Folsom Decisison Blues
By publicly floating his name for the #2 spot, Folsom has successfully scared off other big name Democrats. At different times over the past several months ambitious Democrats like Zeb Little, Ron Sparks, and Ken Guin considered making the LG race. While Folsom has a more impressive resume' than any of the above candidates and would start off with near universal name recognition, a candidate like Little or Sparks could very well have run a strong race had the party coalesced around one of them early in the cycle.
Folsom's plans seem to have been complicated by George Wallace, Jr.'s entrance in the race. This will be Wallace's first high profile race as a Republican, though he lost races for both Congress (1992) and Lieutenant Governor (1994) as a Democrat. Wallace's political makeover as a populist GOPer on the PSC combined with his powerful political name have driven many of his fellow Republicans out of the LG race. Both Perry Hooper,Jr. and Jim Bennett turned their focus on Wallace's open PSC seat after eyeing the LG post. And poor Terry Butts announced his political retirement instead of facing off against Wallace.
It still remains to be seen though whether Wallace has intimidated Jim Folsom as successfully as his erstwhile GOP foes. Folsom came very close to running for LG in 1998, only to recuse himself at the filing deadline. If Folsom leaves the Democrats at the altar again, I'd expect a credible, but underdog candidate like Susan Parker to take his place.
Indeed if Jim Folsom reneges on the Democratic Party after muscling out the party's up and comers, the party would be advised to ignore his Hamlet act next time around.