Brian Patton provided some surprising news on his blog last night — Jerry Kilgore appears to be considering a run for congress. Brian writes:
I have verified with two sources in the Ninth District that they received polling calls yesterday. The beginning of the call addressed why the person thought Kilgore lost the gubernatorial election. The second part of the call dealt with why the person thought Southwest Virginia continued to support Rick Boucher.
This confirms that Kilgore is looking hard at a possible run against Congressman Rick Boucher in 2006. Kilgore did have a good showing this past election cycle in the Ninth District, receiving 21,101 more votes (12.18%) than the Governor-elect, Tim Kaine.
I’ve got to say up front that I love Rick Boucher. There are are hundreds of thousands of geeks and .com refugees across the nation who can’t tell you the name of their own congressman, but they can tell you all about Boucher. He is an absolute rockstar among my fellow techies. (The man guestblogged for Larry Freaking Lessig last year. How cool is that?) He’s as good as Goodelatte on tech issues, but, unlike Goodelatte, I get the sense that he really gets it. Boucher well deserves reelection, and I’d certainly do what I could to help him.
That said, I really like the idea of Kilgore running against Boucher. I think it speaks well of Kilgore. Rather than just disappearing, or deciding to wait four years for the same seat, he’s got his eye on a smaller prize. Also, I detest our redistricting process and the rarity with which incumbents are ousted, and I can’t help but smile at the prospect of a real race against an incumbent, my incumbent though he might be.
I agree with Brian that it would be a tough race for Kilgore. Folks outside of the Ninth District may not appreciate how liked that Boucher is. (I only lived in the district for a year and a half, but it quickly became obvious to me.) Kilgire is smart to do a lot of polling, since Kilgore’s political career would surely be over if he lost this race by more than a few points. But I find it impressive that he’s even thinking about it, if indeed he is.