By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023
HouseMN-5: Rep. Omar Opponent to Return –– Former Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels, who held Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minneapolis) to a tight 50-48 percent Democratic primary victory in 2022, announced he will return for a re-match next year. Expect this to again become a serious primary challenge. Already in the race are attorney Sarah Gad and businessman Tim Peterson, but Samuels is the key challenger. This seat will be decided in the Democratic primary scheduled for Aug. 13. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates MN-5 as D+57.
AZ-2: Former Navajo Nation President Declares for House Seat — Jonathan Nez (D), the former Navajo Nation president who lost his re-election bid in 2022, is now looking to challenge for a congressional seat. He is organizing to oppose freshman Rep. Eli Crane (R-Oro Valley), one of the eight Republican members who voted to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy. In 2022, Crane unseated Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Sedona) in a northern Arizona district that now significantly favors the Republicans. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+15. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean as 53.4R – 44.4D.
MI-10: Dem Challenger Field Grows Larger — Surgeon and former congressional candidate Anil Kumar (D) declared his candidacy in the Detroit suburban 10th Congressional District hoping to oppose freshman Rep. John James (R-Farmington Hills). Kumar is now the seventh Democrat to enter the race. The field includes former prosecutor and judge Carl Marlinga who held James to a tight 48.8 – 48.3 percent victory in the 2022 general election from a district rated as a pure toss-up. We can expect another tough campaign here next year.
NC-1: Rep. Davis Draws New Opponent Before New Maps are Unveiled — Retired Army Colonel Laurie Buckhout (R), who now runs a successful consulting business and has the ability to self-fund her campaign, surprisingly announced her congressional candidacy just before the new North Carolina redistricting maps are set to be released. Freshman Rep. Don Davis’ (D-Snow Hill) 1st District could be one of the seats that dramatically changes under the new plan. Three other Republicans had previously announced. The redistricting map will go a long way toward determining the degree of competitiveness of this and several other seats in the Tar Heel State delegation.
NC-6: Rep. Manning to Possibly Face High Point Mayor — Another potential congressional candidate announced his political intention just before the new North Carolina congressional map will soon be made public. High Point Mayor Jay Wagner (R), looking to take advantage of what is very likely to be a more Republican 6th District is the early favorite to become Rep. Kathy Manning’s (D-Greensboro) general election challenger. Also in the race is 2022 GOP challenger Christian Castelli who lost to Rep. Manning 54-45 percent in a result that was a bit closer than most observers expected.