Political Snippets 6.25.21

Listed below are political snippets on congressional, gubernatorial, state and city-wide races across the country. Enjoy!

U.S. Senate


To date, Sen. Michael Bennet (D) has had a free ride to re-election for a third full term, but a potential Republican challenger confirms he is considering launching his candidacy. Air Force veteran Eli Bremer, who represented the United States in the 2008 Summer Olympics in the pentathlon event and will serve as an NBC Sports commentator in the upcoming 2021 games, confirms he met with National Republican Senatorial Committee officials but has yet to make any final decision about running.


It appears that former University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker (R) is getting ready to enter the US Senate contest against freshman incumbent Raphael Warnock (D). Mr. Walker remained a Texas resident after staying in the Lone Star State once his professional football career concluded with the Dallas Cowboys. He released a video depicting him standing next to his car as the camera zeroes in on its Georgia license plate, suggesting that he is in the process of moving back to his home state.

Currently in the GOP race are state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, construction company owner Kelvin King, and financial executive and ex-Trump White House aide Latham Saddler.


On the heels of Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/ Columbia) announcing her run for the Senate, Remington Research released a new Missouri Senate Republican primary poll (6/9-10; 1,011 MO likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system), the first such study testing the three major GOP candidates. The results find former Gov. Eric Greitens still leading the group, this time with 34%, followed by Attorney General Eric Schmitt with 25%, and Rep. Hartzler trailing with 14% support. Incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt (R) announced in March that he will not seek a third term.

US Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-St. Elizabeth/outer St. Louis suburbs) then announced that he will not enter the open 2022 US Senate race, choosing to remain in the House where he is an apparent contender to chair the House Financial Services Committee if the Republicans regain the majority in the 2022 elections.

North Carolina

According to a new Meeting Street Insights survey for the Ted Budd for Senate campaign (6/9-10; 500 NC likely Republican primary voters; live interview), former Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) early lead dissipates once voters become aware that former President Donald Trump has endorsed Rep. Budd for the open Senate race to replace outgoing incumbent Richard Burr (R).

The poll’s initial ballot test finds Mr. McCrory leading the pack of candidates with 45%, followed by US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) at 19%, and former Rep. Mark Walker (R) trailing with 12 percent support. Only 20% of the respondents indicated that they are aware of Mr. Trump’s endorsement of Rep. Budd. Once fully educated, the respondent sample flips to the point that Mr. Budd has a 46-27-8% advantage over Mr. McCrory and former Rep. Walker.


Days after two-term Pennsylvania Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Devon) announced that she would forego a US Senate run in order to seek re-election to the House, neighboring Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Jenkintown) has followed suit. Rep. Dean this week made known her decision not to enter the Senate race but will seek a third term in the House next year.

The leading Democratic open seat announced candidates are Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), and Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh. Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pittsburgh) and state Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) are possible candidates

U.S. House of Representatives


The new Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission released its first preliminary map of the new redistricting cycle using Census Bureau estimates as their basis. While utilizing estimates and sampling is not permitted under a 1996 US Supreme Court ruling, the first draw does give us an idea of where Colorado’s new seat might be placed. Answer: the area north of Denver that includes the Arvada-Westminster-Thornton area, which would serve as the anchor population for the state’s new 8th Congressional District.


Over the past few weeks, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Winter Park) was making news in deciding whether she would run statewide either for Senate or Governor, and now it appears she may have a fight on her hands to keep the position she currently holds.

Three GOP US Representatives, Neil Dunn (R-Panama City), Brian Mast (R-Palm City), and Greg Steube (R-Sarasota), jointly endorsed Army Bronze Star recipient Cory Mills (R) who recently announced his challenge to Rep. Murphy. The move suggests that legislators will target the 7th District in the redistricting process for a return to the Republican column. With neighboring Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando) running for Governor and a new seat likely headed for the Orlando area, the GOP map drawers should have the opportunity of making Rep. Murphy’s 7th District more Republican.


It has been speculated upon for some time that Georgia Ethics Commission chairman Jake Evans (R) would challenge two-term Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) in the 2022 congressional race. Early this week, Mr. Evans resigned his position, which is likely the first step in him becoming a candidate. He might find an already difficult task becoming even harder, however.

