Well, this should be interesting:
Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) announced Tuesday that he will officially challenge Sen. Mark Begich (D) in 2014, transitioning from an exploratory committee to a full-fledged campaign.
“This intense exploratory effort has convinced me that I have the support necessary to build a winning campaign,” Treadwell said on his Web site. “Today I’m taking the next step by announcing that I will not seek re-election as Alaska’s lieutenant governor and have begun to file documents required as a candidate for the United States Senate in 2014.”
(More via Roll Call) Lt. Governor is a good get; Treadwell was elected in 2010 and Sean Parnell isn’t going anywhere, any time soon, so this is a good lateral move for the Lt. Governor.
As for the race: Treadwell starts off trailing Begich, which you should probably expect to hear from every Democratic operative who is suddenly panicky at the thought that Joe Miller might not be the Republican nominee. They will also probably talk up Miller, for more or less that very reason. I am not passing judgement on either man, but I can’t help but notice when the Democrats prefer one Republican candidate to another, and a large part of their strategy for Alaska assumes Joe Miller as being Begich’s opponent.
Guess we’ll see. On a larger note: whether or not you think that one man or the other makes for the better GOP candidate, the fact that a freshman Democratic Senator is getting an opponent at Treadwell’s level of service – one who could easily win re-election – demonstrates that 2014 is not shaping up to be a good time for the Democratic party. Half of a successful election strategy is in convincing enough of your potential opponents that they should not even bother; this seems to have broken down for Begich in Alaska…
Moe Lane (crosspost)