By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023
HouseTX-28: New Rep. Cuellar (D) Challenger Emerges — Army veteran Kyle Sinclair (R), who lost 68-32 percent against Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) in Texas’ 20th District last November, announced he is moving to the 28th District to challenge veteran Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo). The congressman’s most serious vulnerability is in the Democratic primary; however, as illustrated in his 2022 victorious race for renomination decided in a May runoff by just 311 votes. We can expect to see more political action next year in this CD that stretches from San Antonio to the Mexican border.
Louisiana: Dem Chair Won’t Run — Though candidate filing for the Louisiana governor’s race doesn’t close until Aug. 10, the open-race field is already winnowing. At the end of last week, Louisiana Democratic Party chair Kate Bernhardt announced that she will not become a gubernatorial candidate after considering the possibility of entering. The top candidates appear to be Attorney General Jeff Landry (R), state Treasurer John Schroder (R), and state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D). Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. The state’s jungle primary is Oct. 14, 2023, with a runoff on Nov. 18 if no contender receives majority support in the first election.
North Carolina: State Supremes Schedule Action — The North Carolina state Supreme Court is sending clear signals to the US Supreme Court over the state’s election and redistricting law challenges. Before departing at the end of their term in January, the former NC Supreme Court panel, with a 4D-3R majority, declared the state Senate map a partisan gerrymander and overturned the NC voter identification law. On Friday, the new 5R-2D court announced it will hear arguments to overturn those rulings in the middle of March.
The move is significant since SCOTUS is considering the North Carolina political gerrymandering case and will rule before July 1. The state court, however, potentially taking action on similar cases before the US Supreme Court ultimately decides, could allow the latter panel simply to yield to the state’s decisions. At the end of the process and regardless of which court sets the final parameters, it is probable that we will see a complete redistricting of the North Carolina political boundaries before the 2024 election.
Houston: Rep. Jackson Lee Considering Mayor’s Race — Reports are emanating from Houston that veteran US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) is conducting citywide polling to determine her chances in the open mayor’s race scheduled for November of this year. Incumbent Sylvester Turner (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.
At this point the leading contender appears to be state Sen. John Whitmire (D), who was first elected to the legislature in 1972. He served 10 years in the state House of Representatives before moving to the state Senate in 1982. He is Texas’ longest-serving state senator.
If no candidate receives majority support on Nov. 7, a runoff between the top two finishers will be scheduled. The mayor’s race is non-partisan in that candidates’ party affiliations are not listed on the ballot. Other major candidates are City Councilman Robert Gallegos, former city councilwoman and 2020 US Senate candidate Amanda Edwards, and Houston Metro Board Member Chris Hollins.