Onward and upward for a popular pol?
COLUMBIA, Mo 9/26/13 (Beat Byte) -- Perhaps the political calculus is too perfect.
State Senator Kurt Schaefer term-limited out of office in 2016, the year Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid's second term ends.
The Republican Schaefer taking to the airwaves, announcing his candidacy for State Attorney General. The ostensibly Republican McDavid, making jobs, the economy, and a business-friendly, crime-conscious, GOP-centric agenda a centerpiece of his Mayoral service.
Whatever it is, reasonable rumors are circulating that Mayor McDavid -- a well-known physician with boardroom cred from his years at Boone Hospital -- may run for Schaefer's seat. Presumably a well-financed Republican in the era of Obamacare, McDavid would offer medical expertise at an opportune time in the state legislature.
"Schaefer has already paved the way for Republicans to keep what has been a Democrat seat," said one rumor-mongering source. "But they'll need a solid candidate to keep it." That idea makes sense. Democrat Chuck Graham last held the State Senate seat that serves the Columbia area, which will have been in Republican hands for eight years when -- or if -- Dr. McDavid takes the reins.
Other notions that make sense: McDavid has "shown political savvy" as Mayor, knowing when to negotiate compromises, back down in the face of overwhelming public opposition, or step up with overwhelming public support. He never digs in too deep.
"You never want to get in the way of an engaged citizenry," McDavid famously said, after an attempt to Gerrymander the First and Fourth Columbia City Council Wards generated a firestorm.
McDavid is also popular at the polls. He won his first Mayoral term with a sizeable lead against a line of contenders, including former City Councilman Jerry Wade. He won his second term with a reduced, but similarly-lopsided vote against challenger Sid Sullivan.
The timing is also good: McDavid would leave office in April 2016, with statehouse elections in November 2016.
Whatever his thinking, Dr. McDavid isn't talking -- at least, not to us. "Is there any truth to this rumor? Is it at all within the realm of possibility that you may run for this Senate Seat?" we asked.
So while Senator Schaefer has declared his intentions, one politically-savvy physician may be keeping his cards closer to the vest.