Category Archives: Primary

Utah GOP Nominating Convention Upends Establishment; After Just Filing for FL-8 Race, Posey Withdraws; Rehberg Trails in MT-2 Poll

By Jim Ellis — Monday, April 29, 2024

States

Riverton, Utah Mayor Trent Staggs

Utah: GOP Nominating Convention Upends Establishment — After being booed during his speech to the Republican nominating convention delegates on Saturday, Gov. Spencer Cox fell to state Rep. Phil Lyman (R-Blanding) by a whopping 67-33 percent vote. To qualify for the ballot in a statewide race, a candidate needed to attract at least 40 percent of the delegate vote. While the governor did not qualify through the convention process, he had filed to get the necessary 28,000 valid petition signatures prior to the party assembly to guarantee his ballot position in the June 25 Republican primary.

In the Senate race, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs rode former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, which was announced just before the convention began. Staggs proved himself the delegates’ favorite with a 70-30 percent victory over Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo).

The vote makes Mayor Staggs the only candidate qualifying through the convention process. Rep. Curtis submitted the requisite number of petitions, so he, too, will be on the primary ballot. Joining them are a pair of others qualifying via petition, former state House Speaker Brad Wilson, and businessman Jason Walton. Attorney Brent Orrin Hatch, son of the late Sen. Orrin Hatch, who fell short of the 28,000 signature requirement, did not receive 40 percent delegate support. Therefore, he is eliminated from further competition.

In the House races, both Reps. Blake Moore (R-Salt Lake City) and Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City) finished second to a Republican opponent but cleared the 40 percent threshold. Rep. Moore had previously qualified through petition, but Rep. Maloy was a “convention only” candidate. Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Salt Lake City) was renominated by acclamation. In the open 3rd CD, the only candidate to win the delegate support is state Sen. Mike Kennedy (R-American Fork). Qualifying through petition are State Auditor John “Frugal” Dougall, Roosevelt Mayor J.R. Bird, and businessman Case Lawrence. The Utah primary will be conducted on June 25. The eventual GOP nominee in all races will be favored in the general election.

House

FL-8: Rep. Posey Withdraws — After filing for re-election, eight-term Florida US Rep. Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) announced that he is withdrawing from the race.

Immediately, and obviously after receiving a tip from the congressman, former state Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R) filed his own federal campaign committee. Since Florida does not extend candidate filing time when the incumbent does not seek re-election, Haridopolos is clearly the front runner to succeed the 30-year office holder. In addition to his 16 years in Congress, Rep. Posey served another 16 years in the legislature, eight in each house.

Attorney Joe Babits and technology company executive John Hearton, both viewed as minor candidates, are the only other individuals to have declared their candidacies. For the Democrats, West Melbourne City Councilman Don McDow is favored for the party nomination over attorney Sandy Kennedy.

Florida’s 8th District, that stretches from Titusville to Vero Beach on the Atlantic Coast, is safely Republican. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+23. Former President Trump carried the district, 58-41 percent, in 2020. The Posey retirement means there are now 52 open seats headed into the next election, with 26 coming from the Democratic Conference versus the Republicans’ 25. One seat is newly created in Alabama.

MT-2: Ex-Rep. Rehberg Trails in New Poll — Guidant Polling & Strategy just released the results of their recent Montana Republican primary congressional poll (April 14-17; 400 likely MT-2 Republican primary voters). The data find State Auditor Troy Downing (R) leading former Congressman Denny Rehberg and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, 38-26-10 percent.

Ex-Rep. Rehberg, who represented the at-large district for 12 years after serving six years as lieutenant governor, is being heavily outspent. Downing, through March 31, had spent just over $630,000 compared to Rehberg’s $7,300. The former congressman then infused his own campaign treasury with a loan of $300,000.

The winner of the June 4 primary election will succeed retiring Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) in the safely Republican eastern Montana seat.

Trump Leads in All But One Swing State; Utah GOP Nominating Convention Saturday; Kansas State House Leader Nixes Run

THE SWING STATES: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

By Jim Ellis — Friday, April 26, 2024

President

Bloomberg Swing State Polls: Trump Leading in All But One — Bloomberg News, in partnership with the Morning Consult data organization, conducted presidential polls in all seven of the key swing states during the April 8-13 period. The cumulative data produced very good news for former President Donald Trump, as he is projected to lead in six of the seven states in both head-to-head pairings with President Joe Biden and when the independent and minor candidates are added to the polling questionnaire.

