Entrepreneur Lisa Song Sutton, who was Miss Nevada USA in 2014, announced that she will seek the Republican nomination to eventually challenge Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas). Though the district leans Democratic, the campaign could become competitive.
Mr. Horsford was first elected in 2012 when the seat was added to the Nevada delegation as a result of the 2010 apportionment. But, he lost re-election after one term to Republican Cresent Hardy, who then lost his own re-election two years later. When Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Las Vegas) ran into a sex scandal and didn’t seek his first re-election, Mr. Horsford returned, this time defeating Mr. Hardy. The short electoral history indicates that the 4th District electorate has yet to re-elect its incumbent. Therefore, a Horsford-Sutton match could become a race to watch.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House leadership, and most of the Democratic members of the Texas delegation are all lining up to sponsor an event next week to convince former gubernatorial nominee and ex-Ft. Worth state Senator Wendy Davis (D) to challenge freshman Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin/San Antonio).
It appears obvious that the die is cast for her to accept the support so expect Ms. Davis to declare her candidacy in conjunction with the event. Assuming she runs, the liberal Davis and conservative Roy would butt heads in a stark ideological contrast campaign. Ms. Davis will have none of her Ft. Worth political base in this South Texas seat, but liberal Austin will more than compensate. Rep. Roy raised $402,000 in the second quarter and holds $656,000 in his campaign account. We can expect multi-million dollar campaigns from both sides in this budding race.
Former state Rep. Jeanne Ives, who challenged then-Gov. Bruce Rauner from the right in the 2018 Republican primary and held him to a 51-48% win, announced that she will enter the primary campaign to eventually challenge freshman Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove). Ms. Ives will ironically battle Gov. Rauner’s Lt. Governor, Evelyn Sanguinetti, for the GOP congressional nomination. The winner faces an uphill battle against Rep. Casten, who unseated veteran Rep. Peter Roskam (R) in the 2018 election.
Continuing with the growing number of Democratic intra-party congressional incumbent challenges, Will County Board member Rachel Ventura is launching a primary campaign against veteran Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville). Mr. Foster was first elected to the neighboring 14th District in 2008 but lost the seat in the 2010 GOP landslide. He then returned with a victory in this suburban Chicago CD two years later. Ms. Ventura says she will attack Mr. Foster from his political left.
Sen. John Cornyn (R) has drawn yet another Democratic challenger, and one more from Houston. In addition to retired Army helicopter pilot and defeated congressional candidate M.J. Hegar (D) and former Houston Congressman and ex-gubernatorial nominee Chris Bell (D), outgoing Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards (D) announced her candidacy yesterday.
As the field grows, Ms. Edwards, who was first elected to the City Council in 2015 but is not seeking re-election this year, could be in favorable position. Being the only person of color in the race could allow her to coalesce the minority communities throughout the state, which would give her a major advantage in a Democratic primary. In any event, Sen. Cornyn is favored to win a fourth term next year.
In 2018, after leading the vote counting until the very end when the outcome turned, former Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford/Bakersfield) lost his seat to newcomer agri-businessman T.J. Cox (D). The total vote count of just 862 ballots separated the two candidates in what ended as the lowest turnout seat among California’s 53 CDs (113,616 voters).
Yesterday, Mr. Valadao, who has been quiet since the election, filed a 2020 candidate committee with the Federal Election Commission. While this does not constitute a statement of candidacy, it is a necessary first step. Reported sources close to the ex-Congressman indicate that Mr. Valadao will run and plans to formally announce in August. For his part, Rep. Cox just reported raising $708,501 through the second quarter with a cash-on-hand figure of $483,837.
Another of the nation’s 2018 closest campaigns occurred in an upstate New York congressional district. In the state’s 22nd CD, freshman Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) failed to win re-election by a scant 50.1 – 48.3% margin opposite then-state Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D). Now, it appears that she, too, will join those 2018 losing candidates who will return for another try.
The 22nd District is the second strongest Trump CD (55-39%) in the US that a Democrat represents. With the President again expected to run well here in 2020, this promises to be a race to watch regardless if Ms. Tenney decides to run.
Quinnipiac University went to the Golden State, site of the March 3rd primary that will yield the largest first ballot delegate count in the country (416), in order to test Democratic preference. Their poll was conducted over the July 10-15 period and featured a respondent pool totaling 1,125 individuals, but only 519 identified themselves as likely Democratic primary voters. Therefore, for a state the size of California, this is a small primary electorate sample.
Nevertheless, the results post home state Sen. Kamala Harris to a small, but significant, 23-21% edge over former Vice President Joe Biden with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) posting 18 and 16%, respectively. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg falls back here with only 3% support.
While Mayor Pete Buttigieg may have polled poorly in the most recent California survey, he is topping the candidates in another category: money. Mr. Buttigieg raised over $24 million in the 2nd quarter, more than any other candidate including former Vice President Joe Biden who raked in $22 million. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reported $19 million, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) posted $18 million, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) raised $12 million.
Sen. Sanders, however, retains the most cash in his account, $27 million, with Mayor Buttigieg close behind with $23 million. Sens. Warren and Harris have more in the bank than they raised in Q2, $20 and $13 million, respectively. Here, it is Mr. Biden posting the most disappointing cash-on-hand figure at $11 million.
While Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin’s primary challenge has ended, another prominent Democratic official may be facing one. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse confirms that he is considering challenging House Ways & Means Committee chairman Richard Neal (D-Springfield) and will do so from the left. The Massachusetts state primary is not until September 15th after a May 5th candidate filing deadline, so Mayor Morse has plenty of time to make a decision.
Holyoke is a city of 40,000 people but lies within the Springfield/Chicopee/Holyoke region that constitutes the 1st District’s population anchor. Massachusetts primaries will be taken more seriously in 2020 when considering then-Boston Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley’s upset of now former Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Somerville) in the last election cycle.
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