Paton Vs. Giffords?

In this morning's Star, Rhonda explores the anti-incumbency mood that helped Republican Steve Kozachik to his apparent victory over incumbent Democrat Nina Trasoff and has helped Republican Ben Buehler-Garcia stay in the race against Democrat Karin Uhlich as the lingering votes are tallied in the next couple of days.

We touched on that theme in the days leading up to the election here on The Range.

But what does the trend hold for the future? Well, in the last couple of days, Espresso Pundit Greg Patterson thinks it means that state Sen. Jonathan Paton should abandon plans to run for the Senate and instead go after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:

So Paton has an awkward choice. Jump now, leave a successful career in order to capitalize on widespread voter angst, or spend an additional two years in preparation. My Tim Bee analogy was a good one, but Paton is a military man and CD 8 is a military district, so I'll put it in terms that he and his supporters might prefer—Grant or McClellan. McClellan was the General's General, perfect in every way except one. He wouldn't fight. Grant was opposite, never waiting for the perfect time, fighting at every opportunity. Grant's on the $50 and McClellan is a Jeopardy question.

If Congress is Paton's goal. Now is Paton's time.

A friend of Paton, Patterson has posted a slick TV commercial that Paton has cut for his Senate run and suggests that with a bit of editing, it wouid be ideal for a congressional run. We'd have to agree.

Given the general lack of enthusiasm for the current crop of GOP challengers among Republican power brokers, we expect that Patterson isn't the only one urging Paton into the race against Giffords.

Paton obviously harbors congressional ambitions; his big calculation now is whether it makes more sense to try to knock out Giffords in the current anti-incumbent atmosphere or to wait until district lines are redrawn to create new, possibly more GOP-friendly district in 2012.