By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023
Montana: Sheehy Leads Rosendale in GOP Primary Poll — A new Fabrizio Lee statewide Montana survey (Oct. 23-25; 600 likely Montana Republican primary voters; live interview & text) finds that US Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive), despite holding Sen. Jon Tester (D) to a 50-47 percent victory margin in 2018, is no lock to win the 2024 Senate Republican nomination.
According to the Fabrizio Lee data, aerospace company CEO and retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, the Republican leadership’s choice, is already topping Rosendale among Republican primary voters. The full ballot test, which also includes GOP candidates Brad Johnson and Jeremy Mygland, projects Sheehy to be holding a 38-35-6-1 percent edge over Rosendale, Johnson and Mygland, respectively. In a head-to-head hypothetical pairing, Sheehy holds a 44-41 percent margin over Rep. Rosendale.
Sheehy, who announced his Senate candidacy in late June (see campaign announcement video at top), has been working the state and is on the air with an early television buy. Rep. Rosendale three weeks ago said he will decide whether to run for the Senate when Montana’s candidate filing deadline closes on March 11.
Florida: Second Major Dem Announces — Former health care company executive Stanley Campbell, who has the ability to at least partially fund his statewide campaign, has formally announced that he will enter the Florida US Senate Democratic primary. Campbell will face former US Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell in the Aug. 20 primary election. Nine other Democrats have also declared their candidacies, but it appears that Campbell and Mucarsel Powell are the two most credible contenders. The winner will then face Sunshine State Sen. Rick Scott (R) in what will be an uphill battle for the Democrats.
Louisiana: Court Assigns Redistricting Deadline — The three-judge federal Louisiana panel that affirmed the current Bayou State congressional map as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander, has given the legislature until Jan. 15 to produce a map that creates a second African American-influenced district. The deadline is actually much shorter unless current Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) calls the legislature back into session. If he does not, incoming Gov. Jeff Landry (R) will have to act immediately since he will not be sworn into office until Jan. 8. Before winning his election outright in October, governor-elect Landry was Louisiana’s attorney general and previously a US congressman. He served only one term in the House when his seat was collapsed because Louisiana lost a seat in the 2010 national reapportionment.
NJ-8: Rep. Menendez Dem Primary Challenger Gains Strength — Freshman Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City) appears headed for a legitimate primary challenge battle. Menendez is the only member of the New Jersey delegation who has stood up for embattled Sen. Bob Menendez, who is the congressman’s father.
Immediately upon the Menendez indictment being announced in late September, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bholla declared his congressional candidacy in the Democratic primary to oppose the younger Menendez. The latest information proves Bholla is a serious candidate. The New Jersey Globe newspaper reports that the mayor has already raised over $500,000 for his campaign. Therefore, this June 4 primary has legitimate upset potential.
TX-4: Rep. Fallon Changes Mind About Retirement — Earlier this week, Texas Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) declared that he would not seek re-election to the US House and instead filed papers to run for the state Senate seat that he vacated to run for Congress. Just a couple days later, however, he announced a change of heart and announced that he will run for re-election to the House after all. Rep. Fallon will have little trouble winning a third term despite his equivocation about what office to seek. Therefore, take TX-4 off the open-seat list.