Word is Rep. Joe Parisi (D-Madison) is pondering a run for Dane County Executive.
Although he will unlikely declare until after the fall election, Parisi, who has represented parts of East Madison, Monona and McFarland (district map) for three terms and served as county clerk for eight years before, has long had his eye on the position currently occupied by Kathleen Falk, whose resignation caught him and many other county executive aspirants by surprise.
On paper there are certainly some advantages to a Parisi candidacy. While he may lack the support among County Board Supervisors that McDonell has, he has also had to campaign against real opponents in recent years, and has name recognition in more conservative parts of the county. McDonell only received several hundred votes in his last election -- his opponent was "Onion" candidate Dennis Denure.
A disadvantage for Parisi is that he must now concentrate on his Assembly re-election campaign, and will not have as much time to campaign for the county executive position.
Another rumor is that Brett Davis, in light of his unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor, may consider the county executive position as well. A candidate who has a proven record of winning races as a Republican in a traditionally Democratic district could give hopes to county conservatives.
While I continue to think McDonell's popularity among his colleagues, as well as among the dedicated progressives who vote regularly in Spring elections makes him a formidable candidate, I should not have so soon jumped to conclusion's about the success of his candidacy last night. I should have known better.