One third of the U.S. Senate is up for election next year. The election is 18 months away, but already - as with the presidential race - there's the sense that this is a landmark event. Democrats now hold a bare majority, but that will likely change next fall. Of the 33 seats up for a vote, only 12 are now held by Democrats. The rest are held by Republicans, and they're feeling vulnerable in a nation hungry for change.
Here in Idaho, we have a sitting senator who doesn't know whether he wants to keep his job and won't decide until later this year. We have two big-name Republicans waiting to see what he does, and another single-issue Republican whose candidacy has already flamed out. Then we have a local politician in the Treasure Valley who this week told the Idaho Statesman that he may run, but he's not sure under which party banner.
One person knows what he wants, and it's Larry LaRocco. The former 1st District congressman announced his candidacy last month, and he's resolute on what needs to be done: We need to help 250,000 uninsured Idahoans find health care. We need a new direction in Iraq. We need broad educational opportunities for everyone in our state. We need to take care of our veterans. We need alternative energy sources, both to cut our dependence on foreign oil and turbo-charge economic development. And we need to end deficit spending and quit passing on our national debts to our children. (See more in Larry's op-ed at the Idaho State Journal.)
I'm pleased to say I've signed on to help kickstart the LaRocco for Senate campaign, focusing on Internet outreach and communications. Larry faces great challenges in this race. But one fact about LaRocco that isn't widely known, especially among our state's newer residents: In 1992, running for his second term in Congress, Larry won every county in the 1st District and he racked up a 50,000-vote margin. He has what it takes to win. It didn't happen last year, but it will happen in 2008, as Idahoans choose the candidate who will bring accountability back to Washington, D.C. I look forward to helping.
One caveat, as with my role in the Larry Grant campaign last year: My writing here at Red State Rebels represents my own views and not necessarily those of the LaRocco for Senate campaign.
Cross-posted, with some additional commentary, at Daily Kos.