Solar company CEO Jim Lamon (R) yesterday declared his US Senate candidacy yesterday, becoming the first credible Republican to enter the race against incumbent Mark Kelly (D). Sen. Kelly was elected in a 2020 special election and now must stand for a full six-year term next year.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert) are also potential GOP candidates, among others, so a Republican primary is expected. The Arizona race again portends to become an important national campaign particularly with the Senate majority at stake in each and every federal statewide contest.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) yesterday scheduled the special election to replace the late Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Delray Beach) and it will be a long campaign cycle. The Governor set November 2nd as the partisan primary election date with the special general on January 11, 2022. Already, 11 Democrats, including three sitting state legislators and two local officials, along with two Republicans have declared their candidacies. The Democratic primary winner will become the prohibitive favorite to win the seat.
Military veteran Alek Skarlatos (R), one of the individuals who subdued a terrorist on a train in France for which a subsequent movie was made, announced he will return next year to seek a re-match with 18-term Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield/Eugene). Mr. Skarlatos, who raised over $5.4 million for his campaign, held the incumbent, who is currently chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to a 52-46% re-election victory.
Oregon gains a new seat in reapportionment, and with the population currently spread virtually evenly over the current five districts, the new seat could be placed in several different areas. It may be difficult for the legislature to draw five safe Democratic seats from the new six districts, so the OR-4 contest could again become highly competitive.
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Executive Director Gireon Salazar yesterday announced his intention to enter the Republican primary in hopes of challenging two-term Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas).
Two obstacles stand in his way. First, 2020 Republican nominee Genevieve Collins, who spent over $6 million on her campaign, won her primary outright, and held Rep. Allred to a 52-46% victory, has already announced that she will run again. Second, it is likely the 32nd will become more Democratic in redistricting in order to strengthen surrounding Republican CDs.
Republican 2018 gubernatorial finalist John Cox, as expected, announced that he will run again in the recall election that will likely be held in October or early November. Mr. Cox has previously run for President, offices in Illinois, and for California Governor, winning none. He announced his candidacy with the accompaniment of a full-grown live bear, which is the state’s official animal. Other Republicans in the race are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and ex-US Rep. Doug Ose (R-Sacramento). The votes for the replacement election only count if Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) loses the initial recall question.
US Rep. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg), who served one term as Governor when he was a Republican, announced yesterday that he will enter the statewide Democratic primary with the intent of challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) next year. He will first, however, likely face a daunting Democratic primary, which will feature state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), the only current Democratic statewide office holder, and possibly US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando).
In addition to winning the Governor’s office in 2006, Mr. Crist served as Florida’s Attorney General, Education Commissioner, and as a state Senator. He won those offices as a Republican. Since 2010, his statewide fortunes have not been as favorable, losing a US Senate race as an Independent followed by a succeeding Governor’s campaign in 2014 as the Democratic nominee. In 2016 he was elected to the US House as a Democrat and won re-election in both 2018 and 2020.
According to a Politico news article, Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pittsburgh) is telling donors and close supporters that he will likely enter the crowded open-seat Democratic primary for US Senate. At this point, the leading Democratic candidate is Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. State Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), and Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh are also announced candidates. Rep. Lamb would have a geographic advantage as the only major candidate hailing from western Pennsylvania.
Should he enter the statewide campaign, Rep. Lamb’s 17th District congressional seat, which the Congressman only won 51-49% in November, then becomes highly competitive. Republican Sean Parnell, who opposed Mr. Lamb in 2020 and has also expressed interest in the Senate race, may well return to an open House race should the Congressman make a final decision to run statewide.
Yesterday, local police officer Raymond Brooks became the third Republican to announce a primary challenge to six-term Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Biloxi). The most serious of the three candidates is Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell. Having a primary challenge is nothing new to Rep. Palazzo, however. He has faced Republican opposition in four of his five runs for re-election and has won re-nomination with percentages between 50.5 and 70.5% of the GOP vote.
A House Ethics Committee investigation into the Congressman’s campaign finances is giving potential opponents more fodder in 2022, however. Mississippi has a runoff system, so at some point, the Congressman could be forced into a one-on-one race with a single opponent.
Ohio state Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) became the fifth Republican to announce for the soon-to-be-vacant 15th Congressional District that will go to special primary election on August 3rd with a general election on November 2nd. She is the fourth sitting state legislator to declare her candidacy. Since this is an odd-year special election, none of the legislators are forced to risk their current position to run. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Columbus) will resign the seat on May 16th to become the President/CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
The other Republican candidates are state Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Fayette County), state Reps. Jeff LeRe (R-Violet Township) and Brian Stewart (R-Ashville), along with Fairfield County Commissioner Jeff Fix. The lone announced Democratic candidate is actor Daniel Kilgore.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/Long Island) has been very busy since announcing last month that he would enter the 2022 New York Governor’s race. Mr. Zeldin has already secured local Republican Party endorsements in a majority of counties, meaning he will be designated as the party endorsed candidate for the June 2022 primary election. He also is reportedly in strong position to gain the Conservative Party ballot line, as well.
If Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) survives his impeachment battle and decides to run for re-election, this could become a competitive race. Should the Governor decide not to run for a fourth term, then whomever becomes the next Democratic gubernatorial nominee will have a major advantage in an open general election contest.
The Rundown Blog
Learn more about the candidates running in key elections across the United States.