Monthly Archives: May 2024

June Incumbent Challenges – Part II

By Jim Ellis — Friday, May 31, 2024


Today, we look at the latter June primaries in our second and final installment examining the House incumbent primary challenges.

Voters in Virginia will cast their nomination votes on June 18. Voters in Colorado, New York, and Utah will cast their nomination votes on June 25; in each of these three states, we see serious incumbent challenges.

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Colorado — Turning first to Colorado, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) decided to leave the 3rd District where she was twice elected to seek another term in the open 4th District, the safest Republican seat in the Centennial State. The move may well pay off as was evidenced in her nominating convention victory, which provides her top primary ballot placement.

The congresswoman faces a crowded field of candidates, which also helps her since she has the highest name identification and a solid conservative base. Rep. Boebert also has a major resource advantage (10:1 favorable receipt ratio compared to her closest opponent on the March 31 disclosure report). The representative’s campaign apparatus is stronger than expected, and she is in position to score a significant victory on June 25.

New York — The same may not be said for two-term Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers). His Democratic opponent is Westchester County Executive George Latimer, a former state senator and assemblyman. Latimer currently represents 91 percent of the 16th District and had out-raised the incumbent, $3.6 million to $2.7 million according to the March 31 campaign finance disclosure report. Bowman came to office when defeating veteran Rep. Eliot Engel in the 2020 Democratic primary, but he may well see the tables turn in this election.

Utah — The final June incumbent challenge comes in the state of Utah, where freshman Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City), who won a special election in late 2023, seeks a regular term nomination for the first time. A candidate who Sen. Mike Lee (R) heavily backs, technology executive and Army Reserve Colonel Colby Jenkins (R), topped Rep. Maloy at the party nominating convention.

The congresswoman, who did not circulate nominating petitions and therefore could have been eliminated at the convention, received 43 percent of the delegate vote, or just three percent more than the minimum needed to earn a ballot position for the June 25 primary election. Therefore, this is another situation that must be rated as a serious threat to the sitting incumbent.

Virginia — On June 18, Virginia will host another major primary where two-term Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg) is in danger of losing his renomination bid. This is the first time Rep. Good has also faced a primary electorate. Previously, he was nominated by convention.

Rep. Good’s opponent is state Sen. John McGuire (R-Manakin-Sabot), who enjoys strong outside support including a recent endorsement from former President Donald Trump who says that “Bob Good is Bad for Virginia, and Bad for the USA.” Rep. Good endorsed Gov. Ron DeSantis in the presidential election.

Good was also one of the key leaders in the movement to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and the former House leader is clearly involved with bringing in outside money to defeat the congressman. This will be a multi-million dollar campaign, with most of the money being spent through outside organizations. This is a contest where the incumbent is in danger of losing.

• • •

Throughout the election cycle, 24 significant incumbent challenges have been launched against sitting House members, 15 against Republicans and nine versus a Democratic member. Seven have already been decided, and we will see another seven results by the time June draws to a close.

Only one incumbent has been defeated, and such an outcome was inevitable. Alabama Reps. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) were paired in one district because of a court-ordered redistricting plan, which led to the latter man’s defeat.

The most serious challenges appear levied against Reps. Rob Menendez (D-NJ), Bowman, and Good in June and against Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Cori Bush (D-MO) in August.

June Incumbent Challenges — Part I

by Jim Ellis — Thursday, May 30, 2024


Now that we are through the Texas runoffs, it’s time to look at a very active primary schedule for the month of June with voters in 14 states choosing their nominees for the general election.

We begin Part I of our two-part series with the June 4 primaries that feature New Jersey, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota. Only in New Jersey, however, do we see a competitive primary challenge to an incumbent House member.

New Jersey freshman Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City)

New Jersey — Rep. Rob Menendez is fighting for renomination burdened with political baggage from his father’s legal woes. Sen. Bob Menendez (D) is currently on trial for bribery charges and could possibly see a verdict before the June 4 primary. Rep. Menendez has been heavily advertising recently, attempting to defend himself against a difficult Democratic primary challenge from Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

Through the May 15 pre-primary candidate financial disclosure filing, Mayor Bhalla actually out-raised Rep. Menendez, $2.02 million to $1.64 million. Menendez has the key endorsements and organizational backing, but the latest released poll, from the Global Strategy Group in early April, found the mayor leading Rep. Menendez by a 33-28 percent margin. This will be the challenge race to watch on June 4.

