Saying that his commitment to the US Army and to promote the Medal of Honor is greater than his desire to run for Congress, Award winner David Bellavia (R) announced yesterday that he will not enter the special election to replace resigned Rep. Chris Collins (R-Clarence). In the race are state Sens. Chris Jacobs (R-Buffalo) and Robert Ortt (R-Tonawonda) along with attorney and former town judge Beth Parlato. With Mr. Bellavia yielding, we can now expect Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and state Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Albion) to also join the congressional field.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) must call the special election to replace Mr. Collins, but as yet has not set the calendar. Last time New York had a congressional vacancy, in 2017 when then-Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-Rochester) passed away, Gov. Cuomo kept the seat open until the regular election. He recently said that state law would not allow him to do so in this instance, even though he would like to make the vote concurrent with the regular election calendar.
State Sen. David Carlucci (D-Ossining), who was a founder of the independent group of Democratic Senators who voted in favor of a Republican chamber president in the previous legislative session, announced that he will enter the 2020 Democratic congressional primary in hopes of succeeding retiring Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Harrison). The seat is safely Democratic, so it remains to be seen if Carlucci could come through a party primary when the leadership could issue an official endorsement for one of his opponents.
The 17th will likely feature a crowded Democratic field, so a centrist coalition of primary voters could conceivably have the wherewithal to nominate Carlucci over a gaggle of more liberal candidates.
The immediate post-debate Suffolk University/USA Today Iowa survey (10/16-18; 500 IA likely Democratic caucus participants) sees a tightening Democratic field. Here, former Vice President Joe Biden drops six points from the firm’s July poll to register only 18% support, just one point ahead of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the big mover, however, more than doubling his July support to capture third position with 13% support. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) remains constant at 9% preference.
Quite likely, these responses are a reflection of how the candidates performed in the October 15th debate , so it remains to be seen if this new pattern will have staying power.
The We Ask America polling firm released the first Bayou State gubernatorial general election political survey featuring the Gov. John Bel Edwards – Eddie Rispone race, which will be decided Nov. 16th. Those who surmised before the election that if the Governor were forced into a run-off, we would see a very competitive campaign appear to be correct, and the WAA poll (10/14-16; 600 LA likely 2019 general election voters) confirms such speculation. According to their results, the two candidates are already tied at 47% apiece.
Gov. Edwards defeated then-Senator David Vitter (R) to win the Governorship in 2015 but failed to even reach 47% in the 2019 jungle primary. Under Louisiana election law, all candidates are placed on the same ballot and if any one receives majority support, that individual is elected outright. Should no one reach 50%, as was the case on Oct. 12th, the top two finishers, in this case Gov. Edwards (D) and developer Rispone (R), advance to a run-off election.
Two-term Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Naples), who previously served as US Ambassador to the Holy See, announced over the weekend that he will not seek a third term next year. Mr. Rooney, 65 years of age, had been on the unofficial retirement watch list particularly when raising only $6,600 for the campaign cycle. The Rooney retirement means there are now 27 open House seats in the current cycle, 20 coming from the Republican side.
The 19th District, located in southwestern Florida and anchored in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral, is safely Republican (Trump ’16: 60-37%). We can expect a crowded August 25th Republican primary that will likely choose the district’s next Congressman.
On Friday, Gov. Tony Evers (D) released his revised special election calendar to fill resigned Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R-Wausau) vacant seat. The Governor’s original schedule did not conform to the federal MOVE Act, which mandates the number of days that must exist between elections in order to provide adequate time for military and overseas voters to return ballots, so he had to issue a new set of special primary and general election dates.
It was thought that the Governor would schedule the special general with the April 7th presidential primary, but he chose a stand-alone option instead. The candidate filing deadline is now December 2nd, with the party primaries to be held Feb. 18th. The special general will now be May 12th. Currently, three House seats are vacant and headed toward special elections, but this is now the only one with a definitive election calendar. The other two vacancies are NY-27 (Chris Collins resignation) and MD-7 (death of Elijah Cummings).
A new Colorado Senate poll, consistent with other early surveys, finds former Governor John Hickenlooper (D) establishing a solid lead over incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner (R) in a state that continues to move leftward. A trio of research firms, Keating Research, OnSight Public Affairs, and Martin Campaigns combined their efforts to field this specific Centennial State poll (10/10-14; 500 CO registered voters). The results find Mr. Hickenlooper posting a 53-42% lead over Sen. Gardner in a race that promises to attract major national attention.
The favorability index also substantially favors Hickenlooper despite him crashing and burning at the presidential campaign level. Mr. Hickenlooper posted a 51:35% favorable to unfavorable ratio while Sen. Gardner is upside down with a 34:45% rating. Mr. Hickenlooper still must win the Democratic primary, however, as nine candidates are opposing him for the nomination. He is a heavy favorite, however, against former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, state Sen. Angela Williams (D-Denver), and seven others.
No one is yet coming forward to confirm interest in entering the special election to replace the late Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore) who passed away on Thursday, but speculation as to who might run is beginning.
No less than 14 people have been mentioned as potential candidates, but the big question is whether the Congressman’s widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings the current Maryland Democratic Party chair, will decide to run. Others being mentioned include former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, and no less than ten state legislators. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) must set the special election calendar on or before October 28th.
House Oversight & Reform Committee chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), serving his 12th full term in office, passed away yesterday morning at the age of 68. Now, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has ten days to schedule a replacement special election to fill the vacancy. According to Maryland election law, the special primary must occur before the end of this year, with a general to follow within 65 days of the first vote. This means the entire cycle must be completed on or before March 5th.
We can expect a crowded Democratic primary to form as future candidates will battle to become Mr. Cummings’ successor. With a 68-16% party registration advantage, the 7th District will remain in Democratic hands. The Maryland vacancy now becomes the 26th open seat during the current election cycle, including the three vacancies: MD-7 (Cummings), NY-27 (Chris Collins), and WI-7 (Sean Duffy). Republicans currently hold 19 of the open seats, and Democrats now up to seven.
The Marketing Resource Group just released their Michigan US Senate poll (10/7-10; 600 MI registered voters) and again find a close contest between Sen. Gary Peters (D) and businessman and retired Army Ranger John James (R). The ballot test sees Sen. Peters clinging to a 43-40% edge. This is a similar result to an Emerson College poll conducted in March that found the two separated by a scant 44-43% spread. Last month, however, Target-Insyght released a much different result: Peters ahead 53-37%. Most observers believe this Senate race will evolve into a close contest.
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