Expect the 6th District to be drawn more heavily Democratic in redistricting to tip the adjoining 7th CD of freshman Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Suwanee) to the Republican column. GOP legislators, who control the redistricting process, will likely attempt to regain one of the two Atlanta metro seats lost to the Democrats by conceding one in order to enhance a Republican challenge in the other district.


The 2020 election cycle did not turn out well for former Democratic state Senator and 2018 Lt. Governor nominee Rita Hart, as she ended up losing the open congressional race by a miniscule six votes to freshman House member Mariannette Miller-Meeks* (R-Ottumwa). Now, the political tea leaves are suggesting Ms. Hart will not return for a re-match. A local Iowa political blog is suggesting the Democratic leadership is looking at freshman state Rep. Christina Bohannon (D-Iowa City) as a potential congressional candidate. Ms. Bohannon is a law professor at the University of Iowa outside of her legislative duties.


Earlier in the week, it was learned that President Joe Biden is going to appoint former US Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) to a position in the US Department of Agriculture. Ms. Torres Small accepting the post will likely take her away from attempting to reclaim the congressional seat she lost in November to freshman Rep. Yvette Harrell* (R-Alamogordo) after serving one term.

New Mexico’s 2nd District is the state’s southern seat where the oil and gas industry is a key employer. Right of center outside organizations and Ms. Harrell effectively used the energy issue to oust Rep. Torres Small, 54-46%, and was one of the seats that fell to the GOP after then-candidate Joe Biden confirmed in the second presidential debate that his long-term goal was to eliminate the fossil fuel industry.


The nation’s second closest congressional race, New York Rep. Claudia Tenney’s (R-New Hartford) 109 vote victory over then-Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), also won’t see a re-match. Late this week, Mr. Brindisi said he would not return to challenge Rep. Tenney in what will be a very different district.

With New York losing a congressional seat, it appears that this southwestern New York area, and particularly so with neighboring US Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) retiring, could witness two districts collapsed into one. Doing so, and both districts are way low on population so such a draw would likely pass legal muster, would likely make Rep. Tenney more vulnerable in a Republican primary than in the next general election.


In the middle of this week, former Lehigh County Commissioner and manufacturing business owner Lisa Scheller (R) announced that she will return for a re-match with Rep. Susan Wild (D-Allentown) next year. The Congresswoman was re-elected on a 52-48% count. Redistricting will change this district, but it is probable that the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton seat will remain as a competitive CD.


House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-Columbia) emphatically replied that he will seek a 16th term next year from his expansive South Carolina congressional district that stretches from the capital city of Columbia through some of the Charleston suburbs, and then south to the Georgia border including the territory leading into Savannah. When a local news reporter asked if he would seek re-election, Rep. Clyburn retorted, “not just yes, but Hell yes!” The Congressman, who will be 82 years of age at the next election, had been the subject of retirement speculation.


State Rep. William Bailey (R-Myrtle Beach) who was the first Republican primary challenger to US Rep. Tom Rice* (R-Myrtle Beach) after the Congressman supported the second effort to impeach then-President Donald Trump is now the first to drop out of the race. He announced earlier in the week that he is exiting the congressional contest but will seek re-election to the state House. He says there are plenty of other conservatives in the race that will prove strong opposition to Mr. Rice.

A total of 11 announced Republicans remain in the primary contest. The top two appear to be Horry County School Board chairman Ken Richardson and former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride. South Carolina features a runoff system, so Rep. Rice will have to obtain majority support among all dozen candidates to avoid a secondary election.