South Carolina — We have primary voting in South Carolina, Maine, Nevada, and North Dakota on June 11. The incumbent challenges to follow on this day are in South Carolina’s 1st and 4th Districts. Here, Reps. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) and William Timmons (R-Greenville) are defending themselves against former Haley Administration official and ex-gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton and state Rep. Adam Morgan (R-Greenville), respectively.

Rep. Mace has an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, but as one of the members who voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, she is under attack from outside organizations.

The campaign’s latest published poll comes from Emerson College (May 19-21; 400 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) and projects Rep. Mace to be holding a 47-22 percent lead over Ms. Templeton. The danger Mace faces, however, is failing to hit the 50 percent mark. If so, the race advances into a two-week runoff period where the top two finishers will square off in a June 25 secondary election.

Across the state in the Greenville-Spartanburg anchored 4th District, Rep. Timmons again faces a serious primary challenge. In 2022, in a field of three opponents, Rep. Timmons, then a freshman congressman, received only 52.7 percent of the Republican primary vote. With the Democrats not even fielding a candidate in the 4th District, Rep. Timmons was home free once he won the primary election.

Reports of an extra-marital affair dragged Timmons’ image down and he managed to win only a relatively tight Republican primary contest that saved him from having a very short congressional career.

This time the anti-Timmons vote is centered around just one candidate, state Rep. Adam Morgan (R-Greenville). Though former President Trump has endorsed Rep. Timmons, much of the conservative base is gravitating toward Morgan. The congressman is regarded as at least a slight favorite, but an upset here remains a possibility.

Oklahoma — Turning to June 18, the state of Oklahoma hosts one major incumbent primary. Just north of the Red River, which separates the Sooner State and Texas, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Moore/Norman) defends himself in what is turning into an expensive primary.

The congressman’s opponent is insurance executive Paul Bondar who plans to drop at least $2 million of his own money into the race and is already advertising extensively on electronic media. The message attacks Cole as an insider who has lost touch with his constituency and refers to him as a resident of the “Washington Swamp.”

Rep. Cole is also spending heavily and going on offense, bringing to the forefront that Bondar has only recently moved to Oklahoma to the point where he even voted in Texas earlier this year. He also illustrates that Bondar’s real community ties are still in Texas.

Rep. Cole is responding aggressively in this primary race, but the closing days of this campaign will be interesting. The congressman is favored to win, but how the race concludes is well worth watching.

Libertarian Party Chooses Nominee; Expect an Early Nomination for Biden-Harris; Menendez to Enter Senate Campaign as an Independent; Texas House Election Roundup

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, May 29, 2024


2024 Libertarian Party nominee, Chase Oliver.

Libertarian Party: Chooses Presidential Candidate — Catching up on political news from over Memorial Day Weekend, after booing former President Donald Trump spoke to the Libertarian Party Convention, delegates on the fourth ballot nominated former Georgia Senate and congressional candidate Chase Oliver as the party’s presidential nominee. Not Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was being considered for party nomination. The Libertarian Party is the only one of the minor entities that will have 50-state, or near 50-state, ballot presence. The party’s presence is more likely to take votes away from former President Donald Trump than President Joe Biden.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. received only two percent of the delegate vote on the first ballot and was eliminated. Chase then advanced to a third ballot against college professor Michael Rectenwald. Chase received 49.5 percent of the vote, just short of the majority threshold. He then advanced to win 60 percent alone against a none of the above option.

Democratic National Committee: Will Nominate Biden-Harris Virtually — It appears that the Democrats will, for the first time, nominate their presidential ticket before the delegates even gather for their national convention in late August. Responding to the Ohio election law that requires the political parties to provide official communication of their nominees prior to Aug. 7, Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison announced yesterday that the party delegates will vote in a virtual roll call prior to the Aug. 19-22 party gathering to ensure that President Biden is placed on the Buckeye State ballot.

Ohio Republicans have said they would pass a new law changing the aforementioned deadline, yet Harrison said the Democrats would not wait for their counterparts to act, but rather would “land this plane themselves.” Conducting the vote early will make it even more difficult for insurgent Democrats to make any move to convince the president to step down from receiving the party nomination. Therefore, we can expect President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to be renominated well before Aug. 7 and weeks prior to the Democratic delegates gathering in Chicago for their national convention.


