Monthly Archives: May 2013

Sanford Closing; Gomez Within Four

Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D)

Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D)

Tomorrow is Election Day in the SC-1 special and there are signals that former governor Mark Sanford (R) is rapidly closing against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Public Policy Polling is scheduled to release a final survey of the race later today. There was a local poll floating around last week that actually showed the race tied, but the data did not appear reliable so the results should be discarded.

But there is a sense that the trends are moving in Sanford’s direction. During the last week, senators Lindsey Graham (R) and Tim Scott (R) both endorsed the former governor and congressman, as did Gov. Nikki Haley (R). Normally, it is not particularly noteworthy when the party elected officials endorse a party nominee but, in this case with Sanford’s well-publicized problems and the National Republican Congressional Committee publicly disowning the race, the actions do show some positive momentum for the damaged candidate.

As always is the case with special elections, the turnout model will be key. A lower voter participation figure will likely favor the Democrat because the district is heavily Republican. Busch must still be considered the favorite, but the result may be closer than was predicted just a week ago.
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Kingston Joins the Fray

Savannah Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1), as expected, yesterday announced that he is entering the crowded open seat Georgia Senate race in what will become a trying and hard-fought Republican primary and run-off campaign.

Republicans already running are representatives Paul Broun (R-GA-10) and Phil Gingrey (R-GA-11). In the exploratory phase is former Reebok and Dollar General CEO David Perdue, a cousin of former governor Sonny Perdue (R), while former secretary of state and ex-gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel is a possible candidate. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA-6), who was expected to announce a Senate run as soon as Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) announced his retirement, now appears less likely to do so.

For the Democrats, Rep. John Barrow (D-GA-12) must now be rated as a probable contender for his party’s nomination. The congressman is attempting to secure a clear primary field so he can raise general election money throughout this year and next in unencumbered fashion, something he believes is critical for him to compete with the Republicans in the general election. Should he run, Barrow, a Blue Dog Coalition member, is the type of Democratic candidate who could run well statewide in Georgia. Such a development would mean the eventual winner of the Republican nomination dogfight would have no cakewalk in the general election.

Kingston, now serving his 11th term in the House, has to be considered on the long shot side for the nomination. Coming from the less populous southern part of the state — the vast majority of the Republican primary electorate resides north of Interstate 20 — the Savannah congressman will have to invest heavily in the expensive Atlanta media market to make himself known to his new constituency. According to his latest Federal Election Commission filing, Kingston possesses over $1.75 million in his federal campaign account meaning he begins his statewide quest from a financial position of relative strength.
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In Michigan, Peters Is In

Rep. Gary Peters' (D-MI-14)

Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI-14)

Rep. Gary Peters’ (D-MI-14) anticipated run for the Senate became reality yesterday as the Detroit congressman officially unveiled his statewide campaign. It has been a foregone conclusion that Peters would run since early March when veteran Sen. Carl Levin (D) publicly indicated that he would not seek re-election in 2014.

Peters is serving his third term in the House, originally winning in 2008 when he defeated Joe Knollenberg in an Oakland County seat. Prior to that, he served as the Michigan lottery commissioner, and as a state senator. Now that Debbie Dingell, wife of Rep. John Dingell (D-MI-12), will not become a candidate Peters has a strong chance of quickly evolving into the consensus Democratic nominee long before voters go to the polls in the August 2014 Democratic primary.

The congressman is a strong behind-the-scenes politician. Drawing the short straw in 2011 redistricting, as his seat was collapsed into veteran Rep. Sander Levin’s (D-MI-9) because the reapportionment formula reduced the size of the Michigan congressional delegation, Peters decided to attempt a run at the majority minority African-American seat in Detroit rather than take on a member of the Levin family. Sander Levin is the senator’s older brother. It was long believed that the trio made a political deal: Peters would refrain from  Continue reading >

Markey Wins; Now Faces Investor Gomez

As projected, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA-5) defeated his House Democratic colleague, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8), in last night’s special US Senate party primary election. Markey racked up an expected 57-43 percent margin over Lynch, with a turnout of more than 530,000 Democratic voters. All of the candidates are vying for Secretary of State John Kerry’s Senate seat, now held by interim Sen. Mo Cowan (D).

Both men racked up strong percentages in the congressional districts they represent; Markey in the 5th District north and west of Boston, and Lynch in the 8th CD anchored in the area south of Massachusetts’ capital city including the towns of Quincy, Brockton, and Fall River. Lynch also carried the central region of the state nestled in between the cities of Worcester and Springfield, as well as the area around the city of Lowell and the New Hampshire border territory. Markey was strong in virtually other part of the state, thus accounting for his lopsided victory.

When all of the expenditures are totaled, Markey will have exceeded the $5 million mark in spending; Lynch a little over $2 million.

On the Republican side, private equity investor and former US Navy veteran Gabriel Gomez convincingly won his primary, defeating former US Attorney Michael Sullivan and state Rep. Dan Winslow. Gomez scored 51 percent to Sullivan’s 36 percent and Winslow’s 13 percent. Just over 182,000 Republicans participated in their primary election. Late polling also forecast Gomez to be leading the GOP field, but sample sizes from the public polls were so small as not to be considered reliable.

The Gomez expenditure level is not clear at this point in time, but the other two Republican candidates spent less than $300,000 on their campaigns.

The special general, which is scheduled for June 25, appears to be Markey’s to lose. As we all know, Massachusetts is one of the  Continue reading >