In the one-on-one polling series, Trump leads Biden in a range from one (Pennsylvania) to 10 (North Carolina) percentage points. Only in Michigan does President Biden have an advantage (+2). When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) and the minor party candidates are added, which is the more realistic ballot test, Trump’s advantage either holds or grows. Under this scenario, his advantage stretches from one (Pennsylvania) to a whopping 14 percentage points (Nevada). Again, under this configuration, President Biden would lead only in Michigan (+3).

This polling series represents Trump’s strongest cumulative swing state showing of 2024. The polled states are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Senate

Utah: GOP Nominating Convention Tomorrow — Utah Republican delegates convene tomorrow at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City to consider a large ticket of primary endorsements, the most important of which are for the open US Senate seat and governor.

In Utah, candidates can qualify for the ballot in one of two ways. The first is to obtain 40 percent of the delegate vote at the state convention. Doing so guarantees a primary ballot line for no more than two candidates. The second way is to petition onto the ballot, which means collecting 28,000 valid registered party members’ signatures for a statewide candidacy. For a US House race, the required signature number is 7,000 within the particular district.

Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo), former state House Speaker Brad Wilson, and businessman and podcast host Jason Walton have already qualified for the US Senate Republican primary ballot via petition signatures. Therefore, regardless of whether these men receive the 40 percent delegate support necessary to advance to the primary in tomorrow’s convention, they have each secured a ballot line. Attorney Brett Orrin Hatch, son of the late Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), submitted petitions but is approximately 7,000 signatures short of qualifying. Thus, he can access the ballot only through the delegate process tomorrow.

In the governor’s race, the only candidate qualifying through petition is incumbent Gov. Spencer Cox. For the US House, 1st District Rep. Blake Moore (R-Salt Lake City) is the only incumbent to qualify through petition signatures. The state’s other incumbents, Reps. Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City) and Burgess Owens (R-Salt Lake City), will qualify through the delegate process. No opponent to either Reps. Maloy or Owens has submitted petition signatures.

House

KS-2: Majority Leader Won’t Run for House — Despite indicating interest in running for Congress when Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Topeka) announced his retirement last week, Kansas state House Majority Leader Chris Croft (R-Overland Park) yesterday issued a statement saying he will not run.

Croft’s decision is principally due to the fact that his home Overland Park area is fully contained in the 3rd District, thus giving him very little in the way of a political base in District 2. A crowded Republican field is expected to form before the June 1 candidate filing deadline. With a FiveThirtyEight data organization rating of R+21, the Republican primary winner will become the definitive favorite in the general election.

Pennsylvania Presidential, House Primary Results; Challenger in MI-4; Changes in Virginia’s Governor Race

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, April 24, 2024

President

President Joe Biden / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Pennsylvania: Presidential Primary Results — Recently, there has been an uptick in President Joe Biden’s polling numbers, particularly in the critical Great Lakes states, and the turnout pattern in last night’s Pennsylvania primary looks to verify those figures.

While we had consistently seen higher Republican turnout opposite the Democrats in the earlier primary states around the country, yesterday in the Keystone State, approximately 100,000 more Democrats look to have voted than Republicans once all of the cast ballots are recorded. President Biden recorded 88.8 percent in the Democratic primary, while former President Donald Trump took 82.8 percent on the Republican side.

House

Pennsylvania: House Primary Results — In the Pennsylvania congressional races, the most competitive incumbent challenge occurred in the Pittsburgh-anchored 12th District. While challenger Bhavini Patel ran a strong grassroots effort against freshman Rep. Summer Lee (D-Swissvale), the race ended in a projected 60.2 – 39.4 percent split in the congresswoman’s favor. A combination of a major Lee resource advantage and staying away from any emphasis on her being part of the Socialist Democratic caucus’ “Squad,” allowed her to capture a definitive renomination victory.

In terms of challenger races, state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Emmaus) defeated technology business owner and 2022 congressional candidate Kevin Dellicker and attorney Maria Montero to win the GOP nomination in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton anchored 7th District. Mackenzie will now advance to the general election to face three-term Rep. Susan Wild (D-Allentown) in what figures to be another competitive campaign. Rep. Wild has averaged only 51.5 percent of the vote in her last two elections. Yesterday’s turnout in this seat proved to be about even between the two parties.

