Dustin McDaniel today sent out a press release that I like to call his pre-announcement announcement for Governor in 2014. He didn't announce for Governor today, but let it be known he plans to announce for Governor at some point in the future.
McDaniel's Press Release:
LITTLE ROCK — Today with the filing of Articles of Incorporation, I began laying the groundwork for a campaign for Governor in 2014.
This initial legal step allows me to begin the process of organizing and financing a gubernatorial bid. A formal announcement of my candidacy will come at a later date, but I expect a hard-fought campaign.
I have the experience and ability to lead our state, confront the issues facing our citizens, and meet the demands of a 21st century economy. I believe Arkansas's best days are yet to come, and I look forward to sharing my vision in the months ahead.
McDaniel can now legally start fundraising for his 2014 run for Governor. The unanswered question at this time is how hard will he try in 2012?
There's always a limited pool of campaign donors and with legislative candidates out there attempting to raise money for their 2012 campaigns, will McDaniel accidentally siphon off some of their resources? Probably not.
McDaniel will likely raise funds from donors this year who were going to give to him regardless, close friends, family, etc. However, he'll likely hire a staf
fer or two soon to start laying some of the groundwork for 2014. Smart move on his part.
From McDaniel's press release we can see how he's currently attempting to position himself for the primary: experience, positive vision and the economy. (And once again I raise my objection to the cliche' phrase “21st Century economy,” too many candidates use it.)
Other potential Democratic candidates for Governor include former Lt. Governor Bill Halter and Little Rock businessman John Burkhalter. Moving forward, it'll be interesting to see how these two potential candidates publicly position themselves if they decide to make a 2014 run.
Halter recently jumped on the ethics reform bandwagon, but at this time it appears the Regant Populus initiative won't make the ballot due to a lack of signatures, Will Halter still use ethics reform in a potential 2014 run and does it show a contrast with his two potential Democratic opponents if they also support it?
I imagine Burkhlater would position himself as a successful businessman who knows how to create jobs, but as of yet I haven't seen any public positioning statements from him so that is purely an assumption. Burkhalter might layer his message by making his never holding political office a positive resume point and that he's the outsider in the race.
There will be much political maneuvering on the Democrats' side in the next two years as folks line up to replace popular incumbent Mike Beebe.