President – 6/6/23
Mike Pence: Files Presidential Campaign Committee: Former Vice President, Indiana Governor, and US Congressman Mike Pence (R) filed his long-awaited presidential campaign committee yesterday with the Federal Election Commission and will officially announce his campaign Wednesday in Iowa on his 64th birthday. Though it is difficult to see a victory path for him with former President Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis dominating most of the early action, Mr. Pence will likely be part of the debates and has performed very well on stage when previously tested.
Also expected to announce their own campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination this week are former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
Gov. Chris Sununu: Won’t Run for President: New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), saying he understands that a crowded Republican presidential field will renominate former President Donald Trump with 35% of the vote, announced yesterday in an op-ed column that he will not enter the GOP presidential nomination contest.
Mr. Sununu said he believes he can best influence the Republican presidential campaign from the outside in his current position as Governor of one of the key early primary states. He made it clear his mission is to deny former President Trump renomination and called on other candidates with no clear path to the nomination to also leave the race.
The Governor did not indicate whether he would consider a third party run for President, or if he will seek a fifth term as Governor next year.
No Labels Party: Sen. Joe Manchin Again Sending Signals: In an interview with Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was once again sending signals that he might be open to a third party run for President on the No Labels Party ticket. Such an option probably isn’t viable, however.
During the interview, Sen. Manchin said, “If Plan A shows that we're going to the far reaches of both sides, the far left and the far right, and the people don't want to go to the far left and the far right, they want to be governed from the middle." He further stated in response to Ms. Bream asking if he would run as a third party candidate, that he is “not ruling anything in, not ruling anything out."
Regardless of what Sen. Manchin may want to do, it is unlikely he will become the No Labels Party presidential nominee. The NLP won’t meet until April 14-15 to choose a candidate, and candidate filing in West Virginia ends in late January. Therefore, Sen. Manchin will need to make a decision about his future prior to New Labels choosing any potential presidential candidate.
House – 6/6/23
AZ-3: Sen. Kelly Chooses Candidate: Over the weekend Sen. Mark Kelly (D) indicated that his preferred candidate to replace Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix), who is running against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I), is former state Senate Minority Leader and ex-Arizona Democratic Party chair Raquel Teran. Four other Democrats are in the race, including Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor, daughter of former US Rep. Ed Pastor (D), but his relationship with Ms. Teran while she guided the Arizona party during his 2022 run for Senate makes her his candidate of choice.
The Phoenix anchored 3rd District is heavily Democratic with a D+44 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization. Therefore, Rep. Gallego’s successor will be decided in the August 6, 2024, Democratic primary, thus making Sen. Kelly’s endorsement valuable.
President – 6/5/23
Debates: First GOP Debate Scheduled for Aug 23: The Republican National Committee has announced that the first 2024 Republican presidential debate will occur on Wednesday, August 23rd of this year, at the site of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Milwaukee, WI. Criteria for participation was also announced.
To be included in the debate, candidates must reach at least 1% support in three independent national polls of at least 800 sampled Republicans taken on or after July 1, 2023, they must have at least 40,000 documented contributors, have a declaration of candidacy statement filed with the Federal Election Commission, and sign various pledges to the RNC, the most important of which is that they will support the eventual Republican presidential nominee.
Senate – 6/5/23
Delaware: Rep. Blunt Rochester Preparing Senate Run: The Politico publication reports that at-large US Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington), the individual that retiring Sen. Tom Carper (D) hopes will succeed him, is indeed preparing an official launch of a US Senate campaign. The story indicates that we can expect an announcement sometime later this month.
There has also been no evidence that term-limited Gov. John Carney (D) is about to enter the race. If not, the primary and general election campaigns should be a breeze for Rep. Blunt Rochester, which, for her, would be just like running another re-election campaign. As the state’s sole US House member, she has conducted all four of her House elections as a statewide campaign.
Her move to the Senate race will leave a competitive open House race in her wake. Most of the competition will be in the September 2024 Democratic primary, but seeing a strong Republican emerge may not be out of the question to force a contested general election. At this point, however, expect both the Senate and House seats to remain under Democratic Party control.
House – 6/5/23
GA-14: Potential Move to Challenge Rep. Taylor Greene: Right wing gadfly activist and two-time Florida congressional candidate Laura Loomer (R) is citing an online voluntary response website poll that supposedly reveals a 75% factor who wants to see Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome) challenged for the 2024 Republican nomination because she supported Speaker McCarthy’s debt ceiling bill. Ms. Loomer characterizes Rep. Greene as a “Primary professional conwoman,” for supporting the debt crisis bipartisan compromise. She also states that she can move to Georgia and run because she has proven herself as a “robust campaign fundraiser.”