New Jersey: Sen. Menendez Circulating Petitions — While Sen. Bob Menendez (D) is standing trial for bribery, reports are surfacing from New Jersey that he is also having petitions circulated to enter the 2024 Senate race as an Independent. Earlier, Sen. Menendez announced that he would not compete in the Democratic primary.

It is likely that the senator will file as an Independent not because he believes he can win from that ballot line, but his status as a candidate would allow him to use his substantial campaign funds (his cash-on-hand figure was just under $3.6 million on March 31) to pay his legal expenses.

Michigan: Petition Signatures Confirmed — Despite stories surfacing last week that Republican candidates — Mike Rogers, a former House member and ex-Intelligence Committee chairman; ex-Rep. Justin Amash; and businessman Sandy Pensler — were in danger of not submitting 15,000 valid petition signatures to qualify for the US Senate ballot, the State Bureau of Elections staff report indicates that the only Senate contender not qualifying from either major political party is Democrat Nasser Beydoun.

In Michigan, the staff sends their signature qualification report to the secretary of state prior to the principal making a final decision. At this point, it appears that all three key Republican candidates will be on the ballot. For the Democrats, the battle will apparently be between US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) and actor Hill Harper.


TX-23: Rep. Gonzales Barely Renominated — Two-term Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-San Antonio) escaped with a close win last night against firearm manufacturer Brandon Herrera in the Texas Republican runoff election after a nasty campaign. Rep. Gonzales won with 50.7 percent of the vote, a margin of just 407 votes of the 29,639 ballots cast. In the March 5 Republican primary, the congressman placed first in the original election with 45.1 percent of the vote as compared to Herrera’s 24.6 percent.

An incumbent being forced into a runoff generally plays poorly for the office holder in the secondary election, thus the closeness of this contest was not particularly surprising. Furthermore, last night’s result is not the first close call Gonzales has experienced in the Texas runoff system.

In his first election back in 2020, Gonzales won that year’s runoff election with just 45 votes to spare, and then went onto score an upset 51-47 percent victory over Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones. The congressman will now be favored to defeat Democratic nominee Santos Limon in the general election.

TX-28: Republicans Nominate Furman — A second important Republican runoff election occurred in the South Texas 28th District, a seat that stretches from San Antonio all the way to the Mexican border. Retired Navy officer Jay Furman was an easy 65-35 percent winner over rancher Lazaro Garza Jr. in a runoff election that saw only 12,683 voters cast ballots.

Furman will advance to the general election to challenge embattled Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), who now faces a federal bribery indictment. Prior to his legal situation becoming public, the general election did not appear competitive, but the new developments suggest that the Republican nomination is worth having. Now the attention turns to the GOP apparatus to determine if they will target the district and spend the resources to help Furman score what they hope will be an upset victory on Nov. 5.

TX-12: State Rep. Goldman Wins GOP Runoff — State Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Ft. Worth), as expected, easily defeated real estate developer John O’Shea by a 63-37 percent margin from a low turnout of 26,670 votes. Goldman now becomes the prohibitive favorite in the general election to succeed retiring Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Ft. Worth) who is departing after serving what will be 14 terms in the House.

The result was not a surprise after Goldman placed first in the March 5 primary coming within 5.6 percentage points of winning the Republican nomination outright. Goldman was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2012 and rose to a position of Republican Party leadership in the current legislative chamber.

Governors’ Races News — NH, NC, VT; Hollier Disqualified in Michigan

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R)

New Hampshire: Ayotte Leads in New GOP Primary Survey — The National Journal published a new survey of New Hampshire voters (May 15-20; 420 likely New Hampshire voters; online) that posts to a double-digit Republican primary advantage over former state Senate president and 2022 US Senate candidate Chuck Morse. According to this data, Ayotte’s lead is 50-28 percent.

The survey is comprised of an online panel from Survey Monkey, which is one of the least accurate sources in the polling industry. The sampling universe began with 1,196 New Hampshire adults and then was winnowed to 420 likely GOP primary voters. Therefore, while Ayotte undoubtedly has a lead in the race, it may not be as strong as this poll suggests.

Additionally, with a late Sept. 10 primary election, this race has many weeks to fully develop. The eventual Republican nominee will face the winner of the Democratic primary between former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Council member Cinde Warmington.

North Carolina: Robinson Rebounds — After several consecutive polls found Attorney General Josh Stein (D) beginning to pull away from Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) in the open 2024 governor’s race, a series of new polls are again forecasting a seesaw political battle. From the March 3 to April 8 period, Stein was leading in four consecutive polls from four different polling firms including the April Quinnipiac University survey that posted him to an eight point lead.

