Obama Inspires Young Black Pols to Take Risks for 2010

Candidates to abandon sure wins for ambitious positions
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2009 2:56 PM CST
Democratic Leadership Council Chairman Harold Ford Jr. could run for Tennessee's open governorship in 2010.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Young black politicians inspired by Barack Obama’s astonishingly quick ascent are pursuing riskier, more ambitious strategies for the 2010 elections, Chris Cillizza writes in the Washington Post. Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek, for example, a 42-year-old African-American, is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez, though Meek could easily win re-election in the House, where he’s considered a rising star.

This “Obama effect” inspires long shots over safe bets. Rep. Artur Davis, another young African-American pol, also faces little competition for his Alabama House seat, but he's gearing up to run for governor. A generous supply of energetic young candidates presents advantages for the parties at large, but strategists also worry that too many will spread campaign funds too thin. Click the link to find other pols inspired to risky 2010 runs.