Wednesday, November 02, 2005

 

Konop downplays his candidacy for Oxley seat

From the Blade:
Mr. Konop, who moved into Mr. Oxley’s district in late 2003 to run against him, has since moved back to Toledo to practice law. He said the congressman’s departure could provide an opportunity for Democrats to capture his seat.

“I am optimistic today because I think his retirement gives the 4th Congressional District the opportunity to have fresh and vigorous representation, which has been sorely lacking during his tenure in office,” Mr. Konop said.

Asked if he would consider moving back into the district for another campaign, Mr. Konop replied, “Honestly, I like where I am right now. This is my home. I was born and raised in Lucas County.”

Mr. Oxley said he has no plans for what he’ll do after he leaves office in early 2007, but Mr. Konop made a prediction. “My guess is Oxley will get a very well-paid lobbying job in Washington, D.C., and be able to play a lot of golf,” he said.
The story also had some interesting comments from the Mansfield Mayor. As we have commented elsewhere, Oxley's big key to re-election was constituent services such as protecting area business, military-related services and highway construction (U.S. Rt. 30). So, the observations and perceptions of the mayor of a large city in this district is very important.
Mansfield Mayor Lydia Reid, a Democrat, credits him with saving her city’s Air National Guard base from being shut down during this year’s round of Pentagon cutbacks.

“I think it was due to his clout in Washington,” Ms. Reid said. “He worked very hard for us.”

. . .

The state’s Republican Party has been rocked this year by ethics and financial scandals, including Toledo-area coin dealer Tom Noe’s indictment last week on charges of laundering money to President Bush’s re-election campaign. Mr. Oxley said the state party’s troubles played no part in his decision to retire, but Ms. Reid isn’t so sure of that.

“Last time was the first time he’s had any real opposition,” she said. “Maybe he saw the handwriting on the wall, with all the problems. … Time to get out while you can. Certainly, after a sterling career like his, he wouldn’t want to go down to defeat.”
We still think this is a winnable district. It's got a good blue-collar/union mix. It's an area devastated by manufacturing losses. The Lima area is still pissed off about a prison closing. Many of the sons and daughters in that area are serving in Iraq. There are many folks in the district also concerned about hanging on to their Social Security as well as tax deductions for their mortgages. Opportunities abound! Who is going to step up to the plate?

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