Now, we see another four polls conducted from April 8 to May 18, two of which giving each man a slight edge. Looking at the North Carolina voting history, we can expect this race to bounce around from now until Election Day, which will likely culminate in a very close final result.

Vermont: Another Key Democrat Won’t Run — On the heels of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) announcing that he would not again run for his former position, ex-Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger (D) early this week made a similar announcement regarding the 2024 gubernatorial campaign.

With the May 30 candidate filing deadline fast approaching, Democrats have yet to recruit a strong opponent for four-term Gov. Phil Scott (R) who is seeking re-election to a fifth term. Despite Vermont’s heavily Democratic voting history, Gov. Scott again is well positioned to defy the odds and win yet another re-election.


MI-13: Hollier Disqualified — After the initial clerk staff reports revealed that former state senator and 2022 congressional candidate Adam Hollier (D) failed to submit the required number valid petition signatures for the 2024 congressional election, the Wayne County Clerk has verified that he is disqualified. According to the clerk’s report, Hollier filed only 863 valid registered voter signatures, well short of the needed 1,000. The disqualification is a break for freshman Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit), who defeated then-Sen. Hollier, 28-23 percent, in the 2022 Democratic primary.

It appeared that Hollier was the congressman’s most serious challenger. Remaining in the race are former state Rep. Mary Waters and resigned Southfield City Clerk Shakira Hawkins. The latter agreed to a plea bargain that required her to admit to criminal misconduct in office. Waters reported just over $5,000 cash-on-hand on her March 31 campaign disclosure report. Therefore, Rep. Thanedar’s political position has greatly improved.

Split Tickets in AZ, NV? SCOTUS Rules in SC; Dead Heat in CA-41; Mace Leads in Two South Carolina Polls

By Jim Ellis — Friday, May 24, 2024


Former President Donald Trump

Polling: Potential Split Tickets in AZ, NV — Two new surveys find Democratic Senate candidates pulling away from their presumed Republican opponents in two southwestern swing states while former President Donald Trump continues to lead within the same polling samples.

Phoenix-based Noble Predictive Insights (May 7-14; 1,003 registered Arizona voters; online) finds Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) maintaining a double-digit lead, 46-36 percent, over Republican former news anchor and 2022 gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake. Yet, on the presidential ballot test, former President Trump holds a 43-36-8-2-1 percent advantage over President Joe Biden, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I), Jill Stein (Green), and Dr. Cornel West (I).

In Nevada, we see a similar pattern. Mainstreet Research, polling for Florida Atlantic University (May 19-21; 522 registered Nevada voters; interactive voice response system & online), finds Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) leading Republican Sam Brown, 48-37 percent. When turning to the presidential contest, however, the results flip. According to this data, Trump would hold a 44-40-9 percent advantage over Biden and Kennedy. Both the most recent Arizona and Nevada polling results suggest that each electorate could engage in ticket splitting for the top two offices on their respective ballots.


SCOTUS: Overturns South Carolina Lower Court’s Redistricting Ruling — On a 6-3 vote, the United States Supreme Court overturned the lower court ruling that declared South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District (Rep. Nancy Mace — R-Charleston) as a racial gerrymander. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito stated that the lower court’s ruling saying race had been the predominate factor in drawing the 1st District was “clearly erroneous,” according to the Daily Kos Elections site analysts. Therefore, the current South Carolina map will stand.

The state had already proceeded under the current lines since the high court’s decision came after the candidate filing deadline. Therefore, the current campaigns will continue along their present path.

This decision could well affect the Louisiana case, which the high court stayed. The lower court had overturned the Louisiana legislature’s original map as a racial gerrymander. The appellate court then reversed the ruling, but the Supreme Court stayed that decision. It is possible the stay was ordered because the court was making an important ruling on the South Carolina case, and that decision could again change the Louisiana situation.

CA-41: Rep. Calvert in Dead Heat — Veteran Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) is again in a highly competitive race with his 2022 opponent, former federal prosecutor Will Rollins (D). The Rollins campaign just released the results of their latest internal poll from David Binder Research (May 1-6; 600 likely CA-41 general election voters; live interview & text). According to the ballot test, Rollins would hold a slight one-point lead, 45-44 percent, over Rep. Calvert. Both candidates see 31 percent of their support being recorded as definite, while 14 percent of Rollins’ voters say they could change their vote, as do 13 percent of Calvert voters.

