maryland or Massachusetts
They both voted for Reagan.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
But, since we're talking about senate races, Minnesota has actually had a Republican senator this century.  

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Obviously so did MA
But, I mean in a normal election, not a special.  

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't call running against a dead man "normal"
But hey, to each their own.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
OGGoldy, if Barack Obama won MN in 2008 by the same margin as he did in 2012, do you think Franken would have still won?

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
I do. Ticket splitting is a long and proud tradition in Minnesota. Look at Klobuchar vs. Obama support, or even look at legislative races. or the fact that Democrats have a congressman in a Romney district and Republicans have two congressmen in Obama districts.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Al Franken won by a few hundred votes
So if McCain had received several 10s of thousands more, that wouldn't have done the trick for Coleman?

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
I already answered this question
I honestly do not believe it would have mattered.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
You're harping on that
He wasn't running against a dead man. Paul Wellstone got 11,381 votes. Walter Mondale got 1,067,246.


Perhaps if he'd actually been running against a dead man, Coleman would've lost

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
They changed the ballots the weekend before the election
It isn't like Mondale had ANY sort of campaign structure. He raised no money, had no staff, and had no campaign HQ. For all intents and purposes, Coleman ran against noncandidate and still nearly lost.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
They didn't vote Wellstone, they voted Mondale
They got a ballot and they voted for their preferred candidate. They knew Mondale would take office if they voted for him, just as people in Missouri knew Jean Carnahan would take office if they voted for her late husband, who actually was on the ballot. While such a circumstance is tragic i don't see any advantage for a candidate who runs against a dead man when the electorate knows who they are really voting for.

An election that would actually fit with your theory was the LA County sheriff election in 1998. Sherman Block was favored to win and died days before the election. As a result, he lost by 23 points.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Argh, again
A Republican running in a federal election is most likely doomed in Minnesota. We'd be best off running Paulsen for governor next time there's an open seat.

[ Parent ]
Well, a lot depends on the political climate of Minnesota in 2014
Franken's approval rating in the September Star Tribune poll was 52/40.

[ Parent ]
Dayton Approvals
With approvals like this, I don't think we should sacrifice Paulsen and potentially MN-03 on an extremely uphill race against Mark Dayton.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
I doubt we lose MN-03.
If Democrats couldn't take it as an open seat in 2008, with Obama winning by double digits in Minnesota, how would they take it in 2014, after the six-year itch has set in against Obama, even if it is an open seat? Did Republicans weaken MN-03 significantly in redistricting?

I don't think we should run Paulsen against either Franken or Dayton unless they're looking weaker than they are right now, but I don't see how Democrats could over-perform here relative to 2008, unless the district has been changed.

male, social, fiscal and foreign policy center-right Republican, in but not of academia, VA-08.

[ Parent ]
Courts drew the districts in Minnesota, now Republicans
MN-3 was made slightly stronger for Paulsen by sending and arm into Chaska and Chanhassen, but the change was very minor overall. The thing with this district is it has a few swingy suburbs that can swing wildly like Hopkins, Edina and Minnetonka, and two of the biggest cities in the district Brooklyn Park and Bloomington are quite Democratic. This would be highly contested if Paulsen jumps ship.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Forget fmr. Sen. John Sununu
How about fmr. Gov. John Sununu? ;)

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at

I don't think Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
isn't all that vulnerable in two years. She was very popular Governor and is now a very popular Senator.

Given how things have gone in New Hampshire on Tuesday I doubt anyone is going to defeat her.

She's basically the Mark Warner of New Hampshire.

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't go that far
Shaheen is not very well respected by NH Republicans. Warner has a lot more bipartisan cred.

Baker '14
R, MA-3

[ Parent ]
As does Ayotte, I think
I would think the very most Shaheen could triumph by is 55-43. Which is still a lot, of course, but that's still not Mark Warner territory.

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at

[ Parent ]
Shaheen vs. Ayotte is an interesting hypothetical
In New Hampshire even moreso than elsewhere, it would depend on the year.

[ Parent ]
Couple of thoughts:
The number of sitting governors who would actually give up their job to run for senate is pretty small. Jindal has had opportunities in the past; I think he likes being an executive too much. Same for Martinez in NM. Parnell might do it; Branstad almost certainly won't. If we were going to run Paulsen in MN-Sen, I'd want to see Franken at or below 50 percent. In Oregon, the names I'm seeing mentioned for senate or governor are former co-speaker Bruce Hanna or state senator Jason Atkinson. Merkley was within single digits of both in PPP polling. Dudley and Smith aren't coming back. I forgot about Mike Minter, but not sure why you don't like Tillis; state speaker of the house, reasonably charismatic, self-funding potential. Tim Griffin: right on the money. It's too soon for Tom Cotton unfortunately (Incidentally, one of the guys I work for now was Tom Cotton's professor at one point). Mark Racicot is an interesting choice, but hasn't he been out of state for a while? Norton would be good in Colorado. If we could get John Suthers to run I think he could win, but he's taken a pass twice before. This might be Capito's year, but if not, McKinley could win. Rockefeller's coal comments make him very vulnerable IMO.  

male, social, fiscal and foreign policy center-right Republican, in but not of academia, VA-08.

