Tag Archives: AZ-8

McDaniel Reported Out at RNC; Trump Way Ahead in New Poll; Schiff Helps Garvey; Another Close Ohio Poll; Utah’s Tight Senate Race; House News

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024

President

Ronna McDaniel / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Republican National Committee: Trump Recommends New Chairman — As reports intensify that RNC chair Ronna McDaniel will be leaving the committee after the South Carolina primary, former President Donald Trump has made a replacement recommendation.

The news media is reporting that North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley is Trump’s choice largely because he was “so powerful on election fraud” in 2020, according to the ex-president’s statement. It is a virtual certainty that the committee members will adopt Trump’s recommendation, but the question to be asked is how strong a fundraiser is Whatley? While Trump may be most concerned with his election fraud narrative, the RNC is under-performing in the campaign resource battle and must quickly upgrade their efforts.

South Carolina: Trump Way Ahead in New Poll — A new Monmouth University poll for the Washington Post (Jan. 26-30; 815 registered South Carolina voters; live interview & online) sees former President Donald Trump posting a significant 58-32 percent lead over former Gov. Nikki Haley in her home state of South Carolina leading to the Feb. 24 Republican primary election.

Trump holds an advantage among both men and women in the statewide voter sample, and within all age groups. He trails Haley only among college-educated voters, but by only two points, and certain non-evangelical voter groups. Additionally, 90 percent of the respondents saying they would vote for Trump in the primary election would do so in the general election even if he is convicted of some of the many legal charges he faces.

Senate

California: Schiff Helps Garvey — Confident he will finish first in the March 5 open California US Senate primary, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) is running ads “against” Republican baseball great Steve Garvey claiming he is too conservative for California in that he twice voted for Donald Trump. In reality, Schiff is attempting to help Garvey finish second in the top two jungle primary, thus eliminating Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), which would allow him to escape having to run a double-Democratic general election.

Having Garvey, or any Republican as an opponent, would virtually guarantee that Schiff would win the seat in November. The ads’ actual purpose is to move more Republicans to Garvey, and thus edge him into second place.

A new University of Southern California for the Center for Urban Politics and Policy at California State University at Long Beach (Jan. 21-29; 1,416 likely Califoria jungle primary voters) survey sees Rep. Schiff holding a 25-15-15-7 percent lead over Garvey and Rep. Porter (D-Irvine). Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) trailed the other major candidates in fourth position. Therefore, a small push from Schiff might just help Garvey succeed.

Ohio: Another Close Poll — The March 19 Ohio Republican primary will be a hugely important election. Among other races, it will decide which GOP candidate will challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in one of the country’s most compelling statewide campaigns. The Emerson College poll (Jan. 23-25; 1,844 registered Ohio voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees all three Republican candidates coming to within one or two points of Sen. Brown with the incumbent failing to reach 40 percent support in all iterations.

In the Republican primary, the battle is equally close. Businessman Bernie Moreno, who former President Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance support, nips Secretary of State Frank LaRose, 22-21 percent, with state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) trailing with 15 percent. In 2022, Sen. Dolan came on strong at the end, failing to reach second place by one percentage point after lagging during the early part of the campaign. Therefore, the Republican nomination is still very much in doubt.

Ohio features a modified primary system that allows voters to change their registration on the day of the election in order to choose a selected primary.

Utah: Rep. Curtis Begins with Small Lead — Dan Jones & Associates, Utah’s top media polling firm, released a new US Senate Republican primary survey, the first since US Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo) joined the field. The survey (Jan. 16-21; 428 registered Utah Republican voters) finds Rep. Curtis posting a tepid 18-14 percent lead over attorney Brent Orrin Hatch, the son of the late seven-term Sen. Orrin Hatch (R). Following at eight percent is former state House Speaker Brad Wilson. With a majority of the Republican voters still undecided, this contest is wide open.

The state’s April Republican nominating convention will send two candidates to the primary ballot. The others will have to petition for a ballot line. The Utah primary is scheduled for June 25. Sen. Mitt Romney (R) is retiring after one term.
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Trump’s Lead Dwindles; Masters Trails in New Poll; Battle Lines Drawn in NJ; Ohio Candidate Filing Closed;

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024

President

Former President Donald Trump / Photo by Gage Skidmore

New Hampshire: Trump’s Lead Dwindling — Two polls released towards the end of 2023 have shown that the New Hampshire Republican primary is getting closer. The American Research Group survey (Dec. 17-20; 1,100 New Hampshire adults; 990 New Hampshire registered voters) finds former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley pulling to within a 33-29 percent split with former President Donald Trump.

Another poll, this from St. Anselm College (Dec. 18-19; 1,711 likely New Hampshire voters; online), sees Trump posting 44 percent support while Haley trails at 30 percent, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie follows with 12 percent. Under New Hampshire procedure, non-affiliated voters can vote in a partisan primary, and this plays a major factor in the support numbers for both Haley and Christie.

