By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023
SenateNew York: Ex-Rep. Zeldin Considering Gillibrand Challenge — Four-term Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin (R), who gave up his congressional seat to challenge Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in November and lost 53-47 percent, says he is considering launching a campaign against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) next year. Zeldin said “it would be a pretty epic clash” between the two if he decided to make the run.
This would be a tough race for Zeldin, or any Republican, in a presidential year. New York will surely back the Democratic presidential nominee meaning it would be even more difficult to defeat a sitting incumbent senator who will be enjoying what should be a favorable turnout model in one of the country’s strongest Democratic states.
OH-13: Republican Eyeing Re-Match — Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R), who lost to now freshman Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) in a tight 53-47 percent November contest, is reportedly mulling taking another shot at winning the seat in 2024. Should the Ohio map be re-drawn, which is a possibility before the 2024 election, this district could become more Republican. If not, then Rep. Sykes will be considered a clear favorite for re-election.
The newly created OH-13 contains the city of Akron and its surrounding areas. The FiveThirtyEight data organization actually rates the seat R+2, but Dave’s Redistricting App sees the partisan lean at 50.7 – 47.0 favoring the Democrats, a split that will only grow once the ’22 race is added to the calculation formula. President Biden carried the district with a result very close to the Dave’s App overall partisan lean, 50.7 – 47.9 percent.
Chicago: Two New Mayoral Polling Leaders — As we approach the Feb. 28 non-partisan mayoral election in Chicago, an independent IZQ Strategies survey (Jan. 27-2/2; 1,040 likely Chicago primary voters; SMS text) sees former Chicago Schools CEO Paul Vallas taking the lead within the crowded candidate field with 25 percent support.
Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, who US Reps. Jonathan Jackson (D-Chicago) and Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) support, pulls into second place with 15 percent, while Mayor Lori Lightfoot and US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago) drop into a tie for third position with 12 percent preference apiece. From the field of nine candidates, the top two will advance to an April 4 runoff election, assuming no one receives majority support on the 28.
Vallas, though a Democrat, is clearly the most conservative candidate in the field. This can help him traverse a crowded primary, but will make it more difficult to win a runoff election. It is also the first poll where we see neither Mayor Lightfoot nor Rep. Garcia finishing in the top two. It is clear that this mayoral race is anybody’s game at this point as we enter the final three weeks of the campaign.
Philadelphia: Michelle Obama Calls Out Mayoral Candidate — The crowded primary to replace term-limited Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) has created a national controversy. One of the 10 Democrats vying for the position, businessman Jeff Brown, has been running an ad with film of former First Lady Michelle Obama praising him at an event.
According to an official response statement from Ms. Obama, the film is doctored, and she was including both Brown and another individual as praiseworthy for their business and community efforts at a gathering that occurred several years ago. Ms. Obama further stated that she does not take sides in Democratic primaries, and is supporting no candidate in the Philadelphia race.
The field of 10 Democrats vying to win the May 16 primary in order to advance to the November general election features state Rep. Amen Brown (D-Philadelphia), and former City Councilmembers Maria Quinones-Sanchez, Derek Green, Cherelle Parker, and Helen Gym, ex-Philadelphia Controller Rebecca Rhynhart, former Municipal Court Judge Jimmy DeLeon, frequent candidate Warren Bloom, and Jeff Brown.