It seems all the pols smell Don Sherwood's blood in the water. I think he probably could survive this thing if he settles the lawsuit. He would take some heat if he did, but by the election it would be old news. Of course it is entertaining to have someone who talks family values exposed as a hypocrite. If this does drag on and his poll numbers start going south I'm sure the powers that be will twist his arm to retire. At least one Republican is saying he will run if Sherwood steps down.
From the Times-Leader:
Jerry Birmelin, an 11-term state representative from Wayne County, said Wednesday he'll run if Sherwood does not seek a fifth term.
"I'd run only if Congressman Sherwood decides to resign or does not run'" said Birmelin. The 56-year-old chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee and a leader of the Pro-Life Caucus in the General Assembly, Birmelin proposed unsuccessful amendments last year that would have barred homosexuals from adopting children and prohibited the state from offering same-sex benefits to its employees.
I know Jerry from when I lived in Honesdale. He was very good at constituent service but he was mostly a one issue candidate.
The Democrats have two people testing the waters. Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepnak and Susquehanna county political science professor Christopher Carney are both interested. According to the TL:
He has never before run for political office, but Carney said he believes he can win against Sherwood now that the four-term congressman is embroiled in a $5.5 million lawsuit brought by 29-year-old Cynthia Ore, who alleges Sherwood repeatedly beat her during a five-year relationship.
"There seem to be some cracks in Mr. Sherwood's armor now,” Carney said, adding that he would not make Ore's allegations a central theme in his campaign. "This is about judgment. What kind of judgment does this man really have?
"But that is not the focus of this campaign. This campaign is about issues."
I love the quote about issues. I think the only issue is the proper technique of giving a neck massage. Being unknown he would have a hard time raising the money to challenge Sherwood. Any serious Democrat is going to have to spend $2 million or more to win.
Then there is Skrep. I think he has the star power and name recognition to mount a serious challenge. Too bad he hasn't done a very good job as commissioner. And I'm sure the GOP will make an issue of his wife's drug use. As a friend pointed out:
The district is gerrymandered conservative--only a Skrepenak could break the party hold because voters in this area don't read too many papers and are apt to be star struck. The only chance that the democrats have of taking the seat is to front a personality--some liberal think tank guy won't win that district.
3 hours ago