Not really a surprise except for how early it came. Everyone in the state not living under a rock knew Dustin McDaniel would be running for Governor in 2014, and this week he made that official.
LITTLE ROCK — Today with the filing of Articles of Incorporation, I began laying the groundwork for a campaign for Governor in 2014.
This initial legal step allows me to begin the process of organizing and financing a gubernatorial bid. A formal announcement of my candidacy will come at a later date, but I expect a hard-fought campaign.
I have the experience and ability to lead our state, confront the issues facing our citizens, and meet the demands of a 21st century economy. I believe Arkansas’s best days are yet to come, and I look forward to sharing my vision in the months ahead.
Again, the only surprise here is how early this announcement came. It’s long been known that McDaniel would be one of the big name candidates for Governor. Mike Ross has decided not to run, which means we’re spared the effort of ending his political career. Bill Halter is, of course, likely to throw his hat in the ring. Then there’s this guy Burkhalter who, assuming he’s not totally naive, will settle for running for Lt. Gov or Land Commissioner or something.
McDaniel vs Halter will be a clash of the titans that I want absolutely no part of. With the Republican ascendancy in Arkansas, it would be nice to avoid seeing our two strongest and most progressive Democrats nuke each other in an expensive battle. The best thing for everyone involved would be if Mark Pryor saw the writing on the wall regarding his political fortunes for 2014 and retired. Then we could run McDaniel for one race, Halter for the other, and have our A list Democrats defending the two biggest prizes on the ballot that year.
There is of course one big downside to McDaniel’s announcement. It means we now have to sit through two years of Max Brantley’s annoying and petty grudge against him. I swear, Dustin could turn water into wine and Brantley would accuse him of promoting alcoholism…