The Primaries Through May:
Setting November, Part II

the-primariesBy Jim Ellis

May 25, 2018 — With primaries having been completed in 13 states we review the key run-off and general election pairings that these primaries produced. Today we’ll look at Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia. Yesterday we reviewed Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska and North Carolina.

Ohio: A competitive open governor’s race is underway, featuring Attorney General and former US Sen. Mike DeWine (R) and ex-Attorney General Richard Cordray (D). Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) begins the general election in the favored position over Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth). A special election in the 12th District between state Sen. Troy Balderson (R) and Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor (D) occurs on Aug. 7. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) defends his seat against Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval. Former NFL football player and businessman Anthony Gonzalez (R) is heavily favored to succeed Rep. Renacci in the open 16th District.

Oregon: The only competition here is occurring in the governor’s race, where incumbent Kate Brown (D) runs for her first full term against state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend). The governor is a clear favorite for re-election.

Pennsylvania: From what is perhaps the most important primary so far, the Keystone State political card is full for November. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) are clear favorites against state Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York) and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Hazelton). The following are toss-up or significantly competitive House general election races:

  • PA-1: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R) vs. Scott Wallace (D)
  • PA-6: Chrissy Houlahan (D) vs. Greg McCauley (R)
  • PA-7: Allentown Solicitor Susan Wild (D) vs. Allentown Commissioner Marty Nothstein (R)
  • PA-8: Rep. Matt Cartwright (D) vs. John Chrin (R)
  • PA-10: Rep. Scott Perry (R) vs. George Scott (D)
  • PA-17: Rep. Keith Rothfus (R) vs. Rep. Conor Lamb (D)

These soon-to-be new House members are headed to DC:

  • PA-4: State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D)
  • PA-5: Former school board member Mary Gay Scanlon (D)
  • PA-9: Former state Revenue Commissioner Dan Meuser (R)
  • PA-13: Dr. John Joyce (R)
  • PA-14: State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R)

Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is a heavy favorite for re-election against Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D). Polling suggests a competitive race for Sen. Ted Cruz (R) opposite Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso).

Democrats successfully nominated the candidates they desired in four competitive or potentially competitive situations:

  • TX-7: Rep. John Culberson (R) vs. Attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D)
  • TX-23: Rep. Will Hurd (R) vs. Ex-US Trade official Gina Ortiz Jones (D)
  • TX-31: Rep. John Carter (R) vs. Army veteran MJ Hegar (D)
  • TX-32: Rep. Pete Sessions (R) vs. former NFL player Colin Allred (D)

The new nominees who have virtually punched their tickets to Washington are:

  • TX-2: Retired Naval officer Dan Crenshaw (R)
  • TX-3: State Sen. Van Taylor (R)
  • TX-5: State Rep. Lance Gooden (R)
  • TX-6: Tarrant County Tax Assessor Ron Wright (R)
  • TX-16: El Paso County Executive Veronica Escobar (D)
  • TX-21: Former Ted Cruz CoS Chip Roy (R)
  • TX-27: Businessman Michael Cloud (R)
  • TX-29: State Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D)

West Virginia: Two polls have been released in the Senate race, one finding Sen. Joe Manchin (D) leading Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) by seven points, the other finding the new GOP nominee ahead by two. A competitive open US House race could develop in the open 3rd District between state House Majority Whip Carol Miller (R-Huntington), who begins as the favorite, and state Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan).

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