By Jim Ellis — Monday, Nov. 27, 2023
HouseCA-16: Rep. Anna Eshoo to Retire — Veteran California US Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton) announced last week that she will conclude her congressional career at the end of the current Congress. Rep. Eshoo, first elected in 1992, is completing her 16th term.
Rep. Eshoo might have faced a serious Democratic intra-party challenge. Santa Clara supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Smitian (D) was close to announcing his congressional effort. Upon Rep. Eshoo’s announcement, speculation is circulating that state Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Cupertino) will quickly announce his intention to run for Congress.
The FiveThirtyEight organization rates the seat as D+49. It is likely that we will see two Democrats emerge from the March 5 jungle primary and advance into the general election. Eshoo is the sixth House Californian not to seek re-election in this political cycle.
MI-8: Rep. Dan Kildee Won’t Seek Re-Election — The cavalcade of retirements continues, and one of the latest involves Michigan. Six-term Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) also announced last week that he will not run again. This move is a bit of a surprise, though the congressman did experience a cancer-related health scare before the previous election.
Unlike most of the other open seats, Michigan’s 8th CD will be hotly contested. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat R+1, though Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean in the Democrats’ favor, 51.0D-46.2R. President Joe Biden carried the seat in 2020 with a slight 50.3 – 48.2 percent victory margin. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 11th most vulnerable in the Democratic Conference.
OH-6: Rep. Bill Johnson Accepts — Eastern Ohio GOP Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) announced that he will accept an offer from Youngstown State University to become the institution’s president. Johnson had sent a release earlier in the week indicating that he had received an offer from the board of trustees to accept the university’s top position.
It is likely that Rep. Johnson will resign the seat before the term ends, and he certainly will not be on the ballot in the 2024 regular election. We can expect a crowded Republican primary field to form in order to battle for the Republican nomination in Ohio’s March 19 election.
The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+31. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks OH-6 as the 82nd-safest seat in the Republican Conference. With Johnson leaving and the UT-2 seat being filled, we see 32 open seats across the election board, 20 from the Democratic side as compared to 11 Republican-held districts. One open seat was created from the new Alabama redistricting map.
UT-2: Republican Maloy Wins Special Election — Republican Celeste Maloy was declared the victor in the Utah 2nd Congressional District special election early in the evening last Tuesday night as she recorded an unofficial 58-34 percent victory, performing almost exactly as the district’s vote history would have projected.
While Democrat Kathleen Riebe, an area state senator, easily won Salt Lake County with almost two-thirds of the vote, Maloy, the former legal counsel to resigned Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington), claimed each of the district’s 12 other counties with percentages between 59 and 90 percent of the cast ballots.
With Democrat Gabe Amo’s special election victory earlier in the month from Rhode Island, the House now returns to its full compliment of 435 members for the first time since June 1. Maloy’s Republican victory in Utah restores the House to its partisan divide of 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats.