By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, July 5, 2023
SenateCalifornia: New Senate Entry — Wealthy former Google executive Lexi Reese (D), who says she will spend some of her own fortune on the open statewide US Senate race, announced that she will enter the California March 5 all-party primary for the right to succeed retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D).
While her path to claim one of the two qualifying positions necessary for advancing into the general election is narrow since she faces sitting US Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Katie Porter (D-Irvine), and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), the chances of her taking enough Democratic votes to potentially allow a Republican to sneak past the Democratic field and clinch a general election ballot slot becomes more plausible. The California Senate race will be one of the main attractions on Super Tuesday.
Montana: Another Major Endorsement for Sheehy — On the heels of retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy announcing his senatorial campaign and receiving the National Republican Senatorial Committee endorsement, another has come his way. Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) also announced his public support for Sheehy.
It is clear the Republican political establishment is getting solidly behind Sheehy in an attempt to deny Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive), who soon will announce his own Senate candidacy, the nomination. Rep. Rosendale begins with a large polling lead, so it will be worth watching to see if the Montana Republican establishment has enough pull to thwart a strong Rosendale bid. The eventual party nominee then challenges three-term Sen. Jon Tester (D) in what should be considered a must-win contest for the GOP.
Nevada: Former Candidate Ready to Announce — Disabled Afghan War veteran Sam Brown lost the 2022 Senate Republican primary to former Attorney General Adam Laxalt, but raised more than $4.4 million for his race, which caught the attention of the Nevada Republican leaders. Reports are surfacing that suggest Brown will return for the 2024 campaign and will announce his intentions this month. Should he enter the Republican primary, he will face former state assemblyman and ex-Secretary of State nominee Jim Marchant.
The eventual Republican nominee will then challenge first-term Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) in what has the potential of becoming a top-tier 2024 Senate race.
Louisiana: Dueling Polls — Two all-party jungle gubernatorial primary polls have been released brandishing very different conclusions. The Remington Research Group (June 22-25; 896 likely Louisiana voters) released a survey this week that projected a close open contest. They found the lone Democratic candidate, former Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, who is now the officially endorsed party candidate, usurping all Republicans to capture the lead with 27 percent, two points ahead of Attorney General Jeff Landry. Former Louisiana Chamber of Commerce CEO and ex-gubernatorial chief of staff Stephen Waguespack placed a relatively close third with 16 percent.
WPA Intelligence released their earlier poll to counter the Remington data. In their survey (June 15-17; 500 registered Louisiana voters; live interview & text) WPAi sees Landry (R) leading the candidate field with a 35 percent preference figure. Former Secretary Wilson secures the second general election runoff slot with 17 percent. In this poll, Waguespack (R) is a distant third with six percent support.
The Louisiana open governor’s primary is scheduled for Oct. 14. Since it is likely that no candidate will receive majority support, the top two finishers, regardless of political party affiliation, will advance into the general election runoff, which is on the calendar for Nov. 18. Incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), who has already endorsed Wilson, is ineligible to seek a third term.
North Carolina: Budding Dem Primary on the Horizon — It has been presumed that Attorney General Josh Stein (D) would see little in the way of Democratic primary opposition in his bid to succeed term-limited Gov. Roy Cooper (D), but such may not ultimately be the case. Democratic state Supreme Court Justice Michael Morgan made a public comment late last week that clearly suggests he is seriously considering becoming a gubernatorial candidate.
Understanding that Stein was only re-elected attorney general with just 50.1 percent of the vote in 2020, many in the Democratic Party may believe the party would fare better with a fresh face come the 2024 general election. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and former Congressman Mark Walker are the leading Republican candidates. This is a developing story.