By Jim Ellis — Friday, Nov. 17, 2023
New Hampshire: Presidential Primary Finally Scheduled — New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan announced that the state’s “first-in-the-nation” presidential primary will be scheduled for Jan. 23, 2024. There is little surprise associated with this date. To remain as the first primary state and comply with New Hampshire election law — Iowa still votes earlier (Jan. 15), but they feature caucus voting — Jan. 23 became the state’s only choice.
The Nevada primary is Feb. 6, and New Hampshire law, which gives the Secretary of State sole authority to schedule and move the election to prevent another domain from jumping to the front, requires the primary to be at least one week before any other state. Thus, Jan. 23, in holding with their Tuesday voting tradition, was the secretary’s only viable option.
President Joe Biden will not participate in the New Hampshire primary because the state would not agree to the new Democratic National Committee schedule. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) will be on the Democratic ballot, however, and most of the party’s state leadership is organizing a write-in campaign to support President Biden.
New Jersey: State’s First Lady Announces for Senate — Tammy Murphy (D), wife of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), officially declared her candidacy to oppose indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) in next year’s Democratic primary. Though most believe Sen. Menendez will not seek re-election, there has been no such confirmation from the Menendez camp.
Ms. Murphy should be regarded as a long shot to win the party nomination. Immediately upon Sen. Menendez’s indictment becoming public, US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) announced his challenge to Menendez, and he has already established a large lead in polling and fundraising. Conversely, Ms. Murphy is a first-time political candidate.
Arkansas: 2024 Candidate Filing Closes — The Arkansas ballot is now set. With the candidate filing deadline now past, we’ll look forward to seeing one contested congressional primary election on Super Tuesday, March 5. The presidential primary will be held that day, and with no Senate seat on the Arkansas ballot this year, the four congressional seats become the state’s only other federal elections.
In three districts, the general election candidates are now set. In the eastern 1st District, veteran Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Jonesboro) will run for an eighth term against Iraq War veteran Randy Govens (D). Five-term Rep. French Hill (R-Little Rock) will face retired Army Col. Marcus Jones (D) in the Little Rock-anchored 2nd CD. Fourth District incumbent Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) will be tasked with defending his seat against Democratic attorney Risie Howard.
The only primary contest among the congressional districts comes in the state’s western 3rd District where state Sen. Clint Penzo (R-Tontitown) will oppose seven-term Rep. Steve Womack (R-Rogers). It remains to be seen if this race develops into a major challenge. Republicans will be favored to again retain all four of the Natural State’s congressional districts.
VA-5: Rep. Good Challenged for Renomination — Two-term Virginia Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg), one of the outspoken Freedom Caucus members who was a leader in the move to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy, will have a renomination challenge next year.
John McGuire III, a state Delegate first elected in 2017 who then won a state Senate seat last week in unopposed fashion, filed a congressional campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. McGuire, a retired Navy SEAL, ran for Congress once before, losing in the former 7th District’s 2020 Republican nominating convention. State Delegate Nick Freitas, who defeated McGuire that year, would then lose a close battle to Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Ellen) in the general election.
Rep. Good was first elected to the Campbell County Board of Supervisors in 2015. He defeated then-US Rep. Denver Riggleman (R) in a district convention that his key supporters controlled. Assuming Rep. Good is as strong with the local Republican Party as he was during his first election campaign, it would be very difficult for McGuire to upset him within such a favorable venue.