Term Limits
A governor up against term limits would consider it. Bobby Jindal is term limited. He'll leave office in January 2016 regardless. If he wants to run for President in 2016 he won't run for senate. If he doesn't, then running for senate in 2014 makes sense.

Bob McDonnell will be out of office in January 2014. He can either wait to run for governor again in 2017 or run for senate.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure Jindal will run for President.
I doubt Cassidy would be stock-piling money for a senate run if he thought Jindal was in for senate in 2014.

Now, McDonnell is an open question in my mind; he might actually run for senate in 2014, if it looks like a great Republican year.  

male, social, fiscal and foreign policy center-right Republican, in but not of academia, VA-08.

[ Parent ]
Jindal will be 45 in 2016
So he has plenty of chances for the White House. He could decide against it. If he does decide to do it, the nomination is no sure thing and winning isn't either. The senate might be a good spot to be in that case.

You don't run for the senate because it looks like a good Republican year. You run because there's an opportunity. In 2008, I asked Steve Pearce why he'd give up a safe congressional seat to run against Heather Wilson in a grueling primary in a year that was going to be very difficult for a Republican to win. Without missing a beat he told me that being 1 of 100 is better than 1 of 435, and that senate seats don't open up often. So if there's an opportunity you grab it.

David Vitter probably isn't retiring any time soon, so 2014 is the time if Jindal wants the senate. If Mark Warner runs for governor, Bob McDonnell would surely face a candidate who isn't as formidable as Tim Kaine. He could choose to wait and see if he wants to run against Kaine in 2018 or run in 2014.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
most people generally think he will retire in 2016 if he doesn't run for Governor in '15.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Left Coast makes an excellent point
Regardless of what happens to Vitter it is his choice. This will be Jindal's only time to influence what happens, otherwise he will be dependent on the actions of others.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
I doubt Jindals top strategist would have gone to work for Cassidy without Jindal's OK and without knowing he'd be working on a top tier Senate campaign in 2014.  

Male, LA-01

Cassidy, Rounds, Ernst, Handel, Land for Senate!  

[ Parent ]
The GOP sould seek more non office holders to run in 2014

32, Male,NH, Conservative Republican , NH-CD02

You got stand for something or you will fall for anything"

Aaron Tippin

A word of advice for Republicans in Minnesota
Build the bench with politicians that can hold on in marginal seats other than in wave years. I feel that the more Tim Kellys and John Kriesels there are in the more socially moderate districts in the southern and eastern legislative districts will lead to more leaders like Kline, Ramstad, and Paulsen that can hold on to unfriendly districts. Pushing people like Pugh and Franson will lead to more underperformers like Bachmann.

As a Democrat, I honestly fear John Kriesel's political future. He chose to retire this year instead of run for reelection, but he is only 31, and is a powerful speaker with a compelling backstory. He is the kind of candidate that could lock down MN-2 long-term after Kline retires.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

NAY on Martinez for NM
A passionate NAY on that idea, please.

I want Martinez to stay as far away from the disaster we call Congress as possible. If she was to pursue a Presidential bid in 2016 (yes, please!), it would (a) take her immediately out of the running and (b) force her to cast uncomfortable votes for a majority (one can hope) and/or become associated with an institution that is viewed less favorable than almost anything.

She should stay put as governor, imho.  

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

Agreed completely
I suspect she'll basically cruise in her next re-election effort and, by 2015, she might well actually look more attractive a presidential nominee than Rubio, who, to be perfectly frank, hasn't done a whole lot in the Senate.

Honestly, at this super-early point, looking at the likeliest 2016 contenders, Martinez might be my favorite.  

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at

[ Parent ]
Martinez, Jindal or one of the boring but compitent midwestern governors.
Rubio--who has pretty much kept a low profile but gained some foreign policy chops in the senate--would make a heck of a VP nominee. Honestly though, I wouldn't be surprised to see him make a career in the senate.  

male, social, fiscal and foreign policy center-right Republican, in but not of academia, VA-08.

[ Parent ]
I doubt she has presidential ambitions, but if she does...
I would like Diana Duran to run.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't mind her stick around in NM for a while even byeond then
If I had to pick a state where Republicans would be best-equipped to start chipping away Hispanic votes, it would be NM.  And having an extremely popular Hispanic Governor of New Mexico is a great starting point for that.  I think it was extrapolated that she ran even with Hispanics in her 2010 governor race, and she has high approvals ratings with them in every poll.

If she wanted to, she could run for re-election in 2014 and then challenge Heinrich for his Senate seat in 2018.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-14

Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"

[ Parent ]

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