By Jim Ellis — Monday, Oct. 9, 2023
HouseIL-17: Republicans Coalesce — Republicans plan to target Illinois’ 17th District as a conversion opportunity in the next election. It has been the site of two close electoral contests, and Republicans tend to do better in western Illinois during presidential election years. Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-Moline) is the freshman incumbent who will be seeking a second term.
Republicans are coalescing around retired circuit judge Joe McGraw, who will soon officially announce his candidacy. Paving the way for the McGraw announcement, businessman Ray Estrada (R) who has been running for the seat himself, said that he will no longer pursue his candidacy. This likely paves the way for an easy McGraw Republican primary run.
The 17th, which stretches to form a craggy letter “C” from Rockford to the Quad Cities to Galesburg, Peoria, and finally Bloomington, rates a D+4 classification from the FiveThirtyEight data organization. The Daily Kos Elections site rates IL-17 as the 26th most vulnerable seat in the 213-member Democratic Conference.
Alabama: Court Releases New Map — The court-appointed special master returned the new congressional map to the three-judge panel late last week, as directed. Not surprisingly, the new map will feature a Republican district that stretches from Mississippi to Georgia along the Florida border that pairs Reps. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) and Barry Moore (R-Enterprise). As a result, a new 2nd District has been created, designed to elect the choice of the dominant minority community, in this case African Americans. Democrats will gain one seat in the Alabama delegation as a result of this new plan.
IN-4: Rep. Baird to Seek Re-Election — A couple weeks ago, reports were forthcoming from Indiana that 4th District US Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) was planning to retire and announce that just before the candidate filing deadline expired in order to give his son, state Rep. Beau Baird (R-Greencastle), the inside track toward winning the Republican nomination. That rumor is false. Congressman Baird announced late last week that he will run for a fourth term next year and is heavily favored for re-election.
PA-10: More Join Already Crowded Field –– As expected when she announced her retirement from the newsroom, television anchorwoman Janelle Stelson (D) on Thursday formally declared her intention to run for Congress. She joins what is becoming a crowded Democratic field, however, as each of the candidates are vying for the right to challenge six-term US Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg/Harrisburg). Also in the Democratic primary are 2022 congressional nominee and Harrisburg City Councilwoman Shemaine Daniels, Carlisle School Board member Rick Coplen, and international business consultant John Broadhurst.
The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates PA-10 as R+9. The Daily Kos Elections site rates this central Pennsylvania seat as the 37th most vulnerable seat in the 222-member Republican Conference.
Kentucky: Cameron Gaining Against Gov. Beshear — WPA Intelligence conducted their second September poll of the Kentucky governor’s race for The Club for Growth organization. The survey (Sept. 25-28; 500 likely 2023 Kentucky general election voters; live interview) found Gov. Andy Beshear (D) leading Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) by a 48-42 percent count. In their early September survey, WPA found a 48-40 percent Beshear advantage.
The slight movement suggests that Cameron has a chance to gain further support as the campaign enters its critical final month. The election is scheduled for Nov. 7.