To run or not to run? That is still Sharpe James’ question

The first act of the prolonged political drama over Sharpe James’ intentions finally ended on Monday with an announcement that he would not seek re-election to a sixth term as Mayor. But the second act — about James’ plan to seek re-election to his 29th district State Senate seat in 2007 — could extend until after the April ’07 filling deadline. James’s re-election to the Senate is hardly automatic, especially if Cory Booker wins the mayoral election. James won 56% of the vote in the ’03 Democratic Senate primary against City Councilman Luis Quinana, a Booker ally with continued interest in the Senate seat. Ronald Rice, who has been the State Senator from the 28th district since 1986, is running against Booker for Mayor. If he loses, many Democrats believe that the Booker faction will attempt to take Rice out of the Senate next year. Rice won a 2001 primary against former Assembly Minority Leader Willie Brown with 54% of the vote, and prevailed in his 1997 primary against Larry Brown with 53%.

To run or not to run? That is still Sharpe James’ question