Well, the news broke this morning that State Senator George Maziarz will, in deed, NOT run for congress.

Frankly, I’m surprised. Anyone who knows George Maziarz knows that he is an ambitious man. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but I think most people believed that George would – at some point – run for congress.

In fact, many people said the reason he moved to Newfane a year ago or so was so that he’d be in Louise Slaughter’s district so he could run for her seat when she – eventually – retires for congress.

Of course, most people assumed that Louise would be retiring before Tom Reynolds. Those people – self included – were wrong.

So this seat opened up for George to run … and he announced today that he’s passing on that opportunity.

Very strange.

There are surely several potential reasons for George to pass, including that he feels more comfortable where he’s at, that he fears the competition in running for congress, that he doesn’t want to run for a seat that’s likely going to disappear after the next census, and that reporters dig harder on congressional candidates than they do on state senators.

Despite all those reasons, I’m still surprised.

We’ve heard other potential candidates for the 26th. Jack Davis and Jon Powers on the Democratic side. Jim Hayes and Mike Powers on the GOP side. And some rumors indicate the Jim Kelly may make a run.

The thought of Kelly running for congress is NOT that far fetched. 12 had been a staple by Governor Pataki’s side whenever he was in WNY. And there had even been a rumor about a year ago that Reynolds would actually RESIGN his seat and it would be won by Kelly in a special election.

Jim Kelly was a hell of a quarterback. But I don’t see him as a congressman. And I hope I never have to.

But it’s fun to speculate, huh?

Podcasts are up from today … on REASON, I discussed me being an idiot … and on DIALOG, I talked state issues – including the issue of the 26th. Plus Bob Confer and I talked about an assanine plan to allow the state to seize “underutilized” properties. A must listen.