House

AZ-8: Masters Trailing in New House Poll — It was a good political end of year for former Arizona US Senate nominee Blake Masters (R). First, former President Trump endorsed one of his chief opponents, 2022 attorney general nominee Abe Hamadeh (R), and a new National Public Affairs survey was released that showed Masters trailing badly in an early battle test.

According to the poll (Dec. 16-17; 418 likely AZ-8 Republican primary voters; live interview & text) Hamadeh, who lost his statewide race by only 280 cast ballots, leads this open congressional GOP primary, 37-14 percent over Masters. State House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) and former Congressman Trent Franks trail with seven and six percent, respectively.

The Arizona primary is not until Aug. 6, so plenty of time remains for this race to change. Incumbent Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria) is retiring.

NJ-7: Dem Primary Battle Lines Being Drawn — A major Democratic primary battle is brewing over who will have the opportunity of challenging freshman Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield). The Congressional Progressive Caucus endorsed political organizer Sue Altman in her quest to win the party nomination, while the more centrist New Democrat Coalition is backing former State Department official Jason Blazakis. A third Democrat, Summit City Council President Greg Vartan, is also an announced candidate.

The 7th District race will be a major battleground campaign this year. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+3, while Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 51.5R – 46.5D partisan lean. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 16th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. Former Rep. Tom Malinowski (D), who Kean unseated in 2022, is unlikely to run again. He is testing the waters to enter the US Senate contest.

States

Ohio: Candidate Filing Closes — The Ohio candidate filing deadline passed for the 2024 election in preparation for the state’s March 19 plurality primary. The US Senate Republican primary race will feature, as has been the case for months, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), and businessman Bernie Moreno. Only one other minor candidate is in the mix. The preponderance of polling suggests a close three-way race. The winner will challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in what promises to be one of the most important Senate races in the country.

The most competitive House primary is again in the state’s 9th District where the Republican winner will face veteran Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo). At the last moment, a new entry, state Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township) entered the race, challenging former state Rep. Craig Riedel, Napoleon Mayor Steve Lankenau, and 2022 congressional nominee J.R. Majewski.

Majewski proved a poor general election candidate, and with Merrin now in the race to challenge the others, the outcome of the future primary could be the same as the one in the immediate past. That is, Majewski takes advantage of a split vote, captures the party nomination but then loses to Rep. Kaptur.

With a FiveThirtyEight rating of R+6, losing here again because of a botched primary will greatly diminish the Republicans’ chances of keeping the House majority. In the competitive 1st District, the general election match between freshman Rep. Greg Landsman (D-Cincinnati) and attorney Orlando Sonza (R) appears set.

Other congressional primaries in both parties feature several races with multiple candidates, but mostly they are in districts where the incumbent will again score an easy win.

Dems Cancel Florida Presidential Primary; Moreno Leads in Ohio; Trump Turns Against Masters; Menendez Challenged in New Jersey

President Joe Biden / Photo by Gage Skidmore

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Dec. 15, 2023

President

Florida: Dems Cancel Presidential Primary — In what could be the first of several states where the Democratic Party will suspend the presidential primary and award their delegate slate to President Joe Biden, Florida took such action with Wednesday’s announcement. This move is not uncommon for both political parties with an incumbent president seeking re-election. It is used mostly in states where the political party is responsible for financing the party primary. When the incumbent is a sure bet to win the state’s primary, the party suspends the election in order to save the money to use in the general election.

Primary suspension and the awarding of delegate slates to, in this case President Biden, is one of the reasons that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. abandoned his Democratic primary challenge to Biden and instead became an independent presidential candidate.

Senate

Ohio: Moreno Leads in Second Poll — On the heels of last week’s co/efficient poll that posted businessman Bernie Moreno to a slight Ohio Republican US Senate primary lead (15-14-13 percent over Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan), the new Fabrizio Lee & Associates survey places Moreno in an even better position. The F&L poll (Dec. 3-5; 600 likely Ohio Republican primary voters; live interview & text) sees Moreno’s lead expanding to 23-19-18 percent over LaRose and Dolan.

Obviously, the Republican nomination is up for grabs and any of these three contenders can still win the March 19 primary. The eventual winner will challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in one of the country’s most important Senate races.

House

AZ-8: Trump Turns Against Masters — Early this week, former President Donald Trump surprisingly endorsed Abe Hamadeh for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Arizona US Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria). The move was unexpected because the man Trump supported for US Senate in 2022, Blake Masters, is also in the congressional race. Hamadeh was the 2022 nominee for attorney general, losing the statewide race by just 280 votes from more than 2.5 million ballots cast.

The endorsement could prove pivotal because the eventual Republican nominee will become the strong favorite to win the seat in the general election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates AZ-8 as R+22. Trump carried the 8th District with a 56-42 percent victory margin in 2020.

NJ-8: Hoboken Mayor to Challenge Rep. Menendez — As expected, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla officially announced his Democratic primary challenge to freshman New Jersey US Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City). Since the indictment of the congressman’s father, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Menendez’s approval numbers had precipitously dropped to where he could be endangered in a race against Mayor Bhalla.

