Check out these political snippets on the presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and local races from across the country.
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R), who has repeatedly come out in opposition to former President Donald Trump, announced that he will become a presidential candidate. Though Hutchinson would be considered a “Never Trumper,” him jumping into the race could well help the former President because even small numbers of votes deflected from whoever becomes Mr. Trump’s top opponent, likely Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, will allow the former to score a plurality victory.
Sen. Tim Scott
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R) announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee, which is likely his first official step toward becoming a national candidate. It’s hard to see a Republican nomination victory path for the Senator, however. South Carolina is obviously the heart of his support base, but with the state’s former Governor, Nikki Haley, already in the race even that is diminished.
Former President Donald Trump continues to make inroads from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ home state of Florida. Rep. Cory Mills (R-New Smyrna Beach) announced his endorsement of former President Trump yesterday, as did his colleague, Byron Donalds (R-Naples/Ft. Myers). Previously, Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Ft. Walton Beach) and Anna Paulina Luna (R-St. Petersburg) had publicly announced their support of Mr. Trump.
No Labels Party
The No Labels Party is attempting to qualify for the ballot in as many states as possible, and has already done so in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon. The Arizona Democratic Party, however, has filed a lawsuit attempting to disqualify the No Labels entity under the reasoning that Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes was in error for certifying the organization because it doesn’t meet all of the legal qualifications. The ADP claims that No Labels has not filed with the Federal Election Commission nor have they disclosed their donors, both requirements for political parties under Arizona election law.
The Arizona Democrats are particularly concerned about No Labels because a candidate under this banner could potentially draw Democratic votes away from President Biden while further attracting a large percentage of Democratic support for Independent and former Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Arizona is again expected to deliver very close statewide election results in 2024, as its electorate has done in the last two elections.
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb (R) announced his US Senate candidacy this week. Most of the attention so far has been upon whether 2022 Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake would enter the race. She has yet to say whether another campaign is in her immediate plans. Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) is an announced candidate and has been leading in the most recent polling. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I) appears to be preparing to seek a second term but has not yet said whether she will run on the No Labels Party ticket after leaving the Democrats.
As has been expected for weeks, independent businessman Keith Gross announced his US Senate candidacy against Sen. Rick Scott (R). Mr. Gross, a multi-millionaire, will challenge Sen. Scott in the Republican primary. He is clearly running as a conservative, based upon the rhetoric in his announcement video, but it will not be easy getting to the right of Sen. Scott.
Though Mr. Gross is capable of self-financing his campaign, resources will not be an issue for Sen. Scott. Then, as Florida’s Governor, Mr. Scott, not counting money raised, spent $64 million of his own money for the 2018 Senate campaign. The primary challenge could, however, spur a potentially stronger Democratic opponent to come forth, thinking the nomination battle might weaken the incumbent. Therefore, this August 2024 Republican primary will draw national attention.
In 2022, retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig (R) had planned to enter the Michigan Governor’s race but failed to submit the required number of valid petition signatures. Now, reports are surfacing that Mr. Craig is considering entering the open US Senate race. At this point, Michigan School Board member Nikki Snyder is the only Republican current or former elected official to declare for the race. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) is the most well-known Democrat to step forward.
Nevada political sources indicate that both former GOP US Senate candidate Sam Brown and defeated 2022 congressional nominee April Becker may both soon announce 2024 US Senate campaigns. Mr. Brown became more of a factor in the 2022 Senate primary than originally expected due to impressive fundraising, but still lost to former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt who would then lose a close general election contest to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D). Ms. Becker lost a 52-48% decision to Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) in the 3rd Congressional District battle.
Meanwhile, incumbent Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) has been hard at work on the fundraising trail. Her campaign indicates the Senator will report $2.4 million raised for the quarter ending March 31st, with more than $6 million cash-on-hand. Expect another close race here, but Sen. Rosen must be considered the favorite to win a second term.
In 2022, wealthy Ohio businessman Bernie Moreno (R) entered the open US Senate race but dropped out before the May primary when it became clear he could not win the race. With state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) as the only 2024 announced candidate to challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), and the lone returning 2022 contender, Mr. Moreno has again chosen to throw his hat into the ring.
