The 2008 Republican congressional candidate Dean Andal, who unsuccessfully challenged Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney, was spotted in a House cafeteria today and in front of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Washington, D.C., office a few days ago.
I put in a call to Andal but have not yet reached him.
But it’s probably safe to assume that he is not in D.C. for Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Andal hinted strongly last November that he would run against McNerney again in 2010, which suggests that he may be in Washington, D.C., to begin the arduous process of raising money for his next campaign. Andal fell short of congressional campaign observers’ fundraising expectations in the last election although he consistently said he met his own cash goals.
The bigger question is whether or not Andal will secure national GOP financial support this early in the game.
The GOP may have some reservations. Despite strong conservative credentials in a what was once solid GOP district, Andal lost to freshman McNerney by 10.6 percentage points.
Granted, the political winds were in McNerney’s favor and he most congressional election experts projected his victory. But few thought the freshman Democrat, who unexpectedly toppled Richard Pombo in 2006, would beat Andal by such a large margin.
Republicans hope to recover some of their losses next 2010 and Andal undoubtedly hopes to lock in national support before a crowd gathers on the GOP primary ticket. We’ll see if the GOP banks on Andal or looks for a new face.