For his part, representatives for a Super PAC associated with his fledgling candidacy say they have already raised $500,000 to support Bhalla’s campaign. Conversely, Rep. Menendez reported a $433,244 cash-on-hand figure in his Sept. 30 Federal Election Commission campaign committee report. Expect this to become a serious nomination challenge. The New Jersey primary is scheduled for June 4.

Former Congressman Announces Comeback Attempt; Reps Buck, Granger to Retire; Utah Governor Challenged for Renomination

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Nov. 3, 2023

House

Former Arizona Congressman Trent Franks (R) announces comeback attempt. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

AZ-8: Former Congressman Announces Comeback Attempt — Trent Franks (R), who was elected eight times to the House but was forced to resign when it was discovered that he was asking two female staff members to be surrogate mothers for he and his wife, announced that he will enter the open 8th District race next year with the goal of succeeding his successor. Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria), who won the seat in a 2018 special election after Franks’ resignation, is retiring.

Franks’ reappearance in Arizona politics is a surprise, and he is certainly no lock to win the August 2024 Republican primary. Already, nine other Republicans have declared their candidacies, including 2022 US Senate nominee Blake Masters, state House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria), 2022 Attorney General nominee Abe Hamadeh, and state Sen. Anthony Kern (R-Paradise).

CO-4: Rep. Ken Buck (R) to Retire — Five-term Colorado US Rep. Ken Buck (R-Windsor) announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election next year. Saying, “I always have been disappointed with our inability in Congress to deal with major issues and I’m also disappointed that the Republican Party continues to rely on this lie that the 2020 election was stolen & rely on the 1/6 narrative.” Rep. Buck has been an outspoken critic of his party in recent weeks, and his retirement is unsurprising. He had been rumored to be looking at potential media commentator openings as a Republican on the liberal CNN and MSNBC channels.

The 4th District, which covers most of eastern Colorado, is the strongest Republican seat in the state. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+26. Former President Donald Trump carried the seat with a 58-40 percent margin in 2020. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks CO-4 as the 115th most vulnerable seat in the 222-member Republican Conference.

TX-12: Rep. Kay Granger (R) to Retire — The third US House member to announce a retirement in the past two days is House Appropriations Committee chair Kay Granger (R-TX). She also announced Wednesday that she will not seek a 15th term next year. Before winning the 1996 congressional election, Granger served as mayor of Ft. Worth. Rep. Granger’s announcement follows those of Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ken Buck (R-CO), who also will retire at the end of the current Congress.

The 12th District is anchored in the city of Ft. Worth, which covers approximately 31 percent of Tarrant County, and then stretches west to annex about 80 percent of Parker County. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates TX-12 as R+24. Former President Trump carried the district with a 58-40 percent margin in 2020. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks TX-12 as the 108th most vulnerable district in the Republican Conference.

There are now 24 open seats in the next election. Of those, 15 are currently Democratic held, eight are Republican, and one is an Alabama seat that the new redistricting plan created.

Governor

Utah: Gov. Cox (R) Challenged for Renomination — State representative and former San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman (R-Blanding), who was jailed at one point for misdemeanor trespassing (in relation to a land use protest) and includes his mugshot in his campaign announcement video, will challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Spencer Cox in next year’s party nominating convention, and possibly the June 25 primary.

In Utah, the party convention can send two candidates directly to the primary election with at least 40 percent delegate support. Candidates can also petition onto the ballot by obtaining 28,000 registered voters’ signatures. Since Lyman is campaigning against Gov. Cox from the right, he may be able to reach the 40 percent plateau in a convention where the vast majority of delegates are to the right of the incumbent. Gov. Cox should still be favored to prevail in a primary fight, however, as well as in the general election.

RFK Jr.’s Equal Impact; Casey Maintains Lead in PA; Blake Masters Enters Open Arizona Race; Redistricting Map Struck Down in Georgia; Sarbanes to Retire; North Carolina News

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Oct. 30, 2023

President

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

RFK Jr.: Equal Impact Effect — Before Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced his Independent candidacy, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump were generally at parity in national polling, with either contender clinging to a small lead or being deadlocked. We see two new national surveys adding Kennedy to their questionnaire, yet the leader still records the same type of close margins. Dr. Cornel West is included in some polls as another Independent candidate, but it is doubtful that he can qualify for enough state ballots to become a viable factor.

The HarrisX poll (Oct. 16-23; 3,029 US registered voters; online) sees Trump leading Biden and Kennedy, 40-38-18 percent. In what is now an unrealistic head-to-head pairing between Trump and Biden, Trump’s edge is four percentage points.

Suffolk University (Oct. 17-20; 1,000 US registered voters; live interview) sees a similar Biden-Trump-Kennedy 38-37-14 percent split. If the two major party candidates were only running against each other, the Suffolk data finds a 43-41 percent division in President Biden’s favor. Again, with such small margins that don’t greatly change, it appears that Kennedy may be pulling almost equally from both major party candidates.

Senate

Pennsylvania: Sen. Casey Maintains Lead — Franklin & Marshall College again surveyed the Keystone State electorate (Oct. 11-22; 873 registered Pennsylvania voters; live interview & online) as they do several times per year, