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Posts published in “Day: April 9, 2006”

Contest to none

Maybe this is one of those occasions when it might have been as well if the competition hadn't gone away.

The case in point is the congressional contest in Idaho's 2nd district, where two Democrats - Craig Cooper and Jim Hansen - filed to run against Republican incumbent Mike Simpson, who is unopposed in his own primary.

This has been a friendly race, like the contest among the Democrats in Oregon's 2nd. The two candidates have gotten along well, have traveled to events together and haven't torn each other down. There's a distinct plus to this as well: Because there's a contest, there's something for voters and prospective voters to pay attention to. There are debates and televised appearances, giving them more visibility than would have been the case without a contest.

The contest is going away. Craig Cooper, a Idaho National Laboratory scientist who opted in early, said this weekend he was dropping out in favor of Hansen. (See the details on The Political Game blog.)

From his standpoint, you can understand it. The viewpoints of the two appear to be generally aligned, and Hansen, a former state legislator whose life work for more than a decade has been in organizing social causes, is better known and positioned. And probably would have won the contest. (Cooper's website, by the way, does not yet note the withdrawal.)

He did Hansen a considerable service, though, staying in as long as he did. A run for Congress these days by a Democrat in Idaho's 2nd is awfully tough, but this kind of contest probably lightened the load a bit.