In the 10th District that featured a competitive Democratic primary for the right to challenge veteran Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg/Harrisburg), former local news anchor Janelle Stelson outpaced businessman Mike O’Brien and four others to claim the party nomination. Turnout favored the Republicans in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+9. Still, this is another campaign to watch in the coming general election.

MI-4: Rep. Huizenga Draws Primary Challenger — On the last day of candidate filing in Michigan, Ottawa County Republican Party chairman Brendan Muir announced that he will challenge seven-term US Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland) in the 2024 Republican primary. This is Rep. Huizenga’s first term representing the post-redistricting 4th CD. Prior to the 2022 election, he was the 2nd District incumbent, but that seat was eliminated in reapportionment and redistricting.

Ottawa County, which houses Huizenga’s home city of Holland, is an entity housing just over 300,000 residents. The 4th District portion of Ottawa County — the municipality is split between the 3rd and 4th Districts — is the second largest voting block in the CD behind Kalamazoo County. Rep. Huizenga will be a heavy favorite both for renomination and re-election.

Governor

Virginia: Spanberger Opponent Drops Bid — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D) announced yesterday that he is ending his 2025 bid for governor and instead will enter what is expected to be an open contest for lieutenant governor. The move, at least for the short term, leaves Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Cove) as unopposed for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Stoney, however, is entering a contested primary for the secondary position. State Sen. Aaron Rouse (D-Virginia Beach), a former NFL and UFL football player, also announced his bid for lieutenant governor yesterday. Sen. Rouse, also a former Virginia Beach City Councilman, was elected to the Senate in a special election in early 2023.

RFK Jr. Qualifies in Michigan;
More Candidates in KS-2;
Wisconsin Rep. Gallagher Resigns; Pennsylvania Primary Today

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, April 23, 2024

President

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

RFK Jr: Qualifies for Ballot in Michigan — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has obtained ballot position in the critical swing state of Michigan on the Natural Law Party line. The Independent national candidate is also on the ballot in Utah, and his campaign says he will file the requisite number of signatures plus significantly more in Idaho, Iowa, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. His chances of obtaining 4,000 valid signatures in Maine are also strong.

Currently, Kennedy will compete in some critical swing states and could determine the outcome for one of the major party candidates if his vote coalition takes decidedly more votes from President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump. Therefore, we see that his candidacy could tip the electoral vote count in Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and the 2nd District of Nebraska. All are expected to produce very close final tallies for the two major party presidential candidates.

House

KS-2: More Individuals in the Candidate Mix — Potential Kansas congressional candidates continue to contemplate their political moves in response to last week’s surprise retirement announcement from two-term Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Topeka).

Republicans already expressing interest in announcing their candidacies are state House Majority Leader Chris Croft, Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson, and state Sen. Caryn Tyson (R-Parker). Former state attorney general and 2022 gubernatorial nominee Derek Schmidt acknowledges that his name is in the mix for the 2nd District but has not yet made a statement regarding intent. State Insurance Commissioner Vicky Schmidt is a possible candidate. Topeka Mayor Michelle de la Isla is mentioned as a potential Democratic contender.

The Kansas candidate filing deadline is June 1. The real action is in the Republican primary as the seat will almost assuredly remain in the GOP column. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+21, and Trump carried the district 57-41 percent in the 2020 presidential campaign.

WI-8: Rep. Gallagher (R) Resigns — After staying to vote on the foreign aid bills, Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) officially resigned his seat. His action reduces the total House count to 430, and the Republican majority to 217-213. Gallagher joins former Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Ken Buck (R-CO) who also left the House prior to finishing the current term.

Special elections to fill the balance of the terms will be held in all but Wisconsin. The New York district will be filled April 30, CA-20 on May 21, the OH-6 seat on June 11, and Rep. Buck’s Colorado CD on June 25. Each party is expected to hold the seats of their departing members. If so, when the special election cycles conclude, the Republicans will have 220 seats and the Democrats’ 214.

States

Pennsylvania: Primary Today — The nation’s only April primary is scheduled for today, and electorates in several key House races will choose nominees. Presidential turnout, as a gauge for voting enthusiasm, will be monitored, while both major party US Senate candidates — Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D) and businessman David McCormick (R) — are unopposed in their respective nomination campaigns.

