I’ve received a couple of e-mails from folks asking me when Tim Bee was going to resign. It didn’t occur to me that such a thing would be imminent, but he may need to sooner rather than later.
There are two things Bee has to do before he tries to take down Gabrielle Giffords in the next election. First, he wants to avoid a primary like the one that happened last year. Second, he needs to make sure he can raise money to be competitive with Giffords.
Bee and his friends in the Republican establishment have already done a good job of keeping other candidates out. Bruce Ash, who would have been a strong contender, now has a seat on the Republican National Committee. The field seems to be clear for the guy, barring a strong challenger from the right.
The money issue becomes even more important than usual since national Republicans are probably going to look at early fundraising to decide where they will commit their scarcer than usual resources. Raising a great deal of money early will also keep other candidates out of the race.
His trouble is he isn’t allowed to raise money right now. Raising more than a few thousand dollars means our state’s resign to run law kicks in. Giffords already has $415,000 in cash on hand, people around Bee will be asking him if he can really wait until December and then catch up.
Bee has been getting a great deal of good press lately, since he seems to have come out on top in the budget fight. Heck, he did this cooperating with a Democratic governor. “He’s a bridgebuilder” those press releases will say. He’s about as on top of the world as a Baja Arizona legislator can be, he could get out now and ride the wave of good press. However, I don’t expect him to do so until after an expected special session on the English Language Learner issue. It wouldn’t say much about his motives if he left the Senate before this important issue is handled. Of course, it can be said that he didn’t do much about it during the session…