By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023
PresidentSen. Tim Scott: Suspends Campaign — South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott announced that he is suspending his 2024 presidential campaign, effectively ending his effort to secure an upset win for the Republican presidential nomination. In late October, Sen. Scott’s campaign principals announced they were turning the strategic focus toward the Iowa Caucuses, but the decision did not result in any appreciable gain in support. This, and barely qualifying for his last debate, led the Palmetto State lawmaker to leave the race. He follows former Vice President Mike Pence and ex-US Rep. Will Hurd in exiting the campaign.
The Republican presidential campaign now actively features former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the top tier of candidates. Long shots Doug Burgum, the governor of North Dakota, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also remain in the race.
MN-5: Dem Primary Rematch Announced — Former Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels, who held controversial Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minneapolis) to a 50.3 – 48.2 percent renomination victory in the 2022 Democratic primary, has officially announced that he will return for a rematch next year. Two other candidates previously announced, so it remains to be seen if they will continue their campaigns or if they will give Samuels a clear path toward challenging Rep. Omar.
Sarah Gad, an attorney who previously ran for office in Illinois, and businessman Tim Peterson are the announced Democratic candidates. Neither had raised even $55,000 through the Sept. 30 campaign finance reporting deadline. Considering Rep. Omar’s outspoken position regarding the war in Israel, we can expect that particular issue to play a major role in the 2024 campaign. The Minnesota primary is scheduled for Aug. 13, 2024.
NC-6: Candidate Hines Again Switches Districts — Republican Bo Hines, who many observers say proved himself a weak candidate when he lost the politically marginal 13th District to now-Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary) in 2022, has again switched districts. Before losing the 13th District race last November, he originally declared to run in a western North Carolina district. Earlier this year, Hines announced a re-match effort against Rep. Nickel. Now, post-redistricting Round II, he is switching yet again. This time, he will run in the new 6th District against Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro).
Redistricting appears to have made NC-6 the most vulnerable district in the House Democratic Conference, so Republican chances of converting this seat are strong. Hines, however, must face former Congressman Mark Walker in the Republican primary. After the districts were passed into law, Walker abandoned his long-shot gubernatorial campaign and now becomes a clear favorite to win the Republican nomination in the new 6th, which closely resembles the district he represented for three terms.
TX-4 & 26: Two Texas Reps Won’t Seek Re-Election — As candidate filing deadlines begin to approach in the early primary states, we are seeing 2024 electoral decisions being made. Two more members of the Texas US House delegation announced that they will not run for re-election next year. Veteran Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Pilot Point), in a 26th District that covers three-quarters of Denton County, all of Cooke and two-thirds of Wise County in North Texas, announced that he will not seek an 11th term in the House. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco), in a more surprising move since he was elected to Congress just three years ago, is opting to run for the state Senate seat that he left to originally run for Congress.
Both Texas seats are safely Republican. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates TX-4 as R+31, while TX-26 is rated R+26. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the 4th and 26th as the 159th and 127th most vulnerable seats, respectively, in the Republican Conference.
VA-7: Rep. Spanberger to Run for Governor — Three-term US Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) announced that she will run for governor of Virginia in 2025. The move means she will not seek re-election to the House in 2024.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), under Virginia’s unique one-term limit law for its state chief executives, is ineligible to seek re-election. Therefore, the position will again be open for the 2025 election. Rep. Spanberger reports more than $1.4 million cash-on-hand in her congressional committee, all of which is transferable to a Virginia state campaign.
Without Spanberger seeking re-election, the 7th District becomes highly competitive in the general election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+2. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates 51.1D – 47.2R partisan lean. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks VA-7 as the 17th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference.