By Jim Ellis — Friday, July 7, 2023
SenateNew Jersey: Menendez Dem Primary Challenger Switches Races — Roselle Park Mayor Joe Signorello ended his long-shot Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Bob Menendez, and instead says he will enter the 7th District congressional race against GOP Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield). This, despite his city of Roselle Park lying wholly in Rep. Donald Payne’s (D-Newark) 10th District. Already in the 7th District Democratic primary is Working Families Party state director Sue Altman.
Rep. Kean unseated then-Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) 51-49 percent last November. The NJ-7 race is expected to be a major Democratic challenge opportunity race. Malinowski, who recently joined the McCain Institute for International Leadership, is unlikely to seek a re-match. State Senate President Nick Scutari is a potential Democratic candidate in this district.
AZ-6: Democrat Ends Campaign — Last month, businessman Jack O’Donnell declared his congressional candidacy in the Democratic primary hoping to challenge freshman Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Tucson). Now, O’Donnell has already ended his fledgling campaign. He was an underdog even in the primary with former state senator and 2022 congressional nominee Kirsten Engel already in the race. Rep. Ciscomani defeated Engel by 5,505 votes last November, and we can expect another close race in this politically marginal southeast Arizona district.
MI-7: First Candidate Comes Forward — Former state senator and ex-Ingham County Commissioner Curtis Hertel (D), who just left his position as legislative affairs director to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission. He was expected to enter the race and does so with Gov. Whitmer’s endorsement.
Hertel is the first official candidate for what will be a hotly contested open seat both in the Democratic primary and general election. Three-term incumbent Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) is running for the Senate. Former state senator and 2022 Republican congressional nominee Tom Barrett is expected to again run for the seat. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates MI-7 as R+4, but Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean in the Democrats’ favor, 49.30D – 47.88R.
NY-17: Ex-Rep. Mondaire Jones Returns — One of the strangest situations that occurred in the 2022 election cycle was first-term Westchester County Rep. Mondaire Jones (D) leaving his upstate seat to seek re-election in an open New York City district. In a way, he was pushed out when then-Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman Sean Patrick Maloney decided to seek re-election in Jones’ 17th District. The move was controversial and certainly contributed to Maloney losing a close general election to Republican Mike Lawler.
Jones announced Wednesday that he will return to the 17th District and attempt to regain the seat he initially won in 2020. This will be a top national congressional campaign. Though Rep. Lawler is the incumbent, the general election will be challenging for him in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+7, while Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 56.4D – 41.3R.