Second 2010 Senate seat opens up


Sam Brownback (R-KS) has indicated he will not run for Senate again during the next election cycle, joining Mel Martinez (R-FL) in the census of senators abandoning their seat in one of America’s most exclusive clubs. The number could almost be presented as two and a half, since acting Commerce Committee Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has expressed a strong desire to exit the Senate as well in pursuit of the Texas governorship. Brownback is also said to be considering a run for governor of his state.

Despite having faced long odds in 2008, defending almost twice as many seats as Democrats, the Republican Party is looking at playing defense again in 2010, with 19 held seats in play to the Democrats’ 15.

Brownback’s main contribution to broadcast law was shepherding Rep. Fred Upton’s bill increasing the indecency fine ceiling to $325K through the Senate.

RBR/TVBR observation: This far out, the Texas seat would seem to be safe for Republicans. Although Florida is a swing state, Republican prospects may be in good shape with two popular Republicans – Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist – among the potential candidates. Ironically, solid red Kansas may be more of a problem, where a popular Democratic governor, Kathleen Sibelius, could give the Democrats a shot at an upset.