By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023
SenateArizona: New Republican Potential Candidate Coming Forward — Based upon recent statements from Arizona state Senate President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope (R-Coolidge), it appears we could see a new Republican in the US Senate arena. Shope is indicating that he is seriously considering entering the statewide field. Former gubernatorial nominee and ex-television news anchor Kari Lake is also gearing up for a Senate run.
With Sen. Kyrsten Sinema likely running as an Independent and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) already well on his way to sewing up the Democratic nomination, a very interesting three-way race is headed our way next year.
Michigan: Actor Considers Senate Race — Hill Harper (D), the actor who plays the role of Dr. Marcus Andrews on ABC’s “The Good Doctor” program, indicates that he is testing the waters for his own run in what will be the open Michigan Senate seat next year. Despite many elected officials expressing interest, only State Board of Education Member Nikki Snyder (R) has officially announced her candidacy.
It was thought that US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) would officially launch a Senate effort just after incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) publicly stated that she would not seek re-election to a fifth term in 2024. So far, however, the congresswoman has yet to make such a declaration. However, it is still expected that she will enter the race.
Utah: Former Congressman, Current Commentator Mentioned for Senate — With Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R) now saying he won’t decide until this summer about whether to seek a second full six-year term representing the Beehive State, another name is being floated as a potential candidate. Former US Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), who resigned from the House in the middle of his fifth term, and who was originally elected to the state’s 3rd Congressional District in 2008, is considering running. He left Congress to join Fox News as an on-air contributor, where he remains today.
While not denying that he may be seriously looking at challenging Sen. Romney in the 2024 GOP primary, Chaffetz, like Sen. Romney, says he will wait even longer before making a final decision about running. Attorney General Sean Reyes is a potential GOP challenger to Sen. Romney, along with several other prominent Utah Republicans.
Oregon: One More County to Vote About Joining Idaho — Since 2020, a total of 11 eastern Oregon counties have voted to explore ways for their geographic region to split from the state and join neighboring Idaho; now another, northeastern Wallowa County, has qualified an advisory ballot proposition on that for the next election.
The project is called the Greater Idaho Movement. The organizers of this movement say that although they don’t have any realistic possibility of seeing the voting counties break from Oregon and join Idaho (since both the Oregon legislature and Congress would have to approve), the votes will show the current liberal Beaver State political structure that more attention must be given to the needs of the voters in the conservative eastern Oregon rural communities.