By Jim Ellis — Friday, Jan. 26, 2024
HouseCO-4: Brewing Chaos Likely Helps Rep. Boebert — Colorado’s open 4th District Republican primary featuring 11 announced candidates is beginning to deteriorate, which could favor Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt). Boebert is moving into this open district to seek re-election instead of facing the most well-funded congressional candidate in America from her original District 3.
Two of the more prominent candidates are embroiled in controversy. State Rep. Mike Lynch (R-Ft. Lupton), as now comes to the forefront, was arrested in 2022 on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in addition to possessing a firearm while intoxicated. Lynch pled guilty to the charges and is serving a probationary sentence. His congressional candidacy has obviously brought the arrest to the forefront, and the publicity surrounding it has caused a movement within the state House Republican caucus to remove Lynch as Minority Leader. Not wanting to face a vote, Lynch quickly resigned from his leadership position.
Pro-life State Rep. Richard Holtorf (R-Akron), another District 4 candidate, who in urging a “No” vote on an abortion-related piece of legislation, stated that he had helped finance a girlfriend’s abortion and further said having the procedure helped her “live her best life.” He, too, is at the center of a media storm and his inconsistency will clearly diminish his prospects as a congressional candidate. Though other credible candidates, such as former state legislator Ted Harvey, are in the crowded GOP primary, Rep. Boebert is now in better position thanks to two of her main opponents being forced to navigate rough political waters.
LA-6: Ex-Congressman Announces for New Seat — Originally being elected to Congress in 1992 and serving only two terms after a mid-decade court-ordered redistricting map changed the political landscape thus forcing him to retire, state Sen. Cleo Fields (D-Baton Rouge) announced that he will enter the race to fill the new court-ordered revamped 6th Congressional District that stretches from Baton Rouge to Shreveport. Therefore, Sen. Fields will attempt a long-awaited return to the US House, a body from which he departed 28 years ago.
We can expect a spirited open-seat campaign among Democrats who will be competing to win the new district later in this year’s regular election. The seat is designed to elect an African-American Democrat. Current 6th District incumbent Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) will look to run elsewhere, probably in the new 5th District where he will be forced to challenge fellow GOP Rep. Julia Letlow (R-Start).
Missouri: Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft Leading Open Governor’s Race — The Remington Research Group, the usual pollster for the Missouri Scout political blog, went into the field to test the open Republican gubernatorial primary to be decided in early August. The survey (Jan. 17-18; 806 likely Missouri Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) sees Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R), son of former Missouri senator and US Attorney General John Ashcroft, leading the field for the GOP nomination.
According to the Remington results, Ashcroft posts a 34-20-4 percent advantage over Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, and state Sen. Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Spring), respectively. The eventual Republican nominee will be a clear favorite to win the general election. Gov. Mike Parson (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.
Virginia: Rep. Spanberger Opens With Big Lead for ‘25 — Though the next open Virginia governor’s race isn’t until November of 2025, candidates are already building war chests and developing campaign strategies to succeed Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) who is ineligible to seek a second term.
As a result of the early activity, Christopher Newport University included a Democratic primary question on their latest statewide survey (Jan. 11-17; 1,000 registered Virginia voters; live interview). The results project US Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) opening with a big lead over Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. On the ballot test, Rep. Spanberger posts a 52-8 percent advantage and already leads Stoney in fundraising $3.6 million to $750,000. While the congresswoman is off to a fast start, many months remain before this primary and general election are decided.