Attorney Jessica Cisneros, who held veteran Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar* (D-Laredo) to a 52-48% primary victory in March of 2020, released a new video that suggests, without actually announcing, that she will return to launch another run at the Democratic Congressman who she once served as an intern. Mr. Cuellar went onto win a 58-39% general election victory in one of the Texas-Mexico border districts that tilted somewhat away from the Democrats in the November election. President Joe Biden carried the 28th CD that stretches from the San Antonio area to the Mexican border through Laredo and then east to capture the city of Mission but with a significantly reduced percentage



State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R), who had declared a 2018 Republican primary challenge to Gov. Kay Ivey but backed away before the candidate filing deadline, announced in the early part of this week that he is forming a 2022 gubernatorial exploratory committee. Mr. Zeigler said that if he can determine adequate financial backing exists for an intra-party challenge to the Governor, he will run, but chances are he will again find it difficult to mount enthusiasm among Republican donors and primary voters to unseat their current incumbent.


Former Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon, who was the 2002 Republican gubernatorial nominee, formally declared his intention to enter the 2022 open Governor’s race a full 20 years after he first ran for the position. Mr. Salmon lost a close plurality gubernatorial election to then-Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano (D) by less than one percentage point. He served five non-consecutive terms in the US House and a pair of two-year terms in the Arizona Senate.  

Already in the open Republican primary are state Treasurer Kimberly Yee, State University System Regent Karrin Taylor Robinson, and former television news anchor Kari Lake. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.


The Moore Information Group conducted a survey of the California recall election for the John Cox (R) gubernatorial campaign and reports a tightening of the recall position from previous polling. According to the just released Moore data (6/1-3; 800 CA registered voters; 684 CA likely recall election voters; live interview), Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) would face a tougher going to survive the effort to remove him from office.

The Moore results portend, among the 684 tested likely voters, that a plurality, 49-46%, would vote to remove Gov. Newsom from office. Among the larger registered voter universe, the balance tips back in favor of state chief executive retaining his position, 50-44%. Even this latter ratio, however, is closer than the previous surveys that projected the Governor as surviving the recall by a spread of between 9-12 percentage points.

If the recall is successful, and the special election still has not yet been scheduled, the Moore poll finds Mr. Cox leading the large group of candidates, but their roster includes former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire Tom Steyer. The latter man has said he won’t run, while the former has not indicated that he will enter the race.


The Listener Group just released a Florida Democratic gubernatorial poll (6/9-11; 660 FL likely Democratic primary voters; live interview) that sees US Rep. Charlie Crist’s (D-St. Petersburg) lead over state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) diminishing. In late May, St. Pete Polls (5/24-26; 2,572 FL registered voters; online) found the Tampa Bay area Congressman and former Governor leading Ms. Fried, 56-22%. The Listener numbers find the spread to be only 41-31%, suggesting this race could be much more competitive than first thought.


State Rep. RasTafari Smith (D-Waterloo) announced this week that he will enter the Democratic primary for purposes of challenging Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds next year. She will be on the ballot for a second full term in 2022 after winning election in her own right three years ago. She served the balance of former Gov. Terry Branstad’s (R) previous term. As Lt. Governor, she ascended to the office when Mr. Branstad became US Ambassador to China in the Trump Administration.


Tom Perez, the former Democratic National Committee chairman who didn’t have much of a public role in President Joe Biden’s election campaign and has not received any federal appointment, became the tenth Democrat to announce his candidacy for Governor of Maryland. The group is vying to replace Republican Gov. Larry Hogan who is ineligible to seek a third term.

According to polling before Mr. Perez made his announcement, he was running third in the Democratic primary behind former Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker and state Comptroller Peter Franchot. The eventual Democratic nominee is favored to win the 2022 general election.


State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Suffolk County), the daughter of America’s first Latino astronaut, Franklin Chang-Diaz, announced that she will enter the Democratic gubernatorial primary next year. Already in the race are former state Sen. Ben Downing and Harvard University professor Danielle Allen. Two-term Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has yet to make his political plans known for the 2022 election cycle. If he chooses to run, the Governor will be favored to win re-election once more as a Republican in this most Democratic of states.

New Jersey

A New Jersey gubernatorial poll was released testing the new Governor’s race between incumbent Phil Murphy (D) and former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R). Their respective partisan electorates nominated both in the June 8th primary election.

According to the Fairleigh Dickinson University survey conducted soon after the primary (6/9-16; 803 NJ likely general election voters; live interview), Gov. Murphy enjoys a 48-33% ballot test advantage. The Governor’s job approval rating stands at 50%, which is an eight-point improvement from his score the last time FDU asked the favorability question in relation to the Garden State Governor, which occurred in their February 2020 study.


