Check out these political snippets on the presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and local races from across the country.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) is making appearances in New Hampshire and telling Republicans that they “need him” on the debate dais in order to “stop Trump.” It is unlikely that such a strategy will bear much political fruit, but it is certainly possible that Mr. Christie will enter the presidential race.
A pair of new Republican potential presidential candidates appear to be exploring the national campaign hustings. Reportedly, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) are beginning to test the political waters with appearances in the early primary states.
Should they move forward, former President Donald Trump will likely be the big winner. The greater number of individuals who have little chance of winning the nomination but still become candidates makes it easier for Mr. Trump to score plurality victories and secure the highest number of delegates.
California US Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) announced that he is ending consideration of entering the state’s open US Senate race and, instead, will back his San Francisco Bay Area colleague, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), in her statewide campaign. Rep. Khanna says he plans to seek re-election to the House in 2024, which he claims is the best place for him to serve.
The Khanna move further crystallizes an open all-party March 5th primary race among Reps. Lee, Katie Porter (D-Irvine) and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank). A credible Republican candidate has not yet come forward. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Senate’s top senior Democrat, is retiring.
Republican leaders are again trying to recruit former Gov. Larry Hogan (R) into the Maryland US Senate race. It appears, however, they will not have any better luck convincing him to challenge veteran incumbent Ben Cardin (D) in the 2024 campaign than they did in recruiting him against Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) last year.
Mr. Hogan reiterated that he has no interest in running for the Senate, and that includes an open seat scenario. Sen. Cardin, who will be 80 years old at the time of the next election, is a retirement prospect.
This week, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D), who had not previously closed the door on entering the open Senate race, said that she would not run. The move strengthens Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) who, at this point, is the only announced Democratic candidate. Michigan Education Board President Pamela Pugh and actor and author Hill Harper are the remaining noteworthy potential candidates.
For the Republicans, state Education Board member Nikki Snyder is the only declared candidate, but Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland), and ex-Reps. Fred Upton and Peter Meijer are potential entrants. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is not seeking re-election to a fifth term. Rep. Slotkin is the clear early favorite for the Democratic nomination and to win the general election in November of 2024.
Reports are coming from West Virginia, and even quoting Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) as a source, that Gov. Jim Justice (R), who is ineligible to seek a third term in 2024, is moving closer to entering the US Senate contest. Apparently, the Governor held a meeting with the National Republican Senatorial Committee leadership and has been communicating directly with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about the next campaign.
Earlier, it was reported that Mr. Justice would not announce for the Senate until he had shepherded his major tax cut proposal through the legislature. Now that the revenue bill has passed, it appears the Governor will soon declare his federal candidacy.
In order to challenge Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in the general election, he must initially move past US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town). The Congressman, who declared for the Senate right after the November election and has support from the Club for Growth political action organization, will be a formidable opponent. Gov. Justice, however, has universal name identification and a favorable image throughout the state. He is the obvious favorite.
Mr. Manchin appears to be the most vulnerable of the Democratic Senators standing for re-election, and the West Virginia race is becoming a must-win for the Republicans if they are to take advantage of a favorable 2024 Senate map that forces them to defend only 11 of 34 in-cycle seats next year.
U.S. House of Representatives
Eastern Kentucky US Representative Hal Rogers (R-Somerset) is the Dean of the House of Representatives having been first elected in 1980. He has rarely been challenged since, though already we see four Republican opponents lining up to challenge the veteran incumbent next year.
In 2022, physician Rich Van Dam challenged the Congressman along with three others, and together the group held Rep. Rogers to an 82% landslide victory. With the Congressman turning 86 years of age before the next election, it appears these challengers are anticipating a potential retirement announcement, since it is unlikely they will have much success at the ballot box.
Ohio US Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) is one of only five Democrats who represent seats that former President Donald Trump carried in 2020. Post-redistricting, Rep. Kaptur found herself placed in a seat that is strongly Republican, but was fortunate in drawing GOP candidate J.R. Majewski who was part of the January 6th raid on the Capitol. She easily dispensed with her opponent, 57-43%, despite the district’s R+6 partisan lean.
A new contender has come to the forefront, which will likely make the 2024 race much more competitive. In what is expected to be the first of several Republican candidates to announce, former Walbridge Mayor Dan Wilczynski yesterday made his declaration. State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Waterville), who is the chairman of the Ohio House Ways & Means Committee, is another potential candidate.
Rep. Kaptur is the Dean of House Democrats. She was first elected in 1982, thus serving her 21st two-year term.
Despite Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) not resigning his seat until June 1st, the list of impending special election candidates continues to grow. Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt (D) is adding her name to the list of those either announcing for the seat or considering entering the campaign. Her addition expands the candidate and potential candidate list to nine Democrats. At a D+32 rating, Rep. Cicilline’s successor will be determined in the special Democratic primary.
Ms. Baldelli-Hunt is the aunt of Rocco Baldelli, who is the manager of the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball club. Gov. Dan McKee (D) will officially issue the special election calendar as soon as Rep. Cicilline officially resigns. He has indicated, however, that the special primary will be September 5th, and the subsequent special general election concurrent with the regular election scheduled for November 7th.
Tar Heel State Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) has received the preponderance of early attention regarding the 2024 open Republican gubernatorial nomination, but another individual has jumped ahead of him to become the first official GOP candidate. State Treasurer Dale Folwell declared his gubernatorial candidacy this week, thus setting up a tough primary battle with Mr. Robinson. The latter man is set to soon officially announce his bid.
The lone Democrat in the race, Attorney General Josh Stein, is well on his way to becoming a consensus party candidate. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. As with all North Carolina statewide races, the 2024 battle will yield a tight final result.
This week, Lt. Gov. John Husted (R) launched his campaign for Governor even though the election is still almost four years away. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) was elected to a second term in November, but is ineligible to seek a third.
The Lt. Governor is not the only candidate getting a head start. Previously announcing that they would run for Governor in the election after next are former Department of Homeland Security official and conservative think tank president Matt Mayer (R) and Iraq War veteran Jeremiah Workman (R).
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 last night 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.
Turnout was approximately 38% of the registered voter pool, which, though low, was an increase over the 2019 election. Mr. Johnson campaigned as a progressive, while Mr. Vallas fell short with his tough on crime approach, and support from the city’s law enforcement establishment. Previously, Mr. Johnson had advocated defunding the police, but eschewed that position for the current campaign.
The results ended what was a very active and expensive campaign that originally featured nine candidates. Ms. Lightfoot’s defeat in the primary election became the first time a Chicago Mayor was denied re-election in 40 years.
As has been anticipated for several months, Texas US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) announced during the week that she will enter the 2023 open Houston Mayor’s race. The Congresswoman will not have to risk her US House seat to run for the post, but must resign if elected. If this occurs, a special election will then be scheduled to fill the unexpired portion of the congressional term. Already, a field of eleven individuals have announced their mayoral candidacies even though candidate filing doesn’t conclude until August 21st.
The major candidates, in addition to Rep. Jackson Lee who was first elected to Congress in 1994, include state Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston), former city Councilwoman and ex-US Senate candidate Amanda Edwards, Houston Metro Board member and ex-Texas Democratic Party Vice Chairman Chris Hollins, and attorney Lee Kaplan.
Incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner is ineligible to seek a third term. He is reportedly surveying his prospects against Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in a 2024 statewide race. It is likely, however, that should Ms. Jackson Lee win the mayoral election, Mr. Turner will quickly enter the special congressional succession election.
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