It is very disappointing to me that a candidate as vibrant and unique as Paul Hackett has been pressured by the Democratic establishment not to run for the Ohio Senate seat. Hackett could have spoken to the people of his state about pertinent issues, such as the war in Iraq and the corruption of insider Washington politics, from a perspective that none of the other candidates could. And his candor is what lead him to a near victory in his quest for the conservative OH-2 House seat.
People in Ohio are probably even more sick of the corruption embroiling the GOP than the citizens of any other state, given the pathetic situation the states' republican party is finding itself in. But that does not necessarily translate into a victory for a liberal Democrat, such as Sherrod Brown, given that the state typically leans Republican.
So why shouldn't Hackett just run as an Independent candidate? It would not be impossible for an independent to win in Ohio, particularly considering the other candidates and the current political climate. A lot of Republicans are obviously drawn to Hackett, as is indicated by his winning an extremely impressive 48% of the vote in conservative OH-2. And he obviously has support among sensible Democrats who are deeply concerned about the war in Iraq. His position on gun control makes him a centrist in OH, a consensus candidate, who could easily win support from both typically solid Republican voters and typically reliable Democratic voters.
Hackett is a politician who defies convention...so why not defy the convention of the two party system and take a gamble as an independent? There was no guarantee that he would have won as a Democratic candidate, but offering the Ohio voter a departure from the status quo might be exactly what he needs to do win this important race.