While Ms. Loomer may well have raised over $3 million for two campaigns, she would need to improve her vote-getting ability in order to unseat Rep. Greene. First, she has already run in two different Florida districts, against Rep. Lois Frankel (D-West Palm Beach), where she lost by 20 percentage points, and in a primary challenge against Rep. Dan Webster (R-Clermont/The Villages). In this latter 2022 race, she fell seven full percentage points from unseating the Republican incumbent.
PA-10: Ex-Statewide Candidate Won’t Again Challenge Rep. Scott Perry: Former Pennsylvania State Auditor and 2020 congressional candidate Eugene DePasquale (D) will not be returning to the federal campaign wars in 2024. Viewed as six-term Rep. Scott Perry’s (R-Dillsburg/Harrisburg) toughest possible Democratic opponent – the 2020 race ended 53-47% in Rep. Perry’s favor – Mr. Pasquale late last week announced that he will return to the statewide theatre in an open bid for Attorney General.
Rep. Perry already has Democratic opposition for 2024. Shamaine Davis, his 2022 opponent who he defeated 56-44%, returns for a re-match. Carlisle School Board member Rick Coplen, a retired Army officer who lost the 2022 Democratic primary to Ms. Davis, is also returning to run again. With Mr. DePasquale out of the House picture, Rep. Perry, who voted against the McCarthy debt ceiling compromise, will again begin as a favorite for re-election.
President – 6/2/23
June 7: Two Announcements: It appears two more Republicans will soon enter the presidential contest, both on the same day. Former Vice President Mike Pence and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum are reportedly preparing announcements for June 7th, which would expand the official field to eight candidates, with others such as New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie looming as potential candidates.
Senate – 6/2/23
California: Baseball Great May Enter Senate Race: Retired Los Angeles Dodger and San Diego Padre Steve Garvey (R) is considering entering the open US Senate race according to a story in the Los Angeles Times. Though Mr. Garvey has been retired as a player for 36 years after playing from 1969-1987, he still serves as an expert commentator, and his name remains well known in California’s two largest metro areas, Los Angeles and San Diego. For Republicans to have any chance in such a large state, they must begin with a candidate who is already well known.
While any Republican has little chance of winning a California general election, placing first in a crowded all-party jungle primary could be another story. With at least three strong Democrats in the open primary race, Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Katie Porter (D-Irvine), and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), a unified minority Republican party coalescing behind a candidate like Steve Garvey would give the retired baseball player a strong chance of placing first in the jungle primary and securing a slot in the general election. This would mean that two of the three prominent House members would be eliminated in the March 5th primary election. This is a developing story.
House – 6/2/23
CA-45; 47: One Challenger Switches Races: California Board of Equalization member Mike Schaefer (D), an announced congressional candidate for the 45th District seat that Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) holds, has decided to end his campaign and re-establish it in neighboring District 47, which will be an open seat.
The Democratic side in the Steel district is packed. Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen, and attorneys Cheyenne Hunt, Aditya Pat, and Jimmy Phan are all announced and active candidates. The 47th District, that which Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) is vacating to run for Senate, finds state Sen. David Min (D-Irvine), television writer Lori Kirkland Baker, and several minor candidates running.
With Sen. Min’s recent conviction for drunk driving, and ex-Rep. Harley Rouda (D) having to withdraw for health reasons, Mr. Schaefer perceives his opening. The eventual November Democratic finalist will likely oppose Republican former state Assemblyman and 2022 congressional finalist Scott Baugh. The California all-party jungle primary is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024.
Governor – 6/2/23
New Hampshire: New Democrat Comes Forward for Gov Race ‘24: New Hampshire Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington (D) declared yesterday that she will enter the 2024 Governor’s race. The Executive Council, unique to New Hampshire, is a five-member elected board which provides a check on the Governor’s power. Previously, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig (D) announced that she will not seek re-election to her current position and instead filed a gubernatorial exploratory committee.
Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is not expected to seek a fifth two-year term, instead likely moving forward with a presidential bid. Therefore, an open Governor’s race would be highly competitive in New Hampshire, which still qualifies as a swing state where either party can sweep a statewide ticket.
Several Republicans have been discussed as gubernatorial possibilities in the event that Mr. Sununu does not run. The most prominent in terms of saying he would enter an open race is former State Senate President Chuck Morse, who lost the 2022 US Senate primary by one percentage point.
House – 6/1/23
OH-9: Majewski Won’t Run: J.R. Majewski (R) who lost a 57-43% decision to veteran Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+6, said yesterday that he will not return for a re-match after originally planning to run. Mr. Majewski says his mother’s health situation forces him out of the race.
The major political benefactor could be former state Rep. Craig Riedel (R), who lost the 2022 primary to Mr. Majewski when he and state Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) split much of the vote to allow Majewski to capture the party’s right faction and win with a plurality of 36% of the vote. Mr. Riedel finished second with 31%. Sen. Gavarone has already announced that she will seek re-election to the state Senate instead of making another congressional run. A local mayor and former local mayor are both in the race, but Mr. Riedel should be viewed as the leading candidate for the GOP nomination.
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