CT-04: Chris Shays vs… Mike Richter?

Well, ain’t this intriguing.  According to Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report, Connecticut Democrats are weighing the possibility of running former NHL superstar Mike Richter against the last Republican House member left standing in New England: the battle-hardened Chris Shays.  As a longtime hockey fan, the idea certainly leaves me feeling a little giddy.  Richter was a career-long member of the New York Rangers, carrying them alongside Mark Messier, Adam Graves and Brian Leetch to a historical Stanley Cup victory in 1994.  His Rangers jersey is only one of four to hang retired in the rafters of the Madison Square Garden.  That’s got to carry at least a little bit of resonance in the NYC metro area, even if hockey hasn’t exactly been the taste du jour of the area in the past few years.

As for his connection to the district, Richter is a recent graduate of Yale, where he obtained a degree in Ethics, Politics & Economics in 2006.  According to Gonzales, he also found the time to campaign for Democrat John Hall in his upset victory over Sue Kelly in NY-19.  Makes you like him even more, doesn’t it?

However, a Shays-Richter matchup isn’t a sure bet:

But Richter […] apparently is looking at a number of districts in more than one state before he makes a final decision.

According to Wikipedia, Richter was born in Abington, Pennsylvania.  There are two Abingtons: a small township in Lackawanna County (PA-11, held by Democrat Paul Kanjorski), and a larger township in Montgomery County (shared between PA-13 and PA-08, both Democrat-held seats).  Perhaps he could be eyeballing a nearby tossup district like PA-06 or PA-15.

He also went to school in Lake Placid, but I believe that that area falls under freshman Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand’s NY-20, although Republican John McHugh’s 23rd district is right next door…

In any case, the idea of having Mike Richter in our arsenal is exciting.  I’d certainly take a fresh face over a third kick at the can by Diane Farrell.  And if there has ever been a more effective American-born goalie at shutting down right-wingers, I’d like you to name one.

32 thoughts on “CT-04: Chris Shays vs… Mike Richter?”

  1. but I’d never heard of this guy before today.I think the people of Connecticut would be more excited by a former Whaler than a former Ranger.

  2. Can you think of any successful NHL players turned politicians?

    I can only think of one Canadian example: Ken Dryden.  He’s certainly had a storied career–lawyer, author, businessman, Liberal politician, and goalie!

  3. Montgomery County, PA.  It’s the suburban Philly one … I think Philly area people would vote for him … even though he was on the enemy .. he’s still well known .. it would be better if he’d run against Shays … provided Lamont is not interested

  4. this is great news. I had always hoped this guy would get into politics.

    he has a natural gimmick, just like john hall. that will help him.

    where he will work best is in the suburban/exurban regions around NYC that still have a fond memory of his rangers. he will speak to the white male working-class and related demographics that too often swing R.

    and he could get messier to speak on his behalf. i can hear it now: “for a while we canadians have wondered what the heck is going on this country. a vote for mike would be a great step in the right direction.”

  5. With his help we can make New England our new solid region (not as big as the south, but oh well) purge it of Sununu and Collins in 08, then Gregg in 2010, then finally pray like crazy that Snowe retires in 2012 and we run Independent Angus King (uber-popular left leaning independent, like Bernie Sanders, except not a socialist.) 

  6. Hockey’s huge up here in New York’s North Country, and though it’s GOP-dominated, Richter could give the complacent John McHugh a test. People thought Gillibrand had no chance, either.

  7. showed incredible judgment and courage.  He and other Rangers were interviewed after Bush’s “with us or against us” speech, and Richter criticized it as cowboy talk. 

    This may not have gotten covered widely, but it did in Canadian hockey circles; I’m pretty sure it was on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada that I heard about it (I’m in a hockey family).

    Right then, I thought how untypical Richter was among American players, and that he must be not only bright but brave.  Of course, in hockey a lot is brushed aside in the case of goalies that would be held against other players.

    But I’m happy to hear that he’s politically inclined, and wish him the very best wherever he ends up running.

  8. Let’s see…Richter grew up in Pennsylvania, went to high school in Lake Placid, lives in Guilford and wants to run in…Fairfield???  If the 4th really wants to beat Shays, then it should run someone who lives in the District and knows the District.

    Richter’s biggest qualifications for Congress are the Stanley Cup and that he just graduated college.  The guy hasn’t spent a day in the real world.  The 4th is the wrong district for him.  Shays would score an easy hat trick against him.

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