A day after Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara (D) announced her intention to run for Congress next year, 2020 Democratic nominee and retired Air Force Colonel Moe Davis, who had already filed a 2022 campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission, is now saying he probably will not run. Mr. Davis was quoted as saying, “I’m not going to risk getting myself killed if there’s no realistic shot at winning. If nothing changes, it’s still impossible to win here.”
With the 11th District occupying the far western corner of the state, if anything, the seat is likely to become more Republican through the coming re-districting process.
Including those who filed late Wednesday afternoon for the May 1st TX-6 special election to replace the late Congressman Ron Wright (R-Arlington), a total of 23 candidates have submitted the proper filing documents to their respective state political party. Of the 23, a total of eleven are Republicans, in addition to ten Democrats, a Libertarian, and an Independent. Of the entire group, however, just one, freshman state Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie), is an elected official. Favored is Susan Wright, the Congressman’s widow, but with so many opponents, it is likely this contest will advance to a summer runoff election.
Former local police chief Loren Culp (R), who qualified for the 2020 general election to oppose Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and recorded 43% of the vote, is reported to be testing the waters at a run against GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Sunnyside/Yakima), one of the ten Republicans to support then-President Donald Trump’s impeachment. Already in the race is state Rep. Brad Klippert (R-Kennewick), the Vice Chair of the Republican caucus in the Washington House of Representatives.
Washington uses a top two jungle primary system, so a race opposing Rep. Newhouse would not be a typical Republican Party challenge. The system, where all candidates are placed on the same primary ballot regardless of political party preference, would likely favor the Congressman advancing into the general election because he can do so with a reduced base of support. It is conceivable, however, that two GOP candidates could advance thus creating a double-Republican general election.
With New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on the political ropes, two Republican US House members are beginning to make moves in relation to developing a gubernatorial campaign. Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) is going so far as beginning to hire a statewide campaign staff, saying he wants to be “100% committed” to the race if he makes a final decision to enter. Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) also confirms that he is “seriously considering” becoming a gubernatorial candidate. Much depends upon how the Cuomo situation is resolved, but it is clear the 2022 New York race will be much more competitive than in recent years past.
Quinnipiac University just released the results of their new Empire State poll (3/2-3; 935 NY self-identified registered voters; live interview) testing the damage done to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) pertaining to the nursing home and sexual harassment scandals that are breaking virtually simultaneously.
In all, the poll is mixed. He does poorly on trustworthiness (37:55%), whether he should seek re-election (36% yes; 59% no), and across the board among Republicans and Independents. The fact that he remains strong with his Democratic base is keeping him afloat with some positive numbers (55% of the respondents do not think he should resign, 40% do), so it appears possible for him to avoid resignation.
Five-term US Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Matteson/Chicago) will officially succeed state Rep. Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) as the Illinois Democratic Party chair with her special state party election victory. Mr. Madigan, until his retirement last month, held the position for the past 23 years. Rep. Kelly won the internal party election despite support for her opponent, Chicago Alderwoman Michelle Harris, coming from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and Mr. Madigan. The state’s senior Senator and Majority Whip Dick Durbin supported Rep. Kelly.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) has been guarded in answering questions about his political future and whether or not he will seek an eighth term in 2022. This week, the Senator, who will turn 89 years of age before the next election, filed a 2022 committee with the Federal Election Commission that will serve as an organizing structure to raise funds for the coming campaign. This, in and of itself, does not indicate the Senator has decided to seek re-election, but it is a significant move. Last week, he made a statement indicating that he would make up his mind about re-election sometime later this year.
Dave Harden (D) is an international businessman and ex-foreign service officer who just threw his hat into the political ring. He says he will compete in the 2022 Democratic primary against at least three other individuals for the right to oppose veteran Rep. Andy Harris, the state’s lone Republican Congressman. Already announced are former state Delegate and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur and two previous congressional candidates, Iraq/Afghan War veteran Mia Mason and nurse Jennifer Pingley.
Rep. Harris is drawing the Democrats’ ire for being one of the 147 House Republicans who voted to challenge the Electoral College results. He is also vulnerable to a Democratic-controlled redistricting draw, and on the verge of breaking his six-term self-term limit. Therefore, we can expect the Eastern Shore district of Maryland to host a competitive political race next year.
With the Washington Post recirculating MeToo allegation stories against freshman North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-Hendersonville/Asheville), a third Democrat announced her candidacy yesterday. Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara says she will run for Congress next year. Already declared are 2020 Democratic nominee and retired Air Force Colonel Moe Davis and Iraq War veteran and defeated state Representative nominee Josh Remillard.
The allegations coming from former students at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA where Rep. Cawthorn attended classes for a short period were a focal point of the 2020 campaign, but he still won the election 54-42%.
With Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) winning confirmation this week as Secretary of Commerce in the Biden Administration, Lt. Gov. Dan McKee (D) assumes the Governorship since the new cabinet member obviously resigned her current position.
Naturally, the development greatly changes the 2022 statewide campaign even though Ms. Raimondo was at the end of her term limit and the Governor’s race would have been open. Mr. McKee will have almost two years in office before the September 2022 Democratic primary, a contest that is virtually tantamount to winning the general election. Despite what will be his partial term as the incumbent, Gov. McKee is still expected to draw significant Democratic opposition.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D), who came under criticism for the way he handled the summer protests and riots that led to extensive property damage in the city, has drawn Democratic opposition for re-election. Former state Representative Kate Knuth, who at 26 years of age, was one of the youngest people ever elected to the legislature, announced that she will enter this year’s Mayor’s campaign. Ms. Knuth, whose father also served in the state House, served three terms beginning in 2007. The Mayor’s race is expected to be competitive.
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