After a new Fabrizio, Lee & Associates survey (3/23-25; 400 MO Republican primary voters; live interview) found resigned Gov. Eric Greitens opening up a large 40-11% Republican primary lead over Attorney General Eric Schmitt, others began openly considering the race. State Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Schatz confirms that he is now a potential GOP Senate candidate.
Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Ballwin/St. Louis County) and Jason Smith (R-Salem/Cape Girardeau) are also considered as potential candidates. The in-cycle Missouri seat is open since Sen. Roy Blunt (R) previously declared that he will not seek a third term next year.
Calling Sen. James Lankford (R) a “namby pamby, wishy washy, political correctness, cancel culture incumbent,” Tulsa Christian pastor Jackson Lahmayer announced his 2022 Republican US Senate primary candidacy. Obviously, the rhetoric suggests that the attacks against Sen. Lankford will come from his political right. At this point, the Senator remains a heavy favorite for re-nomination and re-election.
The April 24th special election in the vacant New Orleans-Baton Rouge 2nd Congressional District became more interesting yesterday. Third place special primary finisher Gary Chambers, Jr. (D) publicly endorsed state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) in a move that could bring a substantial number of Baton Rouge votes her way. In the special primary, she and Mr. Chambers received a combined 65% of the Baton Rouge vote, with state Senator Troy Carter (D-New Orleans) falling way back into third place.
Sen. Carter’s New Orleans strength was such that he was still able to finish first districtwide, twelve points directly ahead of Sen. Peterson. To overcome Sen. Carter, Ms. Peterson will have to improve her standing in New Orleans even when presumably securing more votes from Baton Rouge.
Freshman state Rep. Steve Cara (R-Kalamazoo) announced that he will join the burgeoning field of Republican candidates lining up to challenge veteran US Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) next year. Also in the race is Berrien County Commissioner Ezra Scott, pastor Jerry Solis, and manufacturing company executive Jon Rocha.
In a plurality primary system, an incumbent facing multiple challengers generally has the advantage because the base support is usually high enough for him or her to win with less than majority support. Rep. Upton is attracting more opposition than usual because he voted in favor of the second Trump impeachment procedure.
The 2020 congressional race in New York’s 22nd Congressional District consumed three post-election months just to determine a winner. In the end, former US Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) returned to the House with a razor-thin victory margin of 109 votes over then-Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica). Yesterday, college admissions counselor Mikayla Ridley (D) announced that she will challenge Rep. Tenney.
It is likely too early to rate the western New York race viability status. With the 22nd and the adjacent District 23 being the two districts with the least population from a state that is losing at least one seat in reapportionment, this geographic sector will look much different in 2022. With CD-23 Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) already announcing his retirement, there is a good chance the two seats will be combined into one GOP district instead of the present two.
Alaska Department of Administration commissioner Kelly Tshibaka (R) announced yesterday that she will challenge Sen. Lisa Murkowski in next year’s Senate race. Now that Alaska has adopted the first-in-the-nation top four qualifying electoral system, a quartet of jungle primary finishers would advance into the general election. This suggests a credible Republican candidate such as Ms. Tshibaka could be on the November ballot opposite Sen. Murkowski even if a strong Democrat also emerges. The change in primary structure makes the Alaska Senate campaign a 2022 race to watch.
Cincinnati area US Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R) announced through a staff member yesterday that he won’t be entering the 2022 open US Senate race. Conversely, GOP Rep. Mike Turner (R-Dayton) released a new video indicating that he is actively considering becoming a statewide candidate.
Already in the GOP Senate race are former state Treasurer and 2012 Senatorial candidate Josh Mandel and ex-Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Columbus) is seriously considering becoming a Senate candidate. Reps. Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) and David Joyce (R-Russell Township) also confirm to have interest in the statewide contest but are currently viewed as unlikely to run. Ex-Representative and 2018 Senatorial candidate Jim Renacci and author J.D. Vance are other potential candidates.
Democrats appear to have two viable options: US Rep Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) and former state Public Health Director Amy Acton. Sen. Rob Portman (R) has already announced that he will retire at the conclusion of the current Congress.
Speculation is apparently becoming prevalent in Utah suggesting that former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R), who came to national notoriety for his public feud with ex-President Trump, may attempt a Senate run from this state. Such may mean a Republican primary challenge to Sen. Mike Lee who is standing for a third term in 2022; or he may be looking at a 2024 open race should Sen. Mitt Romney (R) not seek re-election.
Should Mr. Flake attempt to oppose Sen. Lee, it is assumed he would bypass the party nominating convention and launch a petition drive for ballot access. Considering the convention’s current composition, it is highly unlikely that ex-Sen. Flake could reach the 40% threshold to claim a primary election ballot position. At this point, Sen. Lee appears in strong political position in preparation for his next re-election campaign.
The New Mexico Republican Party caucus met over the weekend in order to choose their nominee for the June 1st special election in the vacant Albuquerque anchored 1st Congressional District. As expected, the party regulars turned to state Sen. Mark Moores (R-Albuquerque). He will be a decided underdog against the Democratic nominee, however, in what has transformed into a safe Democratic district.
The Democratic nominating process, conducted through absentee ballot, will conclude today at 7:00 pm local time. Eight contenders, including four sitting state legislators, are competing for the nomination. The seat is unoccupied because Rep. Deb Haaland (D-Albuquerque) resigned to become US Interior Secretary.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has often been the leading state chief executive in job approval scores for most of his seven-year tenure despite being a Republican in this most Democratic of states. Lately, more Democrats are openly talking about challenging him as his positive numbers have fallen somewhat because of COVID-19. One of his chief critics on vaccination distribution is state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston), and she confirmed yesterday to be considering competing for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. So far, only former state Sen. Ben Downing is an announced Democratic candidate.
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