Democrats exiting the sinking ship? Part 8: Kansas, Ohio, Tennesee and California 

Some more bad news for the very able Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: four  more Democratic challenger candidates have decided not to run.

In Kansas 2, where Republican Lynn Jenkins ousted one-term Democrat Nancy Boyda in 2008, state Senator Laura Kelly has decided not to run against Jenkins. Evidently life looks better in the Kansas Senate.

In addition, state Representative Ted Book has decided not to run against Jean Schmidt in Ohio 2, despite the fact that Schmidt has consistently run weakly in this heavily Republican district; former Tennessee Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Paula Flowers has decided not to run in the open seat race in Tennessee 3; and Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts has decided not to run against incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray in California 50.

The story seems to be the same in rural-and-small-town Midwest, suburban Midwest, small-city South and suburban-West-Coast: potentially serious Democratic challengers seem to be opting for the comforts of their current offices and the chance to spend more time with their families than running for Congress this year. The political marketplace is operating.

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Michael Barone

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