Gov. Kate Brown (D) is ineligible to seek a third term next year, but the Democratic side has been surprisingly quiet in terms of who might emerge to succeed her. The first official Democratic contender recently entered the gubernatorial race, and others are soon expected to follow. Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla became the first Democratic candidate to formally announce. Oregon is a solidly blue political state meaning that the eventual Democratic nominee will be deemed at least the early favorite to keep the Governor’s office under party control.


Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller yesterday announced that he will seek re-election next year and not challenge Gov. Greg Abbott in the Republican primary. In the race against Gov. Abbott, however, are former state Senator Don Huffines and potentially recently resigned Texas Republican Party chairman and ex-Florida Congressman Allen West.

Also, Lina Hidalgo (D), who won the Harris County Judge (Executive) position in a 2018 upset in the Lone Star State’s largest county (over 4.62 million people), is being talked about in Democratic circles as a possible challenger to Gov. Greg Abbott. Ms. Hidalgo is not ruling out a statewide run, but at only 30 years old it is more likely that she will seek re-election to her current position.

While Ms. Hidalgo may not become a gubernatorial candidate in 2022, her long-term forecast to become one is bright. Therefore, she likely represents the top option on the Texas Democrats’ future political bench.



Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has been under a federal indictment cloud since 2015 and is now besieged with new accusations of him having an extra-marital affair and ex-aides claiming he accepted bribes. Unsurprisingly, these charges and attacks have already drawn Mr. Paxton serious Republican primary opposition, and now another has come to the forefront.

Stepping down from the Texas State Supreme Court to oppose Mr. Paxton in the Republican primary is Justice Eva Guzman, who began her service on the high court in late 2009. She not only joins the incumbent in the race, but also Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and nephew to former Texas Governor and US President George W. Bush.


Buffalo; Rochester

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (D), running for a fifth four-year term, was defeated in this week’s Democratic primary, losing to self-described socialist India Walton. In Rochester, scandal-tainted incumbent Lovely Warren lost the Democratic nomination to at-large City Councilman Malik Evans by a landslide 2:1 margin.


Former Cleveland City Councilman, Mayor, City Councilman again, state Senator, US Congressman, and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D) formally announced his new Mayoral campaign yesterday. In doing so, Mr. Kucinich is running for an office that he first held 44 years ago and would then lose two years later to Republican George Voinovich, who would later become Governor and US Senator.

New York City

Tuesday was election day in New York City, but the mayoral primary is a long way from being officially decided. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the favorite going into the Democratic primary, is the ten-point leader coming from the first partial count, but now must endure rounds of Ranked Choice Vote counting and absentee ballots still being received in order to determine the primary winner. Absentee ballots can still arrive all the way through June 29th. Under the New York counting system, it is likely a winner won’t be officially determined until approximately July 15th.

If Mr. Adams survives the ranked choice counts and reaches majority support, he will face Republican Curtis Sliwa in the general election. Mr. Sliwa, the founder of the 1970s organization, the Guardian Angels, easily won the Republican primary. The new GOP nominee will have little chance, however, in the general election.



The legislation to nationalize America’s voting system, known as the “For the People Act,” cannot advance to a Senate floor vote at least in the short term. On a party-line 50-50 vote, with all Democrats voting to invoke cloture and all Republicans voting against, the bill was not allowed to proceed effectively killing it for the present time. We could see variations of it come up again in future legislative days, but it will take a major change to obtain 60 votes necessary to invoke cloture in order to proceed to a final floor vote.

Monmouth Poll: Monmouth University conducted a national survey about the concepts driving the national voting procedures debate. The survey (6/9-14; 810 US adults; live interview) finds that, in general, large majorities support making voting easier and requiring voter identification. By a 50-39% margin, the sampling universe believes mail voting should be simpler. A 71-16% majority thinks in-person voting should be less complicated. A total of 80% believe that voter identification should be required, including 84% from the segment categorizing people of color.

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