Wednesday, July 15, 2009

All the signs say former Bradenton councilman Golden is running for Congress

James T. Golden

He has filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission.

He has raised $26,000 for his campaign.

He even as a Web site.

But former Bradenton councilman James T. Golden is not ready yet to talk about his nascent campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota.

Golden's campaign today issued a news release bragging about the contributions, as well as endorsements from local high-profile Democrats like former Florida First Lady Rhea Chiles, Manatee County Commission Chairwoman Gwen Brown and Sarasota City Commissioner Fredd Atkins.

Golden is the first candidate to file to run against Buchanan, who is expected to seek a third term. However, a campaign consultant, who asked not to be named, said Golden would not be doing any press interviews about the campaign, and that an official announcement would come later this year.

“This first (financial) report shows how eager the people of this district are for a change," Golden said in the news release. "I plan to officially declare my candidacy later this year."

Defeating a congressional incumbent is never easy, especially one like Buchanan who in two elections now has shown the ability and willingness to tap his personal wealth to run a campaign. As of the end of March, Buchanan had more than $522,000 in cash on hand in his campaign account.

Of course, anything is possible in politics; in neither of his two first campaigns, both against Christine Jennings, Buchanan did not win easily. But if Golden, who lost his last city council election in 2007 to challenger Harold Byrd, is to have a chance of knocking off Buchanan, he first has to start running.

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