Former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson’s (D) political career has been routinely accentuated with colorful moves. After winning his seat from the Orlando area in 2008, he went down to defeat in 2010, but returned in a newly created post-redistricting 9th CD in 2012. Four years later, he ran for the Senate, losing the Democratic nomination to fellow Rep. Patrick Murphy who would then lose the general election to Sen. Marco Rubio (R). Mr. Grayson then returned to challenge the man who replaced him in the Ninth, Democratic Rep. Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee) and lost badly, 66-34%.
Signaling another return to elective politics on Friday, Mr. Grayson actually filed committees with the Federal Election Commission for two offices, the US Senate, again hoping to challenge Sen. Rubio, and Florida’s new 28th Congressional District that doesn’t even currently exist, though Florida is likely to receive two new seats when reapportionment is ultimately determined. Regardless of what happens, it appears clear that we will again see Alan Grayson on the campaign circuit for some office in 2022.
As reported, former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R), who resigned under scandal less than two years into his single term in elected office, is now running for retiring Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R) open seat. In 2016, the Republican primary contest between Mr. Greitens and wealthy St. Louis businessman John Brunner became nasty and riddled with personal attacks. Apparently, we may see round two of this fight next year. Mr. Brunner is now confirming that he is considering running for the Senate. In addition to losing the 2016 gubernatorial nomination, Mr. Brunner also unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2012.
Rett Newton, the Mayor of Beaufort in eastern North Carolina and a retired Air Force Colonel, says he will enter the Democratic primary for the state’s open US Senate seat in 2022. Already announced for the party primary are state Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte), former state Senator and 2020 Senate candidate Erica Smith, pastor Tobias LeGrone, and several minor candidates. Former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, who lost her position by just 401 votes of almost 5.4 million ballots cast statewide in 2020, is also expected to join the field of Democratic candidates.
On the Republican side, former US Rep. Mark Walker is the only announced candidate of note. Lara Trump, a native of North Carolina, is reportedly continuing to consider the race. Sen. Richard Burr (R) announced before he won re-election in 2016 that he would not run for a fourth term in 2022.
Former Democratic state Senator James Brochin indicated late last week that he is considering entering the party’s congressional primary in order to challenge Maryland Rep. Andy Harris (R-Cockeysville). Already in the Democratic race are former state Delegate and ex-gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur, international trade consultant Dave Harden, 2020 congressional nominee Mia Mason, and former congressional candidate Jennifer Pingley.
Rep. Harris, the only Republican in the Maryland delegation, came under fire for voting to contest the presidential election results. Mr. Brochin, viewed as one of the more conservative Democratic legislators when he was in the state Senate, admitted he might have a difficult time winning his primary, but also feels front runner Mizeur would face an arduous general election.
Mr. Brochin left the Senate in 2018 to run for Baltimore County Executive, a Democratic primary battle he lost by just 17 votes to the eventual general election winner, Johnny Olszewski. He says he could also attempt another run for that position next year.
With Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) soon to formally announce his bid for the Senate, we see the first of what will likely be many would-be successors for his congressional seat coming forward. Madison County Commission chairman Dale Strong (R) formally declared his federal candidacy yesterday.
Madison County, which houses the city of Huntsville, is the largest of the 5th District’s five counties housing just under half of the entire CD population base.
State Rep. Randy Friese (D-Tucson), the surgeon who saved Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) life when she was tragically shot in 2011, as expected announced his congressional candidacy yesterday. His goal is to succeed retiring US Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Tucson). Already in the Democratic primary is state Sen. Kirsten Engel (D-Tucson) who declared her congressional candidacy earlier in the week. Many analysts pegged Dr. Friese as the heir apparent to the congressional seat even before Rep. Kirkpatrick was elected in 2018.
Last month, Mason-Dixon Polling & Research released their statewide Florida survey (2/24-28; 625 FL registered voters; live interview) giving Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) a 51-42% lead over state Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried (D). Yesterday, St. Pete Polls released the state’s most current data. Their latest numbers (3/22-24; 1,923 FL likely voters; online) finds the two potential partisan candidates, Gov. DeSantis and Commissioner Fried, tied at 45% apiece.
The FiveThirtyEight political statistical research organization rates Mason-Dixon as a B+ pollster in their new rankings, while St. Pete Polls earns a C grade.
On a vote of 15-14, the Wyoming state Senate defeated a bill that would have created a partisan nomination runoff system to guarantee a winning candidate has majority support. If no candidate reached the 50% threshold in the primary election, a secondary vote would later be conducted between the top two finishers, a common procedure in many southern states.
The original bill was thought to be aimed toward at-large Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wilson/ Jackson) who has drawn multiple Republican opponents since her highly publicized vote for ex-President Trump’s second impeachment. Once an amendment was adopted to have the legislation take effect after the 2022 election, much support dissipated. This, and the cost argument associated with running a second election proved to be the key points that led to the bill’s close defeat.
Earlier in the month, six-term Alabama US Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) indicated that she was considering entering the open 2022 US Senate race after incumbent Richard Shelby (R) announced his retirement. Yesterday, Rep. Sewell issued a statement saying she will not run for the Senate but will seek a seventh term in the US House. As Alabama’s lone Democratic House member, her district will survive even if the state loses a congressional seat in reapportionment.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt yesterday announced that he will enter the open US Senate race one day after former Governor Eric Greitens declared his own candidacy for retiring Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R) open seat. Other Republicans are expected to become candidates.
Mr. Schmitt won his first elective office in 2005, a seat on the Glendale City Council, which is a St. Louis suburb. He then moved to the state Senate in 2008 before winning his first statewide office, that of Treasurer, in 2016. Two years later, Gov. Mike Parson (R) appointed Mr. Schmitt Attorney General replacing Josh Hawley (R) who had been elected to the Senate. In the 2020 election, Mr. Schmitt won a four-year term as AG in his own right with 59% of the vote.
The Rundown Blog
Learn more about the candidates running in key elections across the United States.