By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023
HouseGA-14: Retired General to Oppose Rep. Greene — Retired Army Brigadier Gen. Shawn Harris (D) announced that he will enter the Democratic primary to hopefully challenge two-term Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome).
Defeating Rep. Greene in the general election is the longest of shots. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates GA-14 as R+45. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 69.4R – 28.8D. The question as to whether Greene is even vulnerable to a Republican primary challenge remains doubtful. In the 2022 race, the congresswoman was re-nominated with 69.5 percent of the vote with five opponents dividing the remaining 30.5 percent.
MT-2: Republican Files Exploratory Committee in Anticipation — Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen (R) filed a congressional exploratory committee Monday in anticipation that Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) will run for the Senate. Arntzen, who is ineligible to seek a third term in her current statewide position, says she will only enter the US House contest if Rosendale vacates the seat for another statewide race.
Should he depart for the Senate, the 2nd District Republican primary figures to host a very crowded and competitive open primary. Carrying a R+30 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization and a 59.8R – 37.9D partisan lean factor that the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians calculate, a succession battle here would be decided in the Republican primary. The 2nd District covers central and eastern Montana and encompasses the cities of Billings, the state’s largest municipality, Great Falls, and the state capital of Helena.
WI-1: Second Democrat Announces Against Rep. Steil — Lorenzo Santos (D), a Racine County Emergency official, joined the Democratic primary with the goal of challenging three-term Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Janesville) next year. Already running is former local official Anthony Hammes (D).
This race is beginning to attract attention because of the possibility that the Wisconsin congressional map will be redrawn. If that happens, there is a strong probability the 1st District becomes more Democratic and enhances the possibility that Rep. Steil may opt for a Senate bid. We can expect further action coming from southern Wisconsin as the potential of a district reconfiguration begins to grow.
Houston: Republican Emerges — Hoping to split the Democratic vote between US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) and veteran state Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston), former at-large City Councilman Jack Christie (R) announced that he will now compete in the open mayoral race scheduled for Nov. 7. The structure is a jungle election contest where all 14 declared candidates would appear on the same ballot. If no contender receives 50 percent of the vote in the first election, a runoff will be scheduled between the two top finishers.
Though the field is large, polling suggests that Sen. Whitmire and Rep. Jackson Lee are well ahead of the remaining candidates who comprise the pool. Therefore, Christie’s strategy of coalescing the minority Republican vote and coming from the outside to capture a runoff position could potentially become viable. Incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) is ineligible to run for a third term.