Are they already off and running?
Even though the election isn't until November of 2006, recent letters to the editor regarding potential candidates for the seat have been coming in fast and furious in last few weeks.
The 32nd District, which encompasses the southern half of Walworth County, except Elkhorn, is currently represented by former county board member Thomas Lothian.
The opening salvo was fired a few weeks back when Tyler August, the chairman of the Walworth County Republican Party and aide to Lothian wrote a letter to local papers lambasting Democrat and city of Delavan council member Ryan Schroeder of pandering for votes during this year's Cornfest parade.
August's letter was followed by further criticism by another aide of Lothian's, Royce DeBow.
That mobilized local Democrats and Schroeder supporters to mount a letter writing campaign of their own taking aim at DeBow.
So why would DeBow and the Schroeder camp be going at it?
In between deadlines at The Week, we've mused about several scenarios pointing to the fall 2006 assembly vote.
Both Schroeder and DeBow have run for the 32nd assembly seat in the past. DeBow ran for the seat as an Independent in 2002, but lost to Lothian. Lothian then turned around and hired DeBow as an aide.
Schroeder was Lothian's Democratic challenger both in 2002 and 2004.
Assuming that Schroeder will once again run for the assembly seat as a Democrat, it could be that August and DeBow are out front softening up Schroeder on Lothian's behalf.
However, if Lothian (he's now 76) decides not to run again, that opens the door for a DeBow bid, and there's no secret that DeBow has set himself up as Lothian's successor.
However the Republican primary could derail the best laid plans.
The obvious launching pad for an assembly run would come from a current county board member. To get the votes needed, a candidate would need the support of one of the population centers, either Delavan, Lake Geneva or the Geneva Lake west area.
Our short list of possible contenders includes Joe Guido of Delavan, who lost to Lothian in the 2004 primary. Then there's Dorothy Burwell, also of Delavan, who was appointed to the board in 1997.
Others with potential include Supervisor Nancy Russell of Lake Geneva, elected to the board in 2002.
On the west end of Geneva Lake is supervisor Jim Van Dreser of Walworth, who also won a seat on the board in 2002.
At any rate, if the mail bag is any indication, this will be a long election cycle.
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