Scott delays decision on Senate run. Still considering a challenge to Kaine
Rep. Bobby Scott, the lone prominent Virginia democrat still considering a run for the U.S. Senate said today that he will hold off on making a final decision on a possible run. Scott had set early July for a target date on jumping in or out, but in a statement released Friday afternoon, the Newport News congressman said he hasn’t had the opportunity to examine the pros and cons of a statewide run.
“This Senate election will be held next year, and there is no historical urgency to announce a candidacy in the year before an election,” Scott said.
He pointed to a busy calendar on Capitol Hill that has distracted him from focusing on politics. He said that jumping into a competitive statewide campaign for office would take him away from issues he feels are unresolved.
“(There are) many critical issues that require immediate time and attention that cannot be ignored,” Scott said. “Furthermore, on many of these issues, the Congressional discussion is focused more on the political implications of alternatives, rather than the best interests of our nation; a statewide campaign would only compound that problem.”
If Scott did decide to get in, he would face a difficult road. The popular former governor, Tim Kaine has been in the race since the early spring and has been campaigning full-time since. Kaine has the support of much of the Virginia democratic party establishment. In his statement, Scott conceded the longer he waits, the more difficult it will be to jump in.
“I recognize that delaying the decision may result in those already in the race being able to build insurmountable leads, making a later entry unfeasible,” he said.
Most political insiders think Scott will ultimately decide to run for re-election, but there are some vociferous liberal democrats who are rooting for Scott to jump in the race for Senate. Kaine’s somewhat moderate record could make him vulnerable in a primary and Scott is a credible liberal alternative. However, despite his lengthy experience, Scott has never been forced to raise the money and create the infrastructure necessary for a statewide campaign. Those are things Kaine has done successfully two different times.
So we will continue to wait. This time without a specific timeline.
Scott’s full statement on a potential run for the Senate can be found after the jump.
Scott delays decision on U S Senate Race.
US Rep Robert C. “Bobby” Scott announced today that he is delaying a decision on a possible campaign for the U. S. Senate seat now held by retiring Senator Jim Webb. “Earlier this year, I set July 1st as the day I would announce whether or not I would seek the Democratic nomination for the U. S. Senate in 2012. Today I am delaying that decision,” Scott said.
Scott explained that a statewide campaign is a full-time commitment, making it impossible to focus on any pending legislation. There are, however, many critical issues that require immediate time and attention that cannot be ignored. Furthermore, on many of these issues, the Congressional discussion is focused more on the political implications of alternatives, rather than the best interests of our nation; a statewide campaign would only compound that problem.
Some of the issues Scott listed as requiring immediate attention included:
Budget: We need to increase the debt ceiling to avoid catastrophic economic consequences, and we need to adopt a fiscally responsible Budget that meets the needs of our nation. We also need to expose the fraud in the so-called “Balanced Budget Amendment” – it not only fails to require a balanced budget, it actually makes reducing the deficit more difficult and jeopardizes Social Security and Medicare.
Education: The Committee on Education and the Workforce is in the process of reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and reforming “No child Left Behind”.
Criminal Justice: As the Ranking member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, in addition to debating all of the other criminal justice issues, Rep Scott will be advocating Juvenile Justice Reform by sponsoring the Youth PROMISE Act and working to improve student safety at our Colleges and Universities by sponsoring the CAMPUS Safety Act.
Military issues: Rep Scott continues his work in support of veterans, shipbuilding and military installations in Hampton Roads. Rep Scott has also been working to have Fort Monroe designated as a National Park.
Redistricting: The Virginia General Assembly is in the process of redrawing the Congressional Districts; the Third Congressional District may be significantly altered.
“This Senate election will be held next year, and there is no historical urgency to announce a candidacy in the year before an election. When the election for this Senate seat was last held, Senator Webb announced his candidacy in February of the election year (2006), and this was even before his Democratic primary opponent who announced in April. I recognize that delaying the decision may result in those already in the race being able to build insurmountable leads, making a later entry unfeasible. It is important, however, to focus on many critical issues at this time, without the ongoing distraction of a statewide campaign. Ultimately, my decision will rest on how best I can serve my fellow Virginians.”