Who is the Matthew Rinaldo of the new generation – Michael Doherty or Jon Bramnick?
Rinaldo, the pro-labor Republican who always carried Elizabeth during his ten terms in Congress, spent two decades on short lists for statewide office – Governor in 1977, 1981, 1989 and 1993, and U.S. Senate in 1982 and 1988 – but was never able to pull the trigger; among political insiders, that became part of his legacy.
The same thing seems to be happening with Doherty, who publicly flirted with bids for Congress in 2002, Governor in 2005, U.S. Senate in 2006, State Senate in 2007 (against Leonard Lance in the GOP primary), and U.S. Senate in 2008. How long will it take for his name to stop appearing on short lists?
Bramnick’s spin that he can’t run for Congress because he just became Assembly Minority Whip is not entirely credible. Most statehouse observers know that being the #3 man in the Republican leadership of the lower house is not exactly a powerful post. And you have to wonder why Bramnick had this great epiphany on Monday night – hours after Mike Ferguson decided to leave Congress – and not over the last four months that he has reportedly been mulling a bid for the United States Senate.