Hodes, Carnahan In
It looks like what we will get from the Gregg appointment is a firm commitment from the most popular figure in New Hampshire politics to run for the seat.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes will announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate “within the week,” a source close to Hodes told UnionLeader.com this morning shortly before Judd Gregg's nomination as commerce secretary became official.
The developments surrounding that surprising appointment by President Obama “has sped up his timeline and he will make a formal announcement within the week,” the source said.
“We are working on the necessary paperwork,” the source said. “We were not expecting this.”
Carol Shea-Porter, who has a great story, may run as well, but Hodes has a solid record and in the Senate would rival Sheldon Whitehouse as a leader and a conscience. He's strong on Constitutional issues in particular.
Hodes probably would have run anyway and defeated Gregg, but this makes it much easier for him to jump in. Maybe this appointment was what he needed to announce.
In other Senate campaign news, current Secretary of State Robin Carnahan will announce in Missouri for that open seat, and I think she'll be favored to win. I had the opportunity to speak with her at the DNC Convention and found her to be great, although we confined our talk to election issues.
Prospects for a filibuster-proof majority, in 2010, got better today.