August 17, 2009 | 10:31am
Roll Call and Naked Politics present a pretty thrilling scenario for the game of political musical chairs that could be set off if Gov. Charlie Crist appoints Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart to Mel Martinez's U.S. Senate seat.
Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln's brother, might have had his district specially drawn for him, but it's fast becoming a toss-up seat. Mario held on to it this past election by only six points, and it seems the Dems will keep trying to knock him off until they're succesful. So if Lincoln goes to the Senate (which apparently he is interested in), Mario would run in the special election for Lincoln's neighboring seat.
Of course, this would also set off a special election in Mario's district, and who's being gossiped about as a possible Republican candidate? None other than Crist's nagging primary opponent in his own 2010 Senate race, Marco Rubio.
The other theory is that Mario could stay put, and Marco could run for Lincoln's seat since his former state House district overlapped with Lincoln's district.
"Marco Rubio is a candidate for the U.S. Senate. It's not only Washington or bust for him, it's also U.S. Senate or bust," a Rubio spokesman told Roll Call. Meanwhile, state Rep. David Riveria says he is more than willing
to run in Mario's district if it becomes available.
But if Rubio switched gears toward the House, it would be a cunning move for Crist. He could even come down and campaign for Rubio, quelling some of the conservative outrage Rubio has ignited against the more moderate governor.
Of course, for Democrats the scenario could present the opportunity for one or possibly two mid-session pick-ups. If Mario switched districts, running a competitive race there would be awfully tempting. Especially considering there'd be no incumbency advantage. The only question is if they have a candidate who could do it.