Others are expected to join the race, which will more than likely mean another crowded multi-candidate field, just as we saw a year ago when author J.D. Vance (R) rose to claim the nomination in May and eventually the seat in November. The Ohio race is one of the Republicans’ top national conversion targets.
Keystone State Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D) indicated his re-election plans were on hold until he received a clean bill of health from his surgeon. Earlier in the year, Sen. Casey underwent surgery to eradicate cancer in his prostate. Apparently, the Senator has received positive reports from his healthcare physicians because this week he announced his re-election effort. Sen. Casey will be favored to clinch a fourth term next year.
On the heels of Sen. Casey announcing that he will run again, Pennsylvania based Franklin & Marshall College went into the field with a statewide survey (3/27-4/7; 643 PA registered voters; live interview). According to these results, Sen. Casey would lead 2022 Senate candidate David McCormick (R), 42-35%. His lead significantly expands to 47-31% if his opponent were 2022 gubernatorial nominee and state Senator Doug Mastriano (R).
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R) has filed a 2024 campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission. While this action is not a formal declaration of candidacy, filing a campaign committee is certainly the first step toward him seeking a second term.
It is likely that Sen. Romney will be forced to petition his way onto the ballot since the chances of him coming through the conservative Utah Republican Party nominating convention are slim. Such would lead to a June 2024 Republican primary challenge. The most prominent potential opponent being discussed is former Congressman and Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz. State House Speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) has formed a US Senate exploratory committee. Attorney General Sean Reyes (R) is also a potential Senate candidate.
The National Public Affairs survey research firm released the results of their new West Virginia US Senate Republican primary poll. The study (3/14-17; 360 WV likely Republican primary voters and Independents likely to vote in the Republican primary; live interview & text), unsurprisingly finds Gov. Jim Justice leading Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), who has since announced his gubernatorial effort, and US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) with a 43-21-10% count. If the race were only between Gov. Justice and Rep. Mooney, the Governor would lead 55-24%.
As expected, Badger State Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) announced during the week that she will seek a third term next year. Ms. Baldwin was first elected to the Senate in 2012 but has been in public office consecutively since 1985. Prior to winning her current position, Sen. Baldwin served in the US House, the Wisconsin state Assembly, the Dane County Board of Supervisors, and the Madison Common Council.
No Republican has formally come forward, but several individuals are considering the race. Unless the congressional map is redrawn, it is doubtful any member of the US House delegation will run. Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is a potential candidate as is businessman Scott Mayer. While Sen. Baldwin will be favored for re-election, the 2024 Senate race could well become highly competitive.
U.S. House of Representatives
Arizona businessman Jevin Hodge (D), who held veteran Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) to a scant 50.4 – 49.6% re-election victory last November, a margin of 3,195 votes that proved the 12th closest vote spread of all US House races, said during the week that he will not return to seek a re-match in 2024.
Even without Mr. Hodge as the party nominee, the Democrats are expected to make this race a key 2024 conversion target. Rep. Schweikert, still dealing with the after-effects from the penalties for eleven House ethics violations and an official reprimand in 2020, only recorded 43% in a three-way 2022 Republican primary. Therefore, it is probable the Congressman will again have strong Republican and Democratic challengers next year. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the 1st District as R+7. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 50.9R – 47.5D.
Last November, freshman Rep. Juan Ciscomani* (R-Tucson) defeated then-state Sen. Kirsten Engel (D) by a 50.7 – 49.2% count, a margin of 5,232 votes. Now, Ms. Engel returns for a second chance. Arizona’s 6th District sits in the southeast corner of the state and contains approximately half of the city of Tucson. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates it as R+7, but Dave’s Redistricting App sees a closer 50.9R – 47.1D partisan lean. Count on another close finish in this desert congressional district.
Southern California US Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) won his most impressive victory in 2022, a 53-47% victory over former state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D) in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+8, and Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the district partisan lean at 53.7D – 44.3R. With Ms. Smith now losing three times, Democrats are looking toward other options. We can again expect this to become a national congressional campaign.
Former Virgin Galactic CEO and ex-NASA chief of staff George Whitesides (D), who was the first to announce his candidacy earlier this year, is reportedly going to disclose more than $500,000 raised for the 2024 race in the March 31st Federal Election Commission quarterly disclosure report and another $500,000 self-contributed. Franky Carrillo (D), who was wrongly imprisoned for 22 years for a murder later proved that he did not commit and was then awarded a $19 million settlement from the state of California, is expected to formally launch his campaign later this month.
