House Speaker Shap Smith surprised us all today when he announced that he will be leaving the campaign to support his wife Melissa during treatment for cancer. Many of us knew that a family health issue had kept Shap on a lighter campaign schedule, but his announcement today was still a big shock.
While Shap may have been seen as too moderate for some of my fellow GMD bloggers, I came to respect and admire his ability to build consensus and cut through the muck when I served a term in the House. It always seemed like Shap was keeping the ship on an even keel, even though the waters were often choppy.
Sue Minter and Matt Dunne are both incredible candidates for the Democratic nomination. I’m sure we are all in for a strong primary campaign as Sue puts up her experience with Irene Recovery and the Agency of Transportation against Matt Dunne’s business credentials at Google and ‘outsider’ status in recent years.
Shap has an incredible moral compass, and I bet he’s made the right choice for his family. I’m sorry he won’t be running for Governor in 2016, but I doubt his years of service to the state are totally over. He did announce that he would complete this term as Speaker, but would not seek re-election in 2016.