A pair of Super PACs announced support in the way of media ads for local school board member Candace Valenzuela who is opposing retired Air Force officer and 2018 state Agriculture Commissioner nominee Beth Olson. The End Citizens United and Latino Victory Fund organizations are supporting Ms. Valenzuela, while VoteVets announced an endorsement for Ms. Olson.
Fundraising is nearly equal, too. Ms. Valenzuela says she will report over $465,000 raised for the 2nd quarter, while Ms. Olson will come in around $438,000. The July 14th Democratic runoff winner faces former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne, who won the Republican primary outright back in March. Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Coppell) is retiring after serving what will be eight terms at the end of the current congressional session.
Former White House physician and retired Navy Admiral Ronny Jackson (R), with President Trump’s support, is expanding his lead over lobbyist and former congressional aide Josh Winegarner (R) according to a Fabrizio Lee & Associates survey (6/27-28; 400 TX-13 likely Republican runoff voters) for the Miles of Greatness Super PAC, a military support organization backing Dr. Jackson. According to the ballot test results, the Jackson lead over Winegarner has grown to 46-29%. The postponed Republican runoff is scheduled for next week on July 14th. The Republican primary winner becomes a prohibitive favorite for election in November.
Primaries and runoffs are still on the political horizon, but July is a light electoral month. Tomorrow, the postponed New Jersey statewide primary will be held, and a new extensive mail voting procedure will be tested as all registered voters were sent a live ballot. The Delaware stand-alone presidential primary will also be conducted. The regular statewide Delaware primary is the latest in the nation, scheduled for September 15th. Stand-alone presidential primaries will also be held this month in Louisiana (7/11) and Puerto Rico (7/12).
July 14th hosts runoff elections in Alabama and Texas. The important US Senate Republican contest between retired Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville and ex-US Attorney General and former Senator Jeff Sessions will be finally be decided that day. Runoffs in the open 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts will also send contestants to the respective general elections in what should be safe Republican seats. The original Alabama runoff election date was March 31st.
Texas holds a US Senate Democratic runoff and 15 House secondary elections postponed from May 26th. From the latter group, nine Republican contests and six Democratic electoral events will finally determine general election participants. The Texas and Alabama primaries were held all the way back on March 3rd.
Maine holds its postponed primary also on July 14th. State House Speaker Sara Gideon is a heavy favorite to win the Democratic US Senate nomination to face incumbent Susan Collins (R). Three credible Republicans are vying for the opportunity of challenging freshman Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) in what is likely to be a competitive 2nd District general election campaign.
Fox News surveyed the Texas Senate race (6/20-24; 1,001 TX registered voters) and paired incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R) with both of the Democratic runoff candidates, retired Army helicopter pilot M.J. Hegar and state Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas). Sen. Cornyn’s standing against both potential opponents is virtually the same. He tops Ms. Hegar, 46-36%, and Sen. West, 47-37%. The postponed Texas Democratic runoff is scheduled for July 14th.
A WPA Intelligence survey for the Club for Growth (6/17-18; 408 TX-13 likely Republican runoff voters) finds retired Admiral Ronny Jackson, who carries President Trump’s endorsement, now taking the lead over former congressional aide and current lobbyist Josh Winegarner in the upcoming July 14th GOP runoff election. The WPA results find Mr. Jackson holding a 49-41% advantage.
The poll appears accurate especially when seeing Winegarner immediately launch an attack ad against Jackson, suggesting that the former man’s internal polling also shows him falling behind.
According to a story in the Texas Scorecard online publication and others, Democratic congressional candidate Kim Olson made a controversial statement during an interview yesterday. She said, in response to a question about defunding the police that, “[e]ven if people loot, so what? Burn it to the ground, you know, if that’s what it’s going to take to fix our nation.” She then added that, “I don’t think people want me to say that.”
Ms. Olson, a retired Air Force Colonel and defeated 2018 State Agriculture Commissioner candidate is running against local school board trustee Candace Valenzuela in the July 14th Democratic runoff campaign in a contest that is becoming highly competitive. Ms. Olson’s comments will certainly make the closing weeks of this campaign all the more interesting. The runoff winner will challenge former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne (R) in order to succeed retiring US Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Coppell).
The 23rd District of Texas that stretches from San Antonio all the way to El Paso has been one of the best examples of a pure swing district in the country. Since it was drawn in its current configuration, the winning candidate has only topped 50% one time, in a decade-high victory margin of 50-46%. With incumbent Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) not seeking re-election, most observers in both parties are projecting the open seat will go to Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones later this year. She was the 2018 nominee who held Rep. Hurd to a 49.2 – 48.7% victory margin and had raised over $3.3 million through March 31st.
Republicans appear to be already conceding the seat, but a new Remington Research poll may change minds, particularly if other non-public data is producing similar results. According to RR (5/19-20; 669 TX-23 likely general election voters) Ms. Ortiz Jones records only a 45-43% lead over retired Navy non-commissioned officer Tony Gonzales. Such a spread is consistent with this district’s voting history. At the present time, Mr. Gonzales is locked into a Republican runoff that won’t be decided until July 14th, which is another negative for the GOP though he is heavily favored to win the runoff. It remains to be seen if this race becomes targeted.
More details about the congressional district convention to replace Director of US Intelligence John Ratcliffe as Texas’ 4th District Congressman are becoming public. The convention, scheduled for August 8th as previously reported, will only feature 158 voting precinct chairs from throughout the district’s 16 whole and two partial counties.
Candidates will be nominated at the convention, so there is no filing period. Therefore, various individuals announcing their candidacies carries no particular significance other than to inform the precinct chairmen they want to be considered for nomination. Additionally, the 158-voting number is set because a quirk in the party rules won’t allow the many vacant precinct slots to be filled prior to the vote.
Apparently, Democrats are weighing the option of filing a lawsuit to declare the convention process unconstitutional under the state of Texas. Doing so, and if successful, could mean the Republican Party would have no avenue of replacing Mr. Ratcliffe for the general election, meaning Democratic nominee Russell Foster, chosen in the March 3rd regular primary election vote, would face only Libertarian Party candidate Lou Antonelli in what is a 75% Trump district. Much remains to occur here before we see who emerges as Mr. Ratcliffe’s successor.
President Trump’s nomination of former Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-Heath/Rockwall) as Director of US Intelligence has led to a 4th Congressional District Republican Party convention gathering in early August to choose a replacement general election nominee. With four Republicans already running, including Rockwall City Councilman Trace Johannesen, Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt, yesterday, announced his own congressional candidacy. The 4th District is safely Republican, so whomever the convention delegates nominate will almost assuredly become the next Congressman.
The convention winner advances into the general election and then will take the seat in the next Congress. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has already announced that he will not call a special election to fill the balance of the current term.
Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Heath/Rockwall) quickly resigned his seat in the House after the Senate confirmed him to become the country’s Director of Intelligence, meaning we have a new vacancy. Immediately after the resignation announcement, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that he would not call a special election to fill the balance of the current term.
Therefore, in a similar situation with CA-50 (Rep. Duncan Hunter resigned) and NC-11 (Rep. Mark Meadows resigned to become White House chief of staff), the TX-4 seat will remain without representation until the next Congress convenes.
Republican Party of Texas chairman James Dickey said the 4th District Executive Committees will meet in convention on August 8th to choose a replacement nominee for the November ballot. Since Mr. Ratcliffe had already won re-nomination for this year’s general election, the Executive Committee is forced to act. Because the seat is safely Republican, whoever emerges from the Committee vote will become the new Representative next year.
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