Harvard educated attorney Aditya Pai, who moved to Orange County from India as a child when eight years old, announced that he will join the growing field to challenge two-term Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) in next March’s all-party jungle primary. Already declared are Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen and attorney Cheyenne Hunt. Jay Chen, the Community College Trustee who held Rep. Steel to a 52-48% re-election win in November, is also a potential candidate.
Former Rep. Harley Rouda (D), who held the former 48th Congressional District for one term, had announced a comeback attempt for next year’s political contest in new District 47. Unfortunately, Mr. Rouda was involved in a falling accident in which he sustained head injuries. On the advice of his physicians, Mr. Rouda says that he will not pursue his 2024 candidacy and instead concentrate on returning to full health status.
Though the candidate field is crowded, this development likely means we will see an open seat contest between state Sen. David Min (D-Irvine) and 2022 congressional nominee and ex-state Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R). In the previous election, Mr. Baugh lost to incumbent Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) by a 51.7 - 48.3% split. Rep. Porter is leaving the House to run for the US Senate.
Former Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R), who finished a distant second to now-Rep. Cory Mills (R-New Smyrna Beach) in the open 7th District Republican primary last year, announced that he will challenge veteran Rep. Dan Webster (R-Clermont) next year in the neighboring 11th District. Mr. Sabatini will be a long shot contender, but he will likely be able to attract sufficient resources to become competitive
US Air Force veteran Mariela Roca, who finished third in a six-way 2022 Republican congressional primary, announced yesterday that she will again run in her western Maryland district next year. The 6th District, which the court-drawn plan made more Republican by removing a huge section of Montgomery County, appeared headed for a close finish between Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) and state Delegate Neil Parrott (R-Frederick). After the late votes were recorded, however, Rep. Trone recorded a substantial 55-45% victory, a margin of almost 25,000 votes. Rep. Trone would be a prime Senate candidate should incumbent Ben Cardin (D) decide to retire.
Financial Advisor Michael Markey (R) intended to run for the House two years ago, but the company he hired to gather petition signatures failed to complete the job and his candidacy was rejected. Now, with a new incumbent in the redrawn 3rd District, freshman Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-Grand Rapids), Mr. Markey returns. This time, it is likely he will better handle the campaign mechanics.
Rep. Scholten won the 3rd District after GOP incumbent Peter Meijer was defeated for renomination. For his part, Mr. Meijer may run for the Senate. The 2021 redistricting map changed the 3rd CD from one that favored Republicans when then-Rep. Meijer was first elected (R+9 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization), to its current D+3 configuration.
After Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland) was the victim of his state losing a congressional seat in 2020 national reapportionment, he found himself paired with veteran Rep. Fred Upton (R). Upon Mr. Upton then deciding to retire after serving 18 terms, Rep. Huizenga was viewed as a lock for re-election. Surprisingly, however, his victory margin was only 54-42% against Marine Corps veteran Joseph Alonso (D) who spent just $36,159 on his campaign.
Mr. Alonso has now announced that he will return for a re-match in 2024, and we can expect the Democrats to take a more serious look at his candidacy and the new 4th District. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat R+9, and the newly adjusted Dave’s Redistricting App calculations casts a 51.8R – 45.1D partisan lean.
Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) made public his cancer diagnosis during the week, but the prognosis for full recovery post-treatment is strong. At this point, the Congressman is expected to seek re-election next year. In 2024, he turned back a competitive challenge from former news anchorman Paul Junge (R) with a 53-43% margin.
Last November freshman Rep. John James (R-Farmington Hills) won a very tight 49-48% election victory over former Judge and prosecuting attorney Carl Marlinga (D). He has now already drawn two opponents even though Mr. Marlinga is expected to return to seek a re-match.
Earlier in the week, former state Representative candidate Diane Young (D) announced her congressional candidacy. Previously, attorney and 2022 congressional nominee against Rep. Lisa McClain* (R-Bruce), Brian Jaye (D), declared his candidacy in the adjoining 10th CD. It is already clear that regardless of how many Democrats come forward to attempt to challenge Rep. James, the 2024 Democratic nominee will almost assuredly again be Mr. Marlinga. He will once more give Rep. James a very competitive battle in the general election.
