Run, Dino, Run!

For U.S. Senate, not for governor.

Chris Cillizza at The Fix explains Dino’s options:

The reports that Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) may be on the short-list for Solicitor General to replace Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan raises all kinds of possibilities for who might replace her if she gets the nod.

The most interesting potential scenario: Could former state Sen. Dino Rossi (R) be in the running?

Rossi — who lost to Gregoire in 2004 in the closest gubernatorial race in U.S. history and failed in a 2008 rematch — has been slow-walking a Senate challenge against Sen. Patty Murray (D). Most observers believe it’s a matter of when, not if, Rossi will run for that office.

However…

The prospect of running for governor could be an appealing one to Rossi. He’s made two past bids for the office, and serving in Olympia instead of Washington would enable him to remain close to his family (he has four children under the age of 19).

And what’s the mitigating factor in all of this?

How the field would shake out depends largely on when Gregoire’s seat would be officially vacated.

If she leaves before May 31, candidates would face a special election primary, then a general election in November to fill out the remaining two years of her term. If she left between June 1 and October 3, candidates would face off in a November all-party free-for-all to serve through 2012. And if she vacated her seat after October 3, Lt. Governor Brad Owen (D) would automatically fill out the remainder of Gregoire’s term, although the state Legislature has the option to call for a special election in 2011.

I bet you Patty Murray is in on the phone right now begging Obama to pick Gregoire.

I’d put 20 bucks on it.

My overall preference? Gregoire gets picked for SG sometime before October 3rd, Rossi still decides to run against Murray knowing that a Republican could still win a special election, and AG Rob McKenna becomes governor in ’12.

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