Monthly Archives: December 2013

Cochran’s Decision in Mississippi; New Colorado Poll

Six years ago, quiet veteran Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran (R) didn’t commit to running for re-election until soon before the candidate filing deadline, thus leading to false speculation that he would retire. Cochran followed a similar silent pattern in this election cycle until announcing on Friday that he will run for a seventh term.

Conjecture was becoming brisk that the 76-year-old senator would end his long political career because he is already facing a Republican primary challenge from a Tea Party-backed state senator, and his fundraising has been almost non-existent among individuals. Cochran’s total receipts in 2013 are $402,284 (through Sept. 30), but his contributions from individuals totaled only $31,500, just eight percent of the amount raised. He officially begins this race with more than $800,000 cash-on-hand, however.

In the June 3 primary, Sen. Cochran faces state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville/Laurel). As mentioned, the  Continue reading >

A Minnesota Challenger Emerges; Texas House Update

Yesterday, national and Minnesota Republicans recruited an individual who has the potential of becoming a strong and interesting challenger to the state’s western district 12-term incumbent, Rep. Collin Peterson (D).

State Sen. Torrey Westrom (R) was first elected to the legislature in 1996, moving from the House to the Senate in 2012 after chairing two committees. Westrom is native to the district, growing up on a dairy farm, and tragically lost his eyesight in an agriculture-related accident when he was 14 years old. Despite his disability, Sen. Westrom became a lawyer, married, is father to three children, and has won nine state legislative elections.

The potential race against Rep. Peterson – and retirement rumors continue to swirl around the 69-year old congressman – can become competitive. One of only eight seats in the country to vote for Mitt Romney (53.9 percent) and elect a Democrat to the House, MN-7 ranks as the fourth-most Republican seat to be represented by a member of the opposite party.
 Continue reading >

Louisiana Senate Race Takes an Interesting Turn

The Louisiana Senate race took a bit of an unexpected turn during the past few days that may lead to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA-6) settling their pending contest in the November 2014 primary election instead of being forced into a December run-off. Under Louisiana election law, all candidates appear on the same primary ballot, which is held concurrently with the national general election. If no candidate receives an outright majority, the top two, regardless of political party affiliation, advance to a December run-off election. In 2014, the first election is Nov. 4.

Two Republican state legislators who had already announced their intentions to join the field of candidates challenging Sen. Landrieu suddenly withdrew from the contest and endorsed Rep. Cassidy. This leaves Tea Party-backed former Air Force officer Rob Maness in the Republican field alone with Cassidy.

Though both Sen. Elliott Guillory and state Rep. Paul Hollis would have been relatively minor US Senate candidates, their presence on the ballot was significant. The more individuals drawing votes in such an  Continue reading >

Illinois Brings Us the First Official 2014 Candidates

Illinois, with its partisan primary scheduled for March 18, became the first state to close its filing period, meaning the state’s 2014 political combatants are now official candidates.

The Illinois macro political picture brings us some interesting asides. First, in the congressional delegation, all 18 US House incumbents are seeking re-election, so the Land of Lincoln will feature no open seat campaigns in 2014. Second, each of the 19 federal office holders (including Sen. Dick Durbin) face general election competition. Third, six of the incumbents are drawing primary opposition, though only one appears even potentially serious at the present time.

Senate

In the Senate race, four Republicans are vying for the right to challenge Sen. Durbin, but only one is an experienced contender. State Sen. Jim Oberweis, who has previously  Continue reading >

Activity Points to Another Calif. Retirement

For the better part of a year, retirement rumors have been swirling around House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA-25), and a new political move yesterday suggests that such speculation may soon become reality.

Unusual political occurrences have been happening in and around Ventura and west Los Angeles counties during the past two weeks. Tony Strickland is a former Republican state senator, statewide candidate, and 2012 congressional nominee in Ventura County’s new District 26. Last November, Strickland lost to then-Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D) 47-53 percent. He originally had been planning to seek a re-match with Rep. Brownley in the upcoming mid-term election, but suddenly reversed course and recently said he would not run in the 26th District next year. He made it plain, however, that his personal plans included running for a different office.

The local Republican leadership then recruited Assemblyman Jeff Gorell to replace Strickland as their favored 26th District candidate. Gorell’s official announcement last week included an endorsement from Tony Strickland.
 Continue reading >