Former New Mexico Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R), who lost her re-election bid by a razor-thin 50.3 – 49.7% margin to freshman Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-Las Cruces) is preparing for a re-match. Ms. Herrell has already filed a 2024 committee with the Federal Election Commission and has scheduled an April 10th kick-off event for her new campaign that will feature House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
The 2nd will yield another competitive congressional contest and promises to be a top Republican conversion target. The district was re-drawn with a 19-point swing from the previous version giving the Democrats a small advantage.
It is a foregone conclusion that embattled freshman New York Rep. George Santos (R-Long Island) is the most vulnerable House member for the coming 2024 election. While two Democrats have previously announced their candidacies, the first Republican challenger stepped forward yesterday.
Afghan War veteran and former JP Morgan Vice President Kellen Curry declared himself a candidate for the Republican nomination. It is expected that we will see a crowded Republican primary form long before the June 2024 New York primary. Defeating Rep. Santos in the primary may be the only way the GOP has of potentially salvaging the seat.
Attorney Josh Riley (D), who lost 49.9 – 48.4% to now-freshman Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-Red Hook), announced this week that he will return for another campaign in 2024. The Upstate New York 19th District, anchored in Ulster and Dutchess Counties, is rated as R+1 from the FiveThirtyEight data organization, while Dave’s Redistricting App sees the partisan lean as a much different 52.0D – 44.6R. Democrats are already committed to targeting the Hudson Valley seats, so expect this race to transform into a national congressional campaign.
As has been expected at least since a mid-March National Research, Inc. Republican primary poll found him leading the open GOP field, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that he will enter the 2024 gubernatorial campaign.
Currently, there are eight candidates in the gubernatorial race including Mr. Morrisey, Secretary of State Mac Warner, State Auditor J.B. McCuskey, state Delegate Moore Capito (R-Charleston), the son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), and auto dealer Chris Miller, son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington). Gov. Jim Justice (R), who is ineligible to seek a third term, is likely to run for the Senate.
Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas was attempting to complete a worst-to-first showing from his last place finish in the 2019 Chicago Mayor’s race, but fell just under three percentage points of accomplishing his goal. The winner, with 51.4% of the runoff vote, is Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson (D), who will now succeed Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) after her defeat in the initial round of voting.
Mr. Johnson’s combined support from the Chicago Teachers Union and the black and Hispanic communities, together of which accounts for approximately 60% of the city’s population, led to his victory. Commissioner Johnson is himself a former teacher and union organizer.
Wisconsin Supreme Court
Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Janet Prostasiewicz won a rather easy 56-44% victory Tuesday night in what many believe was a crucial election. The victory now gives the Democrats the majority on the state Supreme Court for the first time in 15 years. Abortion, again, was a major topic in the race with Prostasiewicz positioning her opponent, former defeated Supreme Court Judge Dan Kelly, as an extremist. Kelly raised little money for the race, but had major outside support. Prostasiewicz and the Democrats had a major resource advantage, and ran the race as if it were a partisan campaign rather than a judicial battle.
It is possible that we will now see a redistricting lawsuit filed and the state’s 6R-2D map overturned. Ms. Prostasiewicz indicated during the campaign that she thought the congressional map was “unfair.”
The Republicans won a state Senate special election that gives them a Super Majority within the body. This would allow them under most circumstances to override many of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ potential vetoes. Republican Dan Knodl claimed the seat with 50.8% of the vote.
The No Labels organization is attempting to qualify for ballot position in many states with the goal of offering centrist candidates in various races, possibly including President. The entity has so far qualified for a ballot line in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon. This week, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced that the No Labels organization has petitioned for recognition in the Buckeye State. Mr. LaRose indicated that the signature verification process has begun.
Though the No Labels leadership, which includes former US Senator and 2000 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joe Lieberman and ex-Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as national co-chairmen, has so far indicated they are not looking to file a presidential candidate, both major parties are wary that they might.
Democratic National Committee
For the twelfth time, the Democratic National Committee has selected Chicago to host its national convention. The 2024 gathering will be the 50th such national conclave. A total of 18 cities have held the 50 Democratic conventions, with Chicago doing so most often. Late last year, the Republicans chose Milwaukee as the site of their 2024 national convention.
An "*" next to a candidate's name in the articles denotes that he or she received an AGC PAC contribution this election cycle.
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