By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023
HouseOH-9: 42-Year Incumbent Dem to Run Again — US Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), initially elected in 1982, officially confirmed that she will file to seek a 22nd term. The Ohio candidate filing deadline is Dec. 20 for the March 19 primary, so candidates and challengers in this state, too, are entering the time frame where career decisions must be made.
Though the 9th District favors the Republicans by an average of six percentage points, Rep. Kaptur posted a 57-43 percent victory margin last November against a weak Republican candidate. With former state Rep. Chris Riedel expected to prevail in the 2024 GOP primary, Rep. Kaptur will face a more difficult re-election campaign. The congresswoman ranks fourth in US House seniority, and she is the second-longest serving Democrat behind only former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
OH-6: No Special Election to Replace Rep. Johnson — Last week, Ohio US Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) announced that he will leave Congress in March to become president of Youngstown State University. Since Johnson is leaving the House after the 2024 candidate filing deadline (Dec. 20, 2023), Ohio election procedure indicates there will be no special election to fill the balance of the term. This means the March 19 plurality primary will likely decide Johnson’s successor within a crowded field of Republican candidates.
The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates OH-6 as R+31, and former President Donald Trump carried the seat with a strong 64-37 percent margin in 2020. Therefore, count on the GOP to easily hold the district in the 2024 general election.
Assuming New York US Rep. George Santos (R-Long Island) is soon expelled, and former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D) wins the special election to replace him as expected, the Republican majority after next March will shrink to 220-214. Therefore, the already close House will soon become even tighter.
North Carolina: Filing Deadline Approaching; New Announcements — The North Carolina congressional campaigns have been active this week, largely because the Dec. 15 candidate filing deadline is fast approaching, and members and challengers need to make final decisions about whether their names will be placed on the ballot next year.
Tuesday saw two announcements. One of the better Republican challenger candidates, state Rep. Erin Pare (R-Holly Springs), who previously announced a congressional bid against US Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary), has decided not to enter the federal race. Instead, she will run for re-election to the state House of Representatives. Pare is indicating her decision is for family reasons, but 2023 redistricting while making the 13th District much more Republican is no longer geographically favorable to Rep. Pare. The eventual GOP nominee here will be favored to unseat Rep. Nickel in November.
In western North Carolina, Democratic state Rep. Caleb Rudow (D-Asheville) declared his challenge to freshman Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-Flat Rock) in a new 11th District where the 2020 electorate voted 55-44 percent for former President Trump according to the Daily Kos Elections site statisticians. You will remember that Rep. Edwards is the Republican candidate who denied then-Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) renomination in the 2022 campaign. Though Rudow is a credible Democratic contender, Rep. Edwards will be heavily favored to retain the seat in the next election.
Houston: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Trails in New Mayoral Poll — Survey USA conducted a poll for the University of Houston pertaining to Texas’ largest city’s mayoral campaign (Nov. 13-18; 1,120 Houston adults; 971 registered voters; 805 likely voters; multiple sampling techniques) as we approach the Dec. 9 runoff election. The ballot test is breaking 42-35 percent in favor of state Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston), the second-longest serving member of the Texas legislature having been initially elected in 1972. US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston), who qualified in second place for the runoff, continues to trail Whitmire as the campaign begins to conclude.
According to the S-USA poll, crime is the overwhelming issue of concern. From the tested respondent pool a whopping 63 percent say they don’t feel safe walking around the city during the day.