There has been a bit of a scramble on the part of local Democrats to find a candidate to run for State Senate in District 26 after Charlene Pesquiera’s withdrawl. It appears that they have settled on one: local consultant Cheryl Cage.
I first met Cage when she was part of an informal group of Wesley Clark supporters that existed before staff was hired. Cage was also very active in getting both Pesquiera and Lena Saradnik elected, and had been serving as Don Jorgenson’s campaign manager this year. She had been on the official list of three to replace Saradnik, but made it clear that she was not interested.
This changes the dynamic on the Republican side, where Pete Hershberger is taking on the quite conservative Al Melvin. Hershberger can now argue that nominating Melvin would be giving the otherwise moderate Republican seat to the Democrats, as had happened in 2006. I’m not really sure how many potential Melvin voters would consider voting for Hershberger (somewhere close to none, I imagine), but it could help in getting out moderate Republicans in the primary, which Hershberger himself will tell you is a notoriously difficult thing to do.