We have several major primaries occurring, one that will seal a seat for the Democratic nominee in the Pittsburgh anchored 12th District, and two more in swing districts that will lead to highly competitive general election races.

Freshman Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pittsburgh) defends against local official Bhavini Patel in District 12. Republicans feature a competitive primary to challenge vulnerable Reps. Susan Wild (D-Allentown), as do Democrats opposite six-term Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg/ Harrisburg).

Republicans also look to mount strong challenges against Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Moosic/Scranton) and Chris Deluzio (D-Aspinwall). Tomorrow, however, their candidates, businessman Rob Bresnahan and state Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Pine Richland), face no intraparty opposition.

April-May Primary Outlook – Part II

Primaries

Today, we conclude our early primary outlook with a recap of the May 14 primaries in Maryland, Nebraska, and West Virginia, and the May 21 contests in Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, and Oregon.

Maryland

May 14 will host a very active day in Maryland politics. Voters will choose nominees for an open US Senate race and three open House seats which, in most cases, will determine who will also win the general election.

The big statewide race features US Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks vying for the open US Senate Democratic nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D). Cardin spent more than $24 million on his campaign before the end of 2023, but still has not fully pulled away from Alsobrooks in the polling. The winner will face former two-term Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in what is now a competitive general election even in this most Democratic of states.

Eleven-term Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Cockeysville) is retiring and leaves a six-way Democratic primary in his wake. The odds-on favorite to capture the party nomination and the seat in the general is Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski (D), who already represents more people than the number who reside in a congressional district. State Delegate Harry Bhandari (D-Parkville) is one of the top contenders, but the race is Olszewski’s to lose.

With Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Baltimore) retiring, perhaps the largest congressional field in the country has assembled. A total of 22 Democrats have filed for the primary in a district where the party nominee will easily win the seat in November. Among the almost two dozen candidates are two state senators and three state delegates. With so many competing candidates, the party nomination is completely up for grabs.

Rep. Trone’s open 6th CD features crowded primaries for both parties in what should lead to a competitive general election. Democrats have fielded 14 candidates including April McClain Delaney, a former Commerce Department official who is married to former US Rep. John Delaney, and a pair of state delegates.

Republicans see seven contenders, two of whom have won major primaries but gone down to defeat in the general elections because they are too conservative for the region. Dan Cox, the 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee and two-time congressional nominee and ex-state Delegate Neil Parrott, are the two most well-known Republicans competing for the nomination. Should one of them top the GOP field, the edge goes to the eventual Democratic nominee in a district that should be considered a toss-up.

Reps. Andy Harris (R-Cambridge), Glenn Ivey (D-Cheverly), Steny Hoyer (D-Mechanicsville), Kweisi Mfume (D-Baltimore) and Jamie Raskin (D-Takoma Park) all face minor primary opposition.

Nebraska

The Cornhusker State features both US Senate seats up for election in 2024. The second due to a previous resignation, but neither Sen. Deb Fischer (R) and appointed Sen. Pete Ricketts (R) face major competition in the Republican primary nor general election.

While Rep. Don Bacon (R-Papillion) will be embroiled in another tough general election battle in the Omaha anchored 2nd District, neither he nor state senator and 2022 congressional nominee Tony Vargas (D) have serious primary opposition.

Reps. Mike Flood (R-Norfolk) and Adrian Smith (R-Gering), whose district encompasses all or parts of 80 of Nebraska’s 93 counties in a seat that stretches from Wyoming to Iowa, face only minor primary opposition.

West Virginia

The Mountain State features open Senate and gubernatorial races; Republicans are favored in both contests. Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D) retirement makes the GOP eventual nominee, likely Gov. Jim Justice who is expected to defeat Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town), the prohibitive favorite. Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott is favored to win the Democratic primary.

The open Republican gubernatorial primary is a spirited contest featuring Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), who leads in all polls, and two sons of current West Virginia office holders. Former state Delegate Moore Capito and businessman Chris Miller, sons of US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) and Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), are battling for the nomination as is Secretary of State Mac Warner. The primary winner will become a strong favorite against the presumptive Democratic nominee, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams.

