State Rep. Charles Graham (D-Lumberton), who had originally announced his congressional candidacy against two-term Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) earlier in the year, has switched districts. As a result of the new North Carolina congressional map creating a competitive open seat anchored in Fayetteville, Mr. Gray announced yesterday that he will instead compete in the new 4th District. Already in the open Democratic primary is state Sen. Ben Clark (D-Cumberland County). Six Republicans have announced, including a state Representative and a former Fayetteville Mayor. The seat leans Republican.
Veteran Oregon US Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield), chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, yesterday announced that he will retire after completing his 18th term next year. He ranks sixth in House seniority. Mr. DeFazio becomes the 19th Democrat not to seek re-election to the House, and the third full committee chair to retire.
The new 4th District was made stronger for Rep. DeFazio, thus allowing two other districts, including the state’s new 6th CD, to become more competitive. Republican Alex Skarlatos, who held Mr. DeFazio to the closest re-election outcome of his long career, 51-46%, had announced a re-match effort months ago. He will likely continue to be a consensus Republican candidate.
State Labor and Industries Commissioner Val Doyle (D) immediately declared her congressional candidacy upon Mr. DeFazio announcing his retirement. The 4th District race will be viewed as competitive, with the eventual Democratic nominee being cast as the favorite.
Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) had already drawn two Democratic primary opponents, but now a more serious challenger comes forward. Yesterday, former labor union organizer and ex-NAACP state coordinator Michael Cogbill (D) declared his congressional candidacy and will attack Rep. Evans from the ideological left. There is little doubt that the Congressman remains a heavy favorite for re-nomination and re-election, but Mr. Cogbill has the background to become a credible primary challenger.
2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, the former state House Minority Leader, yesterday announced that she will run for Governor next year. In the previous election, she lost to now-incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R) by less than one percentage point. There was some recent speculation brewing that Ms. Abrams, who bypassed the 2020 US Senate cycle to concentrate on a gubernatorial re-match, would also sit the 2022 cycle out in order to prepare for a presidential run.
Now, all eyes will turn their attention to former US Sen. David Perdue (R). He admits to be considering a Republican primary challenge against Gov. Kemp, whose numbers are lagging among the party faithful largely due to the post-election voter fraud controversy and his handling of the complaints. The Georgia Governor’s race promises to be one of the top 2022 nationally watched campaigns.
Saying he doesn’t want to go through an ideologically based Republican primary campaign, Bay State Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced yesterday that he will not run for a third term next year. Immediately, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) made public her plans also to retire from politics, saying she will not run for Governor.
The developments give the Democrats the inside track to re-capturing the State House, a position that has alluded them often despite Massachusetts being one of their most reliable states. Gov. Baker had enjoyed some of the strongest approval numbers of any Governor, though his favorability index had started to wane in recent months.
As expected, television personality and physician Mehmet Oz joined the open Republican primary hoping to succeed retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R). Dr. Oz only recently moved to the Philadelphia area after residing in New Jersey for approximately 20 years. Dr. Oz says he will partially self-fund his campaign.
After Iraq War veteran Sean Parnell, who was leading in early Republican primary polls, departed the race no clear leader was emerging. In the GOP contender fold are ex-US Ambassador Carla Sands, former Lt. Governor nominee Jeff Bartos, and 2020 congressional candidate Kathy Barnette, among others. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and US Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pittsburgh) lead among the Democratic candidates.
It appears that the South Florida special Democratic primary, which ultimately ended in a five-vote victory for businesswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, isn’t yet over. The losing candidate, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, has filed a lawsuit against Ms. Cherfilus-McCormick. He claims her support of the Universal Basic Income proposal that would provide $1,000 per month to the general public constitutes an illegal bribe. Therefore, Mr. Holness is asking the court to disqualify Ms. Cherfilus-McCormick from the ballot.
While this approach is unlikely to deny Cherfilus-McCormick a ballot slot for the January 11th special general election to replace the late Rep. Alcee Hastings (D), it does signal that Mr. Holness will be back in the regular 2022 August primary. This means the pair’s lengthy South Florida political fight will continue at least through next summer.
The Georgia redistricting surprise was US Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) leaving her 6th District constituency that the new map made more strongly Republican to instead challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux in the new 7th CD. Now, we see another unexpected development. Explaining that neither US House member actually lives within the confines of the new 7th District as newly drawn, state Rep. Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville), who does represent the 7th’s anchor population region, yesterday entered the congressional primary.
Clearly, the 7th District race will be one of the Georgia primary’s highlights. The election is scheduled for May 24th. If no candidate receives majority support, a possible scenario since the candidate field is growing with major political figures participating, the top two finishers will advance to a July 26th runoff election.
Now that the Illinois congressional map has become official, incumbents and candidates are making their political moves. Yesterday, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), despite representing only about a quarter of the new 15th District’s constituency, announced that he will not enter the Governor’s race, but seek re-election to the House from this newly configured district.
In Mr. Davis’ former 13th District, drawn as a new open Democratic seat that stretches from Champaign to the St. Louis suburbs through Decatur and Springfield, former Obama Administration official Nikki Budzinski (D), who had originally declared against Rep. Davis, announced that she will run in the new 13th and immediately becomes the favorite to capture the seat.
Freshman Rep. Mary Miller (R-Oakland), who sees her current 15th District split between the new 15th where Mr. Davis is running, and Rep. Mike Bost’s (R-Murphysboro) southern Illinois 12th CD has not yet made a choice as to where she will run.
Atlanta City Councilman Andre Dickens (D) defied the latest polling that gave City Council President Felicia Moore (D) a small lead in the Atlanta Mayor’s contest. Last night, Mr. Dickens scored a crushing 64-36% victory over Ms. Moore. Mayor-Elect Dickens will replace current incumbent Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) who chose not to seek a second term.
The Rundown Blog
Learn more about the candidates running in key elections across the United States.