Three-term Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Winter Park) announced yesterday that she is “seriously considering” running for the Senate and is embarking on a “listening tour” throughout the state. The interesting part of her statement, however, reveals that she is looking at both the 2022 election against Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and the 2024 contest against Sen. Rick Scott (R).
Furthermore, her announcement made no mention of the Governor’s race, though she had been mentioned as a possible candidate. This is likely because Florida’s only Democratic statewide elected official, Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Nikki Fried, is making serious moves to enter the Governor’s campaign.
The University of New Hampshire pollsters released their latest Granite State Poll (2/18-22; 1,861 UNH panel members; 1,676 NH likely general election voters; online; weighted) testing Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) against both Gov. Chris Sununu (R) and former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R).
The numbers gave Gov. Sununu, serving his third two-year term as the state’s chief executive, a 48-46% edge over Sen. Hassan, but the incumbent posts a 48-43% lead over Ms. Ayotte, whom she defeated by a percentage point back in 2016.
Additionally, retired Army General Don Bolduc, who lost the 2020 Senate Republican primary to businessman Corky Messner, 51-43%, says he will again run in 2022 irrespective of who else runs, including Gov. Sununu.
Should the Governor decide to launch a Senate campaign, such a race could quickly become the Republicans’ top national conversion opportunity. It is doubtful that Mr. Sununu and Ms. Ayotte would oppose each other. Should Gov. Sununu run for the Senate, it is more likely that Ms. Ayotte would enter the open Governor’s race.
Two more Republicans came forward to declare their special election candidacies in Texas’ vacant 6th District. Freshman state Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie) announced that he has filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission, and former Trump Administration Small Business Association official Sery Kim (R) also announced her candidacy.
In the race at this point are Susan Wright, Rep. Ron Wright’s (R-Arlington) widow, businessman and Iraq War veteran Mike Egan, and movie producer Monty Markland on the Republican side. The announced Democratic candidates are former congressional nominee Jena Lynne Sanchez, school district official Shawn Lassiter, non-profit organization founder Lydia Bean, and real estate developer Matt Hinterlong. The jungle primary is now officially scheduled for May 1st. A runoff, if necessary, will be scheduled after the primary.
2020 Democratic congressional nominee Moe Davis, a retired US Air Force Colonel who lost to freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-Hendersonville) 54-42% and announced late last month that he is seeking a re-match, now has company in the future Democratic primary. Yesterday, Iraq War veteran and state Representative nominee Josh Remillard announced that he plans to run for Congress in 2022, as well. The 2020 race became competitive, but Rep. Cawthorn ended with a substantial win and far better than analysts had predicted.
Susan Wright, widow of recently deceased Texas US Rep. Ron Wright (R-Arlington), as expected announced yesterday that she will run to succeed her late husband. She begins the race as the favorite to win. Two Democrats also made their candidacies official: businesswoman and non-profit organization founder Lydia Bean and real estate developer Matt Hinterlong. They join previously declared candidates Jana Lynne Sanchez, the 2018 Democratic congressional nominee, and local school district official Shawn Lassiter.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has scheduled the jungle primary for May 1st. If no candidate receives majority support, the Governor will then schedule the runoff election once the top two finishers become known.
Orlando area state Senator Randolph Bracy (D) is testing the waters about entering the 2022 Governor’s race. Mr. Bracy was first elected to the state Senate in 2016 after serving two terms in the Florida House of Representatives.
Should he enter the race, the state legislator will possibly face primary competition from State Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida’s only Democratic statewide official, US Rep. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) who previously served one term as Governor when a member of the Republican Party, and state Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami). Ms. Taddeo was Mr. Crist’s running mate when he ran unsuccessfully for Governor under the Democratic ballot line against then-incumbent Rick Scott (R) in 2014.
Earlier this week, we reported that Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) is seriously considering initiating a campaign for Governor next year. Now, other delegation names have popped up, including Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) and Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville), neither of whom are closing the door on such a race. With Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) facing problems, the 2022 NY Governor’s race could yield a much different campaign than what we’ve seen in the recent past.
Virginia is unique in that the nominating system for each party can internally change at will. Republicans have been in a major fight over whether to hold a nominating convention or a straight primary for the 2021 elections. Now, they have decided on a compromise. A “drive-through” convention to nominate its candidate for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General will be held at Liberty University on Saturday, May 8th, if the school authorities agree. Delegates from around the state are expected to drive to Lynchburg and drop off their ballots.
For a minority party that is losing support in a state, this type of system appears a disincentive toward encouraging new supporters to participate. The eventual nominee will begin in a clear underdog position to the likely Democratic nominee, former Governor and Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe. The major Republican candidates are former State House Speaker Kirk Cox, businessmen Pete Snyder, Paul Davis, and Glenn Youngkin, along with state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Midlothian).
Last week, it appeared that former Sen. David Perdue (R) was preparing to challenge Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) in 2022 when last November’s special election winner stands for a full six-year term. Saying it is a personal and not a political decision, Mr. Perdue indicated yesterday that he will not re-enter the political arena.
The former Senator leaves a wide-open Republican nomination battle in his wake, which could include former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, ex-Representative and 2020 Senate candidate Doug Collins, Attorney General Chris Carr, and former US Ambassador Randy Evans, among others.
There are 15 candidates on the jungle primary ballot attempting to succeed resigned Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) in the March 20th special election, but one contender, state Sen. Troy Carter (D-New Orleans), who already has former Rep. Richmond’s endorsement, attracted an interesting supporter yesterday. Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng added her name to Sen. Carter’s endorsement list. What makes her unique is that she a Republican, meaning cross-party confirmation.
While Ms. Sheng may not help Sen. Carter in a typical Democratic primary, the jungle primary where all voters participate, is a different story. This could be a very significant support development if Sen. Carter advances to a runoff election with another Democrat, which is a likely scenario.
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