When Rep. Mark Meadows (R-Skyland/Asheville) announced his retirement less than 48 hours before the North Carolina candidate filing deadline prospective Republican candidates had little time to make a decision about running.
Apparently, the short time frame did not reduce the number of open seat candidates. Twelve Republicans filed, including state Sen. Jim Davis (R-Franklin), Buncombe County Economic Development Commission member Mathew Burril, ex-North Carolina Republican Party Vice Chairman Wayne King, business owner Vance Patterson, and two previous congressional candidates from other districts. Five Democrats filed, none of whom have held any political office. The eventual Republican nominee will be a heavy favorite to hold the seat in the 2020 general election.
Democrats believe they have a chance to steal the open Kansas Senate race particularly since they were successful in electing Gov. Laura Kelly in 2018. Their odds improve if Kansas former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who lost the previous Governor’s race, becomes the Republican nominee.
The recent Trafalgar Group survey for the Free Forever PAC (12/3-11; 563 KS likely GOP primary voters) finds that even if US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returns to Kansas and enters the Senate race the party nomination is apparently up for grabs. The poll results find both Messrs. Pompeo and Kobach receiving approximately 26% with Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) trailing at 13%. Without Secretary Pompeo in the race, Mr. Kobach would open with a large 33-18% advantage over Rep. Marshall.
While he had not been seriously mentioned as a US Senate candidate for incumbent Mike Enzi’s (R) open seat race next year, former two-term Gov. Matt Mead (R), who was ineligible to seek a third term in 2018, stated definitively late last week that he will not run for the Senate.
Retired investment company owner Foster Friess, who placed second in the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary, reiterated that he has not ruled out running for Senate. Ex-Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R) is an active candidate, and most political observers believe that at-large Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wilson/Jackson) will enter the race before candidate filing closes at the end of May in preparation for the August 18th Republican primary.
Candidate filing in the Tar Heel State closed on Friday and 38 individuals returned their documentation to run for President. Of those, 20 are minor party contenders.
Fifteen Democrats filed, including all of the perceived leaders, former Vice President Joe Biden, ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). For the Democrats, 110 first ballot delegates are at stake in the March 3rd North Carolina party primary.
Three Republicans filed including, of course, President Trump, along with former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and Illinois ex-US Rep. Joe Walsh.
Former House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-Skyland/Asheville) announced that he will not seek re-election less than 48 hours before the North Carolina candidate filing deadline. Rumors abound that the Congressman, who is a close confidant of President Trump, may soon be taking a job in the Administration.
The newly configured 11th District created after another court-ordered re-map now fully contains the city of Asheville but is still a solidly Republican district. Since potential candidates have such a short time to file before the deadline expires today at noon, developments will be fast unfolding. This is clearly a developing story.
The Ohio candidate filing deadline expired earlier in the week and lists of officially qualified congressional contenders are now available. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) had a highly competitive re-election campaign in 2018, and it looks like he will again have a serious race in the current election cycle.
As expected, healthcare company executive Kate Schroder and Iraq War veteran and engineer Nikki Foster will square off in the Democratic primary for the right to face the Congressman in the general election. Another close finish is again forecast. Mr. Chabot defeated Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval (D) in 2018 by a 51-47% count.
Veteran US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown), who was an early presidential contender before dropping out of the national race to seek a tenth term in Congress, has drawn a significant general election challenger. Former state Rep. Christina Hagan (R), who garnered 40% of the vote in the neighboring 16th Congressional District primary in 2018, has made the move to challenge Rep. Ryan in the current election cycle. Six other Republicans also filed, but only Ms. Hagan has been previously elected to office.
The 13th District is reliably Democratic (Trump ’16: 45-51%) and Rep. Ryan scored a 61% win in 2018 and reached 68% in the 2016 presidential year. Though Mr. Ryan begins as a heavy favorite for re-election, this could be a race to watch.
The Civiqs organization released the findings of their latest Iowa Democratic survey (12/12-16; 632 IA likely Democratic caucus attenders) and it confirms other data results. It is becoming clear that the Iowa Caucuses are close among four candidates as we pull to within seven weeks of the vote. According to Civiqs, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is leading the Democratic contenders with 24% support. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is right behind with 21%, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) falls back to 18%. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is showing weakness in Iowa, places fourth in this survey with only 15%. The Iowa Caucuses are scheduled for February 3rd.
Hoke County Democratic Commissioner Harry Southerland yesterday submitted his candidate filing to challenge special election winner Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) in the new 9th Congressional District. The most recent North Carolina redistricting map changes the 9th CD by approximately 20%, namely replacing Bladen County, which was the cause of the ballot harvesting controversy that kept the seat vacant for almost a year, and replacing it with Hoke County, from where Mr. Southerland hails, and part of Moore County.
The new district runs approximately ten points in President Trump’s favor. Rep. Bishop defeated Democrat Dan McCready 51-49% in the September special election after the latter man spent over $13 million dollars over two campaigns in an attempt to win the seat. Rep. Bishop is favored for re-election, but this seat, which stretches from Charlotte down the South Carolina border almost to Lumberton, will remain competitive under its new configuration.
Public Policy Polling surveyed the Iowa electorate for the End Citizens United organization (12/13-15; 944 IA registered voters) and asked leading questions to put Sen. Joni Ernst (R) in the most negative possible light. Even so, the ballot test still finds her leading real estate executive Theresa Greenfield, the Democratic leadership’s candidate, by a 47-41% margin. Little national attention has been paid to this situation so far, but the Iowa campaign is expected to be a highly competitive contest next year, as will the presidential race and all four congressional campaigns here.
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