By Jim Ellis — Monday, March 6, 2023
PresidentGov. Larry Hogan: Won’t Run for President — Over the weekend, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he would not join the Republican presidential field. Hogan explaining his decision said, “I have long said that I care more about ensuring a future for the Republican Party than securing my own future in the Republican Party.”
Hogan had previously expressed his analysis that a crowded Republican field would only help Donald Trump win renomination, something the former Free State governor wants to see avoided. He also indicated his belief that with Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis running far ahead of the lesser-known candidates, it doesn’t leave the lower tier contenders much of an opportunity to compete for the win.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. May Soon Announce Presidential Campaign — Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son of the late senator and attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy, is moving closer to announcing a presidential campaign. It appears he will run in the Democratic primary on an anti-vaccination platform. Kennedy became a national activist opposing mandatory vaccinations during the Covid shutdown.
It is possible that he could win the New Hampshire primary. President Biden may not enter the Granite State nomination contest if the NH leadership doesn’t recognize the new Democratic National Committee schedule that takes New Hampshire out of their traditional first-in-the-nation voting position. Therefore, it is quite possible that the primary race could come down to a contest between Kennedy and author Marianne Williamson, who formally announced her own candidacy on Saturday.
Nevada: Rep. Amodei Won’t Run for Senate — Nevada’s lone Republican Congressman, Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Carson City), said on Friday that he will not challenge Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) next year. The Nevada race should be one of the most competitive campaigns in the country, just as it was in 2022. In that election, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) slipped past GOP challenger Adam Laxalt by only a 7,928-vote margin (48.8 – 48.0 percent), which was the closest raw vote spread of all ‘22 Senate campaigns.
At this point, Republicans have no announced candidate, but that will soon change. Along with Montana, Ohio, and West Virginia, the Nevada race will eventually become one of the Republicans’ 2024 top-tier challenge races. Disabled Iraq War veteran and 2022 Senate candidate Sam Brown is considering running again. No one else has so far made a move to enter the Senate race including the state’s two down ballot constitutional officers, Lt. Gov. Stavros Anthony and state Controller Andy Matthews. Look for this race to become the top candidate recruitment target for the national Republican leadership.
OR-6: 2022 Candidate Will Try Again — Dundee Mayor David Russ (R) announced on Friday that he will return to again run for Congress in 2024. In the previous election, Russ placed sixth in a field of seven Republican candidates with only 3.8 percent of the vote, more than 30 percentage points behind the GOP nominee, Mike Erickson. Erickson would hold then-state Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Tigard) to a 50-48 percent victory margin in the 6th District’s first ever congressional race. Due to population growth, Oregon was awarded a new seat in the 2020 national reapportionment formula.
The 6th will again yield a competitive race, but chances will likely prove that the Republicans’ best chance to win this district occurred in the last election. Rep. Salinas will begin as the favorite to hold the seat in the ’24 cycle.
New Orleans: Mayoral Recall Drive Changes — The signature petition drive to qualify a recall effort against New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) is continuing toward a March 22 deadline. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has set 45,000 valid registered voter signatures as the number necessary to force a recall vote.
Mayor Cantrell was elected in 2017 and was easily re-elected in 2021. The NoLaToya campaign is centered upon the rising murder and crime rate in the city, along with a decline in local services. It remains to be seen if the committee can gather the necessary number of petition signatures in order to schedule a recall election.