Saturday, May 03, 2008

Paul Rolley Scuttlebutt: Is Senator Killpack "Positioning" for a "Run" at Senate President Valentine?

Sen. Killpack to host an Allen Christensen fund-raiser

Interesting political scuttlebutt yesterday afternoon from the Salt Lake Tribune's Paul Rolley. The article is short so we'll incorporate its text in full:
The Utah Medical Association is sponsoring a fund-raiser today for Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, who is a dentist.
The invitation to the luncheon at Fiddler's Elbow in Salt Lake City says the host is Sen. Sheldon Killpack, R-Syracuse, the Senate's assistant majority whip.
Why is that news?
Senate insiders say Killpack is positioning himself to run next November against John Valentine for the Senate's top position.
Playing host to fund-raisers for other senators is a traditional way on Capitol Hill to curry favor from colleagues if one wants their support for a leadership position.
Two years ago, Valentine was challenged by Sen. Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, for the Senate presidency. But Waddoups is in a tough convention fight for his very survival at the Senate, with the word out that many pro-public education delegates were elected in his district and he supported vouchers.
Stay tuned.
There are plenty of ruffled feathers within the Utah State Senate amongst non-leadership Republicans like Weber County's Senator Christensen, who has good reason to resent Senate President Valentine's tyrannical control over the Senate's legislative agenda. During the last week of the 2008 legislative session, as our regular readers will recall, Senator Valentine exercised his leadership "prerogatives" by effectively killing Senator Christensen's efforts to pass a HB-466-remedial bill, containing provisions which would have retroactively protected the voting rights of Christensen's District 19 constituents in the soon-to-be town of "Powderville." When it came to a choice between politically disenfrangizing scores Christensen's consituents, or protecting the interests of a single real estate developer, there was no choice at all for the ethics-challenged Senator Valentine (a real estate development lawyer by profession.)

It therefore comes as no surprise at all that Senator Killpack would be courting the support of Christensen.

"Stay tuned" is right. Although it may very well be true that Senator Valentine might reasonably expect a cake-walk in his bid for re-election to his Senate District 14 seat in November, his re-election as Senate President by his colleagues in the Senate remains far from certain.

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