According to the Oklahoman news paper report and other media sources, resigning Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) is endorsing his chief of staff, Luke Holland, as his successor. Mr. Holland officially announced his candidacy.
The Inhofe endorsement apparently isn’t stopping others from coming forward and expressing interest in running for the seat. Among them are US Reps. Kevin Hern (R-Tulsa) and Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville), the latter of whom has indicated he will run, along with former state House Speaker and ex-US Senate candidate T. W. Shannon. On the other hand, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) said he will not become a Senate candidate, preferring to continue his campaign for re-election. The candidate filing period for federal and state offices ends April 15th, so time remains for the Senate special election situation to settle.
Moore Information, polling for indicted Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s (R-Lincoln) campaign, released their internal survey (2/23; 405 NE-1 likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response and Peer-2-Peer systems) at the end of last week. The ballot test finds Rep. Fortenberry, scheduled to stand trial in Los Angeles on March 15th for campaign finance and lying to federal authorities charges, leading state Sen. Mike Flood (R-Norfolk), 40-30%.
The MI analysis illustrates that this result is an improvement for Rep. Fortenberry from their January survey that found the two contenders separated only by two percentage points. Should Rep. Fortenberry be found guilty of the charges, this situation will undoubtedly change. Nebraska candidate filing ends tomorrow for the May 10th primary election.
Earlier in the year, state Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte) withdrew from the US Senate race, which led to former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley becoming a virtual consensus candidate for the party nomination. This, however, did not end his quest for federal office. On Friday, Sen. Jackson announced that he will enter the new open 14th District congressional race now that the North Carolina map is final for the 2022 election. At this point, Sen. Jackson would be rated as the favorite for both the Democratic nomination and the general election in November.
Late last week former Chester County Chamber of Commerce President Guy Ciarrocchi (R) dropped out of the crowded field for Governor and within a day announced his congressional candidacy in the state’s new 6th Congressional District. If successful in the Republican primary, Mr. Ciarrocchi would challenge two-term Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Devon) in the general election.
Mr. Ciarrocchi, a former Lt. Governor aide and ex-staff member for former 6th District US Rep. Jim Gerlach (R), would give the GOP a strong presence in the district, but must overcome a D+9 rating according to the FiveThirtyEight statistical organization and a 54.9 - 42.6% D to R split according to Dave’s Redistricting App. President Biden would have carried the new 6th, 57-42%.
The University of North Florida conducted a statewide survey of the Sunshine State electorate (2/7-20; 685 FL registered voters; live interview) and the results project Sen. Marco Rubio (R) to a 46-34% double-digit lead over US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando). The Congresswoman has already become the consensus Democratic candidate, long before Florida’s scheduled August 23rd primary.
The poll is significant since rarely do we see double-digit Republican leads here because the right-of-center vote is typically under-polled. This sample, however, appears to lean further to the right than what is usually found in a Florida survey. Another survey taken within the same period, from Mason-Dixon Polling & Research (2/7-10; 625 FL likely voters; live interview), found the Senator holding a 49-42% advantage over Rep. Demings.
Veteran Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe (R), who turned 87 years of age last November, is set to announce that he will leave the Senate at the end of this year. He was first elected in 1994 after serving four terms in the US House and six years as Mayor of Tulsa.
The Senator is expected to sign an irrevocable resignation letter before March 1st. If so, he will serve until the end of this year and a special election to replace him will be held concurrently with the 2020 election cycle. This yields a primary on June 28th, an August 23rd runoff if necessary, and the general election on November 8th. It also means that both of the state’s Senate seats will be up for election since Sen. James Lankford (R) is in-cycle. The special election winner will serve the remaining four years of the Inhofe term and be eligible to run for a full six-year stint in 2026.
The new court-ordered Pennsylvania redistricting map was least kind to current 12th District Rep. Fred Keller (R-Middleburg) who saw his seat divided into three parts. Though he only represents 34% of the new 9th District, Rep. Keller announced he will seek re-election there and oppose current 9th District Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Dallas) in a Republican primary pairing. This becomes the seventh intra-party incumbent pairing in the country and fourth involving Republican members.
Because more than 60% of the new PA-9 contains carryover constituents from Rep. Meuser’s current CD, he would be favored over Mr. Keller, but another spirited primary contest is certainly on tap.
Texas’ new 35th Congressional District that stretches from Austin to San Antonio is in reality one of the state’s two new seats. The actual new seat is the 37th, but Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin), who currently represents the 35th, is seeking re-election from there, thus making the 35th the de facto new open seat. From Public Policy Polling (2/18-19; 520 TX-35 likely Democratic primary voters; interactive voice response system & text), Austin City Councilman Greg Casar enjoys a big lead headed into Tuesday’s primary election, though he may not quite be in position to win outright.
The PPP results find Mr. Casar leading state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), former San Antonio City Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, and pastor Carla Joy Sisco by a sizable 42-13-9-2% margin. It is surprising that Rep. Rodriguez, who has represented the Austin area in the state House for 20 years would be doing this poorly, but we will see for sure on Tuesday night. Though Mr. Casar has an outside chance of winning outright, it is probable that he and Mr. Rodriguez will advance to a May 24th runoff election.
Several plaintiffs appealed to the state Supreme Court to reject the court approved congressional map along with the state House and Senate plans. The high court rejected all appeals meaning the maps are now adopted. While the three- judge panel changed the congressional map, they accepted the state House and Senate maps as the legislature constructed. Democrats are the big winner on the congressional map, as they will likely gain at least one seat in the delegation and possibly two.
A new Missouri Republican primary US Senate poll is in the public domain, and former Gov. Eric Greitens still maintains a small lead with a great deal of time remaining between now and the August 2nd primary. Since late October, Mr. Greitens has held a stagnant edge in the Senate race and failed to break 28% support in referencing ballot test results from five individual polls.
The current Remington Research numbers (2/16-17; 917 MO likely Republican primary voters; interactive response device) finds Mr. Greitens pulling his customary 25%, with Attorney General Eric Schmitt and US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/Columbia) attracting 22 and 18%, respectively. US Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield), attorney Mark McCloskey, and state Senate President Dave Schatz follow with single digit support: 8, 5, and 2%, respectively.
The Rundown Blog
Learn more about the candidates running in key elections across the United States.