Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) is staying in Washington.
The senator announced yesterday that he has ruled out running for governor of New York and will instead head up the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Schumer, who was considering a 2006 gubernatorial bid, said he will also get a coveted seat on the Senate Finance Committee. "The importance to our party of electing more Democrats to the Senate in 2006 is obvious," he said in a statement, adding that he plans to "see the DSCC job through the 2006 election and run for no other office."
His decision spares Empire State Democrats, at least for now, a bruising primary fight for their gubernatorial nomination. The state's attorney general, Eliot L. Spitzer, is widely expected to run for the job. Gov. George E. Pataki (R), who is believed to be considering a presidential bid, has not announced whether he will seek a fourth term.
Schumer's decision will also give his party a formidable fundraiser at the helm of the group charged with electing more Democrats to the Senate. The party, already in the minority, lost four seats in this month's election and will be defending 17 seats, along with that of Sen. James M. Jeffords (I-Vt.) in 2006. The Republicans will be defending 15 seats.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is expected to choose its new leader tomorrow. Sens. Norm Coleman (Minn.) and Elizabeth Dole (N.C.) have emerged as the front-runners.
Ohio Recount Looks Likely
It looks as though Ohio will have a recount.
Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb announced yesterday that his campaign has raised enough money to force the state to recount its presidential vote.
The state allows candidates to demand recounts if they pay -- about $113,000 for a statewide recount. Cobb's campaign raised $150,000 in just four days. The money came entirely in online donations, his spokesman said, eclipsing Cobb's own fundraising for the entire election cycle. He raised just $133,000, according to his most recent campaign filings.
Cobb was hardly a factor in Ohio before the election. He failed to get on the state's Nov. 2 ballot and won 24 write-in votes there. Bush won the state by 136,000 votes, according to the unofficial results. But Cobb's spokesman said the campaign was less concerned with changing the outcome of the race there than with investigating rumors of voter fraud.
"We're doing it to protect the integrity of the voting process," said Blair Bobier.
Cobb's effort, which comes as reports of voter fraud circulate on the Internet, was applauded yesterday by a number of groups, including Common Cause, the National Voting Rights Institute and the People for the American Way Foundation. Bobier said the campaign plans to formally request the recount in the coming weeks, as the state begins to certify its tallies.
Amendment Push for Arnold
Arnold in '08?
Arnold Schwarzenegger supporters have launched a TV ad in California urging voters to back a constitutional amendment that would allow him to run for president. "Help us amend the Constitution. . . . Help us amend for Arnold," the ad says.
The California governor, who was born in Austria, has expressed interest in running for the White House. But the U.S. Constitution requires presidents to be native-born, and congressional proposals to change that have not gained much support. Such an amendment would have to be not only approved by Congress but also ratified by at least 38 states.
Spokeswoman Margita Thompson said Schwarzenegger was not involved in the ad campaign but supports its aims. "He thinks it's a good discussion to have," she said.