Daily Archives: November 20, 2023

Utah Rep. Considering Senate Run; Santos Won’t Seek Re-Election; Alaska Lt. Gov. Dahlstrom in House Race; College Recruiting Ohio Rep.

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Nov. 20, 2023

Senate

Utah Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo)

Utah: Rep. Curtis Reportedly Considering Senate Run — “The drumbeat from Utahans around the state asking me to reconsider my decision last month to stay out of the Senate race has been constant and consistent,” Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo) said yesterday. “These voices, getting louder and more organized, are increasingly difficult to ignore.” Originally, Rep. Curtis indicated he would not seek the state’s open US Senate seat now that Sen. Mitt Romney (R) has chosen to retire. Now, apparently, a Curtis entry into the race could be imminent.

Rep. Curtis was elected to the 3rd District House seat in a 2017 special election to replace then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) who resigned to accept a position in the media. Curtis has been easily re-elected ever since. Prior to his service in Congress, the representative was twice elected mayor of Provo. Seven Republicans have already announced for the Senate, the most prominent of which is former state House Speaker Brad Wilson.

House

NY-3: Rep. Santos Won’t Seek Re-Election — Embattled New York Congressman George Santos (R-Long Island), understanding that he cannot win re-election considering the ethics and criminal investigations that plague him, announced that he will not seek re-election next year. The move may not be enough for those who want him out of the House now. According to reports covering the House Ethics Committee report about Santos’ activities, the content is damning to the point that he may now be vulnerable to another budding expulsion resolution.

Should Santos be removed from office, a special election will be held to fill the balance of the term. Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D) is poised to run along with five other Democrats including former state Sen. Anna Kaplan. Two other Democrats recently withdrew from the race and endorsed ex-Rep. Suozzi. Nine Republicans have also announced, but none have previously served in elected office. Republican leaders are trying to recruit state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) but so far he has yet to commit.

The 3rd CD holds a D+4 rating according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks NY-3 as the eighth most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. Clearly, this will likely become the top Democratic conversion opportunity in the country.

AK-AL: Lieutenant Governor Announces for House — Alaska Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom (R) late this week announced that she will enter the at-large congressional campaign hoping to unseat incumbent Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Bethel). Already in the race is 2022 Republican general election finalist Nick Begich III.

Lt. Gov. Dahlstrom’s addition to the race could actually help Rep. Peltola win re-election. Under the state’s Ranked Choice Voting system, four finalists will advance to the general election from the all-party jungle primary. In the general election, voters will then rank their choices from one to four. When Peltola first won the seat in the 2022 special election, approximately 60 percent of voters supported a Republican candidate in the all-party primary, and a majority voted Republican in the general election, yet the Ranked Choice system allowed Peltola to win.

A similar situation could occur in 2024. In the 2022 regular general election, Begich and former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) split the Republican vote, thus denying any candidate a majority, which led to Ranked Choice taking effect and Peltola’s victory. In 2024, the split between Begich and Lt. Gov. Dahlstrom, since at least these two and a third person are a lock to qualify for the general election, will probably once again re-elect the state’s Democratic congresswoman. This situation could change if the proposed ballot proposition to repeal the Ranked Choice Voting system qualifies for a vote and the measure passes.

OH-6: Rep. Johnson Being Recruited as University President — The Youngstown State University Trustees have unanimously voted to offer the institution’s presidency position to US Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Marietta), but it is far from certain that the congressman will accept. Johnson released a public statement acknowledging the offer and indicating that he is uncertain as to what will be his decision. Should he accept and resign the House seat, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) would have to call a special election to fill the balance of the term.

Ohio’s 6th District encompasses much of eastern Ohio that hugs both the Pennsylvania and West Virginia borders. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+31. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks OH-6 as the 82nd safest seat in the Republican Conference.