Paul McKinley dropped out of the governor's race today to focus on next year's Iowa Senate elections. His move made sense, because the Iowa Senate Republican caucus has never been smaller than the current 18 members. With 19 Senate Democrats and only 6 Republicans up for re-election in 2010, the GOP is almost bound to make some gains.
My question is, why did McKinley wait so long to make this announcement? Although he promised in July to "aggressively explore" a gubernatorial campaign, McKinley failed to turn up in most places you'd expect to find potential Republican candidates. In fact, Craig Robinson wrote last month,
McKinley's indecisiveness since announcing his gubernatorial campaign hasn't just sunk any aspirations he may have for higher office in the future, but it might also have impacted his effectiveness as the Senate Republicans' chief fundraiser, recruiter, and strategist. With McKinley not devoting his full attention to his gubernatorial campaign and not having communicated his progress in advancing the Republican cause in his current position, one might question if he is the right person to lead Republicans in the State Senate.
What do you think, Bleeding Heartland readers? Will some other Senate Republican (say, Merlin Bartz) challenge McKinley's position in the upper chamber? Or will meaningless gestures like McKinley's "state sovereignty resolution" pacify his GOP critics?