A lot is being made out of one state house race in district 62. Is it really Pat Marsh Versus Ty Cobb on the ballot or the new state Republican leadership of Chris Devaney Vs. Robin Smith and Bill Hobbs that is up for a vote?
Some could say the two races are the same.
Former state party chair Robin Smith and Media man Bill Hobbs took a bunch of unknown, underfunded Republican candidates in a hugely down Republican year and won a (Temporary as it was) Republican majority for the first time ever. Shocking, unbelievable, yet hugely effective.
Robin and Bill never missed an opportunity to tout their candidates talking points as well as point out flaws in the oppositions viewpoints in creative ways. They were masters at it. They could strike and move like Muhammad Ali. They motivated the base, informed, schooled and guided candidates away from pitfalls, created a great campaign plan and kept everyone fired up all the way to victory. It wasn't just talk and adds. They were willing to work it. Robin was well known as a warrior at the clubs and rallies, she did the hard work that helped get us 4 seat.
With Robin Smith stepping aside to go for a congressional seat, it is now time for the Devaney administrations turn. Chris came in with a lot of expectations to live up to. The party's "old guard" went to the mat to get him the position. They were tired of the Smith and Hobbs attack machine and wanted someone more in their image. More reserved and laid back, less confrontational, more moderate and willing to coalition build. Out went the Smith and Hobbs machine in one fell swoop. Back in came the old guard with Devaney.
A lot is riding on this race as far as Devaneys credibility goes. One thing promised by the old guard was the building of a solid house majority coming out of 2010. While Robin did "OK" just wait and see what Devaney could do. This could be a bell weather for him and his leadership.
Devaney has a great well funded candidate in Pat Marsh. Probably better funded then any Republican state house candidate in my memory. Pat is sharp, willing to work and an all round nice guy. It is a Republican leaning district that went huge for McCain. It is a hugely Up Republican, down Democrat year and Democrats don't traditionally come out in special elections. All Marsh needs is guidance.
His opponent is and has been a pinata looking for a baseball bat. Dodging debates, questionable ability to serve and just riding on family name.
This time the Dems don't have the money or the candidate but they are not sitting back. They have worked hard at turning the tables on Republicans. They have struck and moved like we used to. They touted this race at their events and on their website like no other and featured Ty Cobb like he was the second coming. They are working it.
This is a golden opportunity for Republicans to put number 51 in the bank. An easy pick up with a little work and creativity. A lot is riding on this election and yes, it is more then Marsh vs. Cobb.
It is to show if Devaney can keep the mo' going.
What will happen?
We will see on Tuesday night.