I had heard this was in the works a few weeks ago, and it has been discussed quite a bit on Twitter, but now we have a link (that makes it credible, right? Yeah, journalism!)
Wealthy car dealer Tom Ganley (R) is dropping out of the open-seat Ohio Senate race and will challenge Rep. Betty Sutton (D) in the 13th district instead, according to a source familiar with the decision.
The Ganley switch is a coup for Republicans because it gives former Rep. Rob Portman a clear path to the GOP Senate nomination and could put another Democratic-held House seat into play. A recent internal GOP poll showed Ganley leading Sutton by 3 points.
Now, Ganley can convert the almost $1.3 million in his Senate campaign account to a House account, giving him a large early cash advantage over Sutton, who had only $210,000 at the end of last year.
I think this is very good news – if true – not because Ganley was a threat to Portman (I don’t think he was) but because he can threaten Sutton.
His populism is a better fit for a congressional race and instead of attacking a solid conservative who can hold a seat (and quite frankly, an upgrade from Voinovich) he can attack a liberal and help pick up a seat.
Whether Ganley has the drive and strategy to win a congressional race is yet to be determined but it will be easier in terms of message and geography and will avoid unnecessary inter-party battles while putting Ganley’s money to good use.