Steve Laffey, who announced today that he will not run for governor, was always a long shot to win the job. He is a conservative, after all, in staunchly Democratic state. But Laffey, a former Cranston mayor known for his brash quippery, did represent a significant wild card in what is already a difficult-to-handicap race.
The last great unknown, it seems, is the GOP candidate. But with a couple of strong Democrats running and a well-positioned independent, in Lincoln Chafee, likely to siphon at least some of the limited number of Republican votes, it's hard to see a big GOP self-funder hopping into the field at this late stage and investing significant money.
Absent a big splash from the Moderate Party, we may be able to see the outlines of the 2010 race for governor now.