Rep. Mooney’s open 2nd District yields a Republican primary of five candidates, including state Treasurer Riley Moore, a nephew to Sen. Capito. Moore is a clear favorite to win the party nomination and defeat presumptive Democratic nominee Steven Wendelin in the general election.

Georgia

While the Peach State is arguably the most pivotal domain in the presidential election, 2024 is a rather quiet year for in-state Georgia politics. There is very little competition in the general election, but we do see three primaries of note.

In GOP Rep. Drew Ferguson’s open 3rd District, six Republicans compete for the party nomination including state Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton), two ex-legislators, and a former Trump White House aide. The two top finishers being forced into a June 18 runoff election is the likely primary outcome. In a district that 538 rates R+38, the eventual Republican nominee is a lock to win the general election.

Two Democratic members face primary opposition. Because of the latest court-ordered redistricting directive, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) must run in a much different district than the current domain she represents. As a result, she is drawing primary opposition from state Rep. Mandisha Thomas (D-Atlanta) and Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson. Rep. McBath is favored, but the two opponents forcing a runoff is not beyond the realm of possibility. The eventual Democratic nominee will have an easy run in November.

Veteran Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta), no stranger to facing primary opposition, now has six Democratic opponents including Marcus Flowers, who challenged Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in 2022. East Point City Councilwoman Karen Rene is the only candidate within the group who has any current political constituency. Rep. Scott is again favored for renomination. GA-13 is safely Democratic in the general election.

Idaho

With no Senate or governor’s race on the ballot, the Idaho election cycle will be uneventful. In the primary, Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-Meridian) faces no primary opposition, while veteran Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho Falls) drew two minor Republican challengers. No change is expected in the Gem State delegation.

Kentucky

The Blue Grass State is another place with little political activity this year. All incumbents are expected to easily retain their congressional seats.

Reps. Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville), Thomas Massie (R-Garrison), and Hal Rogers (R-Somerset) each face minor opposition in their respective Democratic and Republican primaries.

Oregon

The Beaver State also has no governor or Senate race on the ballot this year, but there are three contested primaries scheduled for May 21.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), retiring after serving what will be 28 years in the House at the end of the current term, leaves a safe Democratic seat (D+43) for which seven party members will compete. State Rep. Maxine Dexter (D-Portland), a physician, is one of the leading candidates. Former Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal, sister to Washington US Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle), and Gresham City Councilor Eddy Morales also appear to be viable contenders. The winner of this plurality primary will take the seat in November.

In the 5th District, Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Happy Valley) seeks a second term. She defeated Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner two years ago but may see a different opponent this year. While McLeod-Skinner is running again, the Democratic establishment, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), is instead lining up behind state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas), which likely gives her the inside track toward the nomination. In a seat rated R+3, this will become a national congressional race in the general election.

The 6th District is the new seat that Oregon earned in the 2020 national reapportionment. Drawn as a D+7 district according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization, the first ever congressional race within the new domain finished in a closer manner. Then-state Rep. Andrea Salinas (D) captured the seat with a 50-48 percent victory margin over Republican businessman Mike Erickson.

While Rep. Salinas faces only minor primary competition, the Republican field is more crowded. Erickson returns but will face 2022 gubernatorial candidate David Burch and Dundee Mayor David Russ in the battle for the party nomination. In a presidential year with President Joe Biden expected to post a strong double-digit Oregon victory, Rep. Salinas has a much better chance of posting a wider margin in the ’24 congressional race.

April-May Primary Outlook – Part I

By Jim Ellis — Monday, April 15, 2024

Primaries

On the threshold of witnessing another set of primary elections, we begin a two-part overview of what to expect in nine primary states whose electorates will vote later this month and in May.

Today, we look at the lone April primary, that in Pennsylvania, and the first of the May nomination elections, Indiana, on the 7th of next month. Three states, Maryland, Nebraska, and West Virginia, will hold primaries on May 14, while four more vote on May 21: Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, and Oregon.

In Pennsylvania, with candidates headed to an April 23 primary date, we see an uncontested US Senate nomination battle in both parties with three major primary campaigns headed toward culmination.

Counting the Senate race, Pennsylvania looks to host four highly competitive general elections coming from the primaries, while three US House incumbents, Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown), Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia), and Mike Kelly (R-Butler) each face only minor nomination competition.

