Daily Archives: June 12, 2024

Incumbents Prevail Again

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Primary Results

No major surprises occurred in primary elections last night. Once more, challenged incumbents all won their renomination efforts. The most competitive were in South Carolina. Turning to Ohio, Republican Michael Rulli, after trailing early, successfully claimed the 6th District special election to replace resigned Rep. Bill Johnson (R).

Austin Theriault (R), retired NASCAR driver and Maine state representative.

Maine — In the state’s lone competitive US House primary, as expected, retired NASCAR driver and state Rep. Austin Theriault (R-Ft. Kent) easily won the Republican primary, defeating fellow state representative and actor Mike Soboleski (R-Phillips) with almost two-thirds of the vote.

Theriault will advance into the general election against Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston). Should former President Donald Trump continue with his large polling lead in this district over President Joe Biden, the turnout model should be favorable for Theriault, thus making this a competitive race to watch in the general election. Ranked Choice Voting, which has previously helped Golden, will again be used in this race should no contender record majority support on the initial count.

Nevada — As expected, Afghan War veteran Sam Brown was an easy winner in the Republican Senate primary and now advances to officially challenge Sen. Jacky Rosen who was naturally a big winner in the Democratic primary. This will be a top-tier general election contest.

In the three potentially competitive Las Vegas House races, 2022 1st District nominee Mark Robertson appears to have won the multi-candidate Republican primary and will again challenge Rep. Dina Titus (D). Robertson did not run a particularly good campaign two years ago, losing by six percentage points. He will have to substantially improve if he is to become a serious contender in 2024.

In the 3rd District, the Republican primary is close, but it appears that marketing consultant Drew Johnson will prevail for the nomination. He will then advance to challenge Rep. Susie Lee (D) in what should be the most competitive of the three seats.

In District 4, former North Las Vegas Mayor and ex-Democrat John Lee, has won the Republican primary and will challenge veteran Rep. Steven Horsford (D) in November.

The three Las Vegas seats should be competitive, but the Democratic incumbents in each of the districts are early favorites to win re-election.

North Dakota — Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, with backing from former President Trump and Gov. Doug Burgum, won the at-large Republican primary last evening defeating former state Rep. Rich Becker and 2018 Miss American Cara Mund. The Fedorchak nomination victory is tantamount to winning the at-large seat in the general election.

The House seat is open because three-term US Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-Bismarck) easily won the Republican gubernatorial nomination, as he defeated Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller with more than 70 percent of the GOP vote. Armstrong will now be the prohibitive favorite to replace retiring Gov. Burgum in the general election.

South Carolina — The most interesting House races were in South Carolina where two incumbents faced credible competition. As has been the case in all contested campaigns this year, the incumbents again prevailed.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) posted 57 percent in her battle against former Haley Administration cabinet secretary Catherine Templeton and non-profit corporation executive Bill Young. Polling had placed Rep. Mace well ahead of her opponents, but the question lingered as to whether she would exceed the majority vote threshold. Doing so easily, and with the Supreme Court not changing the 1st District in its ruling last month, Rep. Mace is now officially on her way to winning a third term in November.

In the Greenville-Spartanburg seat, Rep. William Timmons (R) also won re-election, turning back state Rep. Adam Morgan (R-Greenville) with another close 52-48 percent victory margin, the same margin of his 2022 primary win.

The open 3rd District from which Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-Laurens) is retiring will head to a runoff election in two weeks. Pastor and National Guard veteran Mark Burns placed first and will face National Guard Lt. Col. Sheri Biggs, who has Gov. Henry McMaster’s endorsement. The pair finished within two points of each other and now advance to the June 25 election. The winner of the secondary election will take the seat in November.

OH-6 — The evening’s special general election was decided in the Republicans’ favor, but in a closer than expected finish against a Democratic candidate who had little in the way of resources. Ohio state Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) defeated Democrat Michael Kripchak with a 55-45 percent margin.

The Rulli victory will bring the Republican Conference to 219 members with another special election, that in the CO-4 district, to be decided on June 25.

Once again, we see a Republican candidate slightly under-performing in a special election from a district that should have returned a victory in the much higher 50s. Rep-Elect Rulli and Kripchak will now advance to the regular general election. Rulli will again be favored and should win with a larger margin in November from a district that ex-President Trump will carry heavily.