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Budget team’s maverick will run for another term

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on April 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
April 22, 2010 6:35 pm

After taking a week to think about it, Sen. Rodney Tom is running for re-election.

“There’s a lot more to do,” the Medina Democrat told me today. “I’ve never quit halfway through a job.”

He told reporters in the final days of session he was unsure about his future, frustrated by what he said were his fellow Democrats’ inadequate government reforms and insufficient attention to funding of basic education.

Tom said he needed to make sure he can play a significant role if he wins re-election. He’s now satisfied he can have an impact on the state budget and education, despite annoying some in his caucus this year by voting against the budget he helped write.

He doesn’t know if he’ll remain vice-chair of the budget committee, he said. “I know I will play a substantial role.”

Nor will he be switching parties, as he did in 2006. Republicans are targeting his seat, and his challenger, Gregg Bennett, is proving to be an accomplished fundraiser.

“I am now, forever, a Democrat,” he said. “I think a party switch is a one time deal. The Republican Party was never a great fit for me.”

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