While the polling is virtually even, the all-party jungle primary results gave Rep. Calvert a 53-38 percent advantage from 162,066 individuals who voted. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-41 as R+7.

SC-1: Rep. Mace Leads in Two Polls — While the US Supreme Court was ruling on the legality of the state’s 1st Congressional District, a new Republican primary poll was simultaneously released. Emerson College (May 19-21; 400 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) publicized their new data results that post incumbent Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) to a 47-22 percent advantage over her principal challenger, former Haley Administration official and previous gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton. A third candidate, non-profit executive Bill Young, attracted seven percent of the vote.

The results are similar to a recent Kaplan Strategies survey (May 6-7; 343 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters; online & text) that produced a Mace lead of 43-21-3 percent.
The South Carolina primary is June 11. If no one reaches majority support, and neither poll shows Rep. Mace winning outright, the top two finishers will advance to a June 25 runoff election.

Incumbents Winning Big

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, May 23, 2024


At this point in the 2024 election cycle we have seen a number of budding primary challenges opposite US House members, and through this past Tuesday the incumbents are batting 1.000. It is likely, however, that the most competitive challenges are yet to come.

A total of 17 states have held their down-ballot primary elections. Within this number were 62 partisan challenges to US representatives. The California all-party jungle primary system does not produce traditional intra-party challenges. Therefore, the Golden State races are not included in the partisan statistics quoted in this column.

In only one race, that one in Alabama’s newly constructed 1st District, did an incumbent, Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile), lose. But, in a paired redistricting situation, a sitting member losing was the inevitable conclusion.

We have seen no serious nomination challenges to sitting in-cycle senators. In the House, of the 62 members who have faced an intra-party opponent, 18 have proven to be substantial challenges. This means that the top opponent received at least 30 percent of the vote.

In only two, however, was an incumbent victory even in doubt. On March 19, southern Illinois Congressman Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) defeated former state senator and 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey by a slight 51-49 percent count.

On May 7 in the Hoosier State of Indiana, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville), who originally indicated she would not seek re-election but changed her mind before the candidate filing deadline, only scored 39 percent of the primary vote. The total, however, was enough to turn back eight GOP challengers including state Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville) who captured 33 percent support.

Therefore, at this point in the House cycle with now a bare majority of 218 district electorates having nominated their general election contenders, it appears the stage might be set to see another incumbent-favorable general election.

The primary vote to-date could be the precursor to seeing a similar result to what we saw in 2022, when incumbents fared extremely well even though polling suggested the electorate desired major change. Two years ago, 55 of 56 senators and governors who ran for re-election won, and the incumbent retention percentage in the House was 98.1.

Should the 2024 election result in a similar conclusion, we would again see very small margins in both the House and Senate. Yet, the primary season is only half over, and a number of key members remain embroiled in primary campaigns.

While we’ve only seen two primaries in the first half resulting in close finishes, several upcoming contests could end in close counts or even incumbent upsets. In fact, 13 members in 11 states face challengers who are positioning themselves for serious runs.

Arizona freshman Rep. Eli Crane (R-Oro Valley) sees former Yavapai County Supervisor Jack Smith coming forward. Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt), while changing to the open 4th District, must overcome Logan County Commissioner Jerry Sonnenberg and two state representatives to secure nomination in the new district.

In Florida, both Reps. Dan Webster (R-Clermont) and Vern Buchanan (R-Sarasota) face a former state representative and ex-school superintendent, respectively.

In what are proving to be the top challenges to Democratic members, Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Cori Bush (D-MO), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), all members of far left “Squad,” each face serious opponents in the persons of Westchester County Executive George Latimer, St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell, and former Minneapolis City councilman and 2022 congressional candidate Don Samuels.

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole (R-Moore/Norman) is repelling a multi-million dollar challenge from Texas transplant Paul Bondar. Two South Carolina members, Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) and William Timmons (R-Greenville), are attempting to defeat strong challenges from former Haley Administration official Catherine Templeton, and state Rep. Adam Morgan (R-Greenville).

Like Rep. Mace, who is under attack for voting to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Virginia Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg) also has his hands full attempting to defend himself from state Sen. John McGuire’s (R) aggressive challenge.

Tennessee Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Columbia) and Utah’s Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City), the latter of whom won her seat in a late 2023 special election, also are in serious battles for renomination.

