Former Iowa Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (D), who lost her seat after one term to current Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion/ Cedar Rapids) is reportedly preparing to announce a US Senate challenge to veteran incumbent Chuck Grassley (R). This is a developing story.
Ohio: Rep. Johnson Won't Run
US Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Marietta), who had been testing the political waters for a US Senate bid, has decided against entering the open race. He cited hailing from Appalachia, “where fundraising is a challenge under the best of circumstances,” would make it difficult to compete in a high dollar statewide Republican primary. It is presumed that Rep. Johnson will instead seek a seventh term in the House next year.
It is becoming clearer that the GOP primary is winnowing down to four top-tier contenders: former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken, ex-state Treasurer and 2012 Senate nominee Josh Mandel, author J.D. Vance, and possibly Cleveland Indians co-owner and state Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls). Ms. Timken and Mr. Mandel are announced candidates. Mr. Vance is scheduled to formally announce next month, and Sen. Dolan has filed a Senate exploratory committee. Within the congressional delegation, Rep. Mike Turner (R-Dayton) remains as a possible candidate.
New Jersey: Dem Poll Tests GOP Gov Race
The Democratic Governors’ Association just published their poll of the GOP gubernatorial primary that will be decided on June 8th. The winner faces Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in November of this year.
According to the Public Policy Polling survey (5/24-25; 591 NJ likely GOP primary voters; interactive voice response system) finds former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli taking the lead over businessman and frequent candidate Hirsch Singh, 29-23%, on the ballot test question. An earlier Singh campaign internal poll found Mr. Ciattarelli, the party endorsed candidate, trailing by two percentage points. Former President Donald Trump, who has not endorsed a candidate in this race to date, is well regarded among New Jersey Republicans, sporting an 87:8% positive ratio.
Riding a recent New York Times endorsement, former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia has vaulted into a tie for second place in the upcoming open Mayor’s primary with former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, but both trail Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in the June 22nd ranked choice Democratic primary.
The Core Decision Analytics poll conducted for the Fontas Advisors organization and not affiliated with any candidate (released 5/26; 5/15-19; 800 NYC likely Democratic primary voters; live interview) finds Mr. Adams leading with 18%, while Mr. Yang and now Ms. Garcia trail with 13%, apiece. No other candidate reaches 10% support. The ranked choice simulation again shows Mr. Adams prevailing after several rounds of counting. Under this system, certain voters’ second and third choices, and perhaps further selections are systematically counted until one candidate receives majority support.
State Senator and former Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) threw his hat into the US Senate political ring yesterday, making four credible Democratic candidates vying to oppose Sen. Ron Johnson (R), or run for an open seat should the latter man decide to retire. The previously announced Democratic candidates are State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, and Milwaukee Bucks basketball team senior executive and ex-Obama White House aide Alex Lasry. Sen. Johnson has yet to reveal his 2022 political plans.
FL-10: As Promised
Several weeks ago, state Sen. Randolph Bracy (D-Orlando) indicated that he would enter the 2022 Governor’s race unless US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando) decided to run statewide. If so, Sen. Bracy said he would opt for her vacated congressional office. Now clear that Rep. Demings will soon formally announce her intention to run for the US Senate, Sen. Bracy yesterday confirmed his congressional candidacy. He joins ex-US Attorney Aramis Ayala and Black Lives Matter activist Natalie Jackson in the budding Democratic primary.
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released its new statewide survey (5/9-18; 1,705 CA adults; 1,074 CA likely voters; live interview; English and Spanish) and finds Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) surviving his recall election with a 40-57% Yes/No preference. Both the Yes and No vote numbers are higher than we’ve seen in previous polls, but the option to keep Newsom in office leads in every iteration.
This poll may be a bit slanted in his favor, however, since the sampling universe is of adults and not exclusively registered or likely voters, though the question as to whether the respondent would vote in the special recall election, whenever it is scheduled, was asked. In California, an adult universe will be more liberal than a registered or likely voter segment. Therefore, while it is reasonable to assume that Gov. Newsom will survive the recall vote if the election were today, it is also probable that the margin will close once there is a date certain for the vote and the campaign begins in earnest.
Former US Senator Dean Heller (R), who lost his seat to current Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in 2016, is reportedly considering running for Governor next year. Already joining the Republican primary race are Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee. Before serving in the Senate, Mr. Heller was a ten-year member of the US House, won three elections as Nevada’s Secretary of State, and held a state Assembly seat for two terms. The eventual GOP nominee faces incumbent Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) in the 2022 general election.
News reports are suggesting that President Biden has decided to nominate Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) as the US Ambassador to India. Once the appointment is made and the Senate confirms, the Los Angeles City Councilmembers will choose a replacement Mayor.
Mr. Garcetti is ineligible to seek a third term in 2022, so the race to replace him is already underway. The Council has few legal criteria to follow in terms of who they choose as interim Mayor, but it is unlikely the members will install one of the candidates currently campaigning for the position. Such would potentially award that individual an unfair advantage.
Though two-term Pennsylvania US Rep. Susan Wild (D-Allentown) sometimes appeared on a list of open US Senate race potential candidates, she was never viewed as a serious Democratic contender. Yesterday, Rep. Wild confirmed that she won’t run statewide, but will seek re-election to her current position. Both parties are looking at crowded US Senate primaries. So far, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) appears to be the leading candidate. Sen. Pat Toomey (R) is not seeking a third term.
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