Pennsylvania

While the Senate election will produce fireworks in the general election, the April 23 nomination vote will be quiet in both primaries. Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D) and businessman and 2022 Senate candidate David McCormick (R) are both unopposed in their respective nomination contests. Sen. Casey is favored to win a fourth term, but this race will be one of the premier campaigns in the ’24 cycle.

While Rep. Fitzpatrick faces only minor primary competition, his politically marginal 1st District will again be at least moderately competitive in the general election. Government affairs consultant Ashley Ehasz, the 2022 Democratic nominee who lost to the congressman 55-45 percent, returns for a re-match. She is unopposed in her party primary.

While three-term Rep. Susan Wild (D-Allentown) can again expect to face a highly competitive general election, she is unopposed for renomination. The Republicans feature a three-way primary race among state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Emmaus), 2022 candidate and businessman Kevin Dellicker, and DeSales University Trustee Maria Montero. The plurality primary winner on April 23 then advances into what could become a toss-up general election against Rep. Wild who won her last two elections with 52 and 51 percent of the vote in 2020 and 2022, respectively.

Just to the north of Rep. Wild’s 7th District, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Moosic) will again face tough competition in the general election. This time, his Republican opponent will be businessman Rob Bresnahan. Both are unopposed in their respective primaries.

The Democrats feature a major multi-candidate primary battle for the right to challenge six-term Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsworth/Harrisburg) in the competitive 10th District. Six Democrats are vying for the right to challenge Perry, who they claim is too conservative for the politically marginal seat that only leans to the Republicans (FiveThirtyEight data organization rating: R+9). Of the six, businessman and Afghan War veteran Mike O’Brien; former news anchor Janelle Stelson; and 2022 nominee Shamaine Daniels, a Harrisburg City councilwoman; are the principal contenders.

Perhaps the most interesting Pennsylvania congressional primary lies in the Pittsburgh anchored 12th CD where freshman Rep. Summer Lee (D-Swissvale) and Edgewood Borough Councilwoman Bhavini Patel are doing battle in the Democratic primary. Patel is challenging Rep. Lee from a centrist political position, attacking the incumbent as being too far left as a member of the Democratic Conference’s informal far left “Squad” led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Both candidates are heavily engaged, and this will be the top primary to watch on April 23. Lee prevailed in the 2022 open Democratic primary with 42 percent of the vote, topping her principal opponent by 988 votes.

Freshman Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Aspinwall) will face a competitive general election in the Allegheny County anchored 17th CD, but he and state Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Pine Richland) are both unopposed in their respective primaries.

Indiana

We will see several competitive primaries unfold in the Hoosier State on May 7. Sen. Mike Braun (R) faces a field of five Republican opponents in his quest to win the open governor’s office, including Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. Sen. Braun is favored. To replace him in Washington, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) is unopposed in the Republican primary and will easily win the general election in November.

A total of three Indiana US House seats are open in the nine-district delegation. In Rep. Banks 3rd CD, eight Republican candidates are competing including former Congressman Marlin Stutzman, state Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington County), and retired circuit judge Wendy Davis. The May 7 GOP winner should see easily sailing in the general election from this Ft. Wayne-anchored CD.

Rep. Greg Pence (R-Columbus) is retiring after serving what will be three terms, and a crowded field of eight Republicans are competing to replace him in the US House. The field includes a state senator, a state representative, a former senator, an ex-representative, and a former Indianapolis City councilman. This race is a free-for-all, and the eventual winner will come nowhere close to receiving majority support.

Seven-term Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Evansville) is also retiring, and a crowded competitive Republican field also exists in this southwestern CD. Like the 3rd District primary, the 8th CD open GOP candidate field features former US Congressman John Hostettler. Eight Republicans are opposing him including state Sen. Mark Messmer who has been in the legislature since the beginning of 2009, and Owen County GOP chair Kristi Risk.

Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) became the first of the House incumbents to announce that she would not seek re-election in 2024. She changed her mind and is running again, but that did not stop any of her 10 Republican opponents from remaining in the race. Her main competition comes from state Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville), and recent polling suggests this race will be close. If Rep. Spartz is renominated, it will likely be only with plurality support.

Reps. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle), Andre Carson (D-Indianapolis), and Erin Houchin (R-Salem) face only minor competition in their respective primaries. Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-Highland/Gary) is unopposed in the Democratic primary, but will again face competition in the general election.