While we have seen an unblemished nomination record for incumbent House members in the first half of primaries, the second half may threaten their so far perfect record.

Tuesday’s Primary Results

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Primary Results

California Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) / Photo by Kevin Sanders for California Globe

CA-20: Fong Wins Special Election — California Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), fresh from winning court challenges that could have prevented him from running for Congress, clinched the special election to replace former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R). Upon certification, Fong will be immediately sworn into the House and increase the party division to 218R – 213D. In last night’s election, Fong defeated Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux (R) by a 60-40 percent count.

Fong won big in Kern County, 74 percent at this writing, and carried Fresno County with about 55 percent of the vote. Kings County is too close to call, but the small number of votes won’t greatly affect the outcome. Sheriff Boudreaux easily carried his home county of Tulare.

Next, Representative-Elect Fong will again face Sheriff Boudreaux in the 2024 general election this November in a double-Republican general election contest where he will be favored to win a full term.

Georgia: Runoff in District 3; Reps. McBath & Scott Renominated — Both Reps. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta), running in a newly reconfigured 6th District and David Scott (D-Atlanta) were easily renominated last night.

Rep. McBath defeated Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson and state Rep. Mandisha Thomas (D-Red Oak) with a whopping 85 percent of the vote. Rep. Scott defeated six opponents, scoring 58 percent of the vote and winning renomination outright. Both incumbents will face little in the way of re-election challenges in November.

In retiring Rep. Drew Ferguson’s (R-The Rock/Carrollton) open 3rd District, a pair of Republicans will advance to a June 18 runoff election, though former Trump White House aide Brian Jack came close to winning outright. Jack recorded 47 percent of the vote, just short of the 50 percent plus one vote mark that would have clinched the nomination.

Advancing into the runoff with 26 percent is former state Sen. Mike Dugan. Getting as close as he did to the majority threshold gives Jack a major advantage heading into the runoff. The secondary election will be the deciding factor since the eventual Republican nominee will be the prohibitive favorite to win the seat in the general election.

Idaho: Rep. Simpson Clinches Primary Win — Veteran Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho Falls) won renomination for a 14th US House term, defeating two Republican opponents with 57 percent of the vote, at this writing.

The state’s other House member, Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-Meridian) was unopposed for renomination. Idaho also has no US Senate race in this election cycle.

Kentucky: Easy Night for All Incumbents — Half of the state’s congressional delegation faced minor primary opponents and half were unopposed.

Reps. Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville), Thomas Massie (R-Garrison), and Hal Rogers (R-Somerset) were all renominated for new terms and will have easy runs in the general election. McGarvey won with 84 percent, Massie recorded 76 percent, and Rogers scored an 82 percent preference figure. All are locks to win the general election.

The same November outlook is on tap for unopposed congressional candidates James Comer (R-Tompkinsville), Brett Guthrie (R-Bowling Green), and Andy Barr (R-Lexington).

Oregon: Bynum Defeats McLeod-Skinner; Salinas-Erickson Re-Match — As expected, state Rep. Maxine Dexter (D-Portland) won the crowded 3rd District Democratic primary, which is tantamount to winning the general election and succeeding retiring 14-term Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland). Dexter, at this writing, was projected the winner with a 53-25 percent margin over former Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal, sister to Washington US Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle), and five others.

With the Democratic leadership virtually united in backing state Rep. Janelle Bynum’s (D-Clackamas) attempt to deny 2022 congressional nominee Jamie McLeod-Skinner renomination because they viewed the former as the stronger opponent to 5th District freshman Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Happy Valley), their goal was achieved in a landslide proportion. Rep. Bynum defeated McLeod-Skinner by what looks to be a 70-30 percent margin. Two years ago, McLeod-Skinner won the Democratic congressional primary unseating seven-term Rep. Kurt Schrader.

The CD-5 general election encompasses the state capital city of Salem and the outer southwestern Portland suburbs. This will be one of the most hotly contested House races in the nation.
In the adjacent 6th District, we will see a re-match from the 50-48 percent result posted in 2022. Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Tigard) will defend her seat against businessman Mike Erickson, who scored a 75 percent victory in last night’s Republican primary. Though the race will be competitive, Rep. Salinas is certainly favored to successfully defend her seat.

In other Oregon results, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Washington County) was easily renominated for an eighth term with 91 percent of the Democratic primary vote in early returns. Sophomore Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) also won renomination for a third term defeating Prineville Mayor Jason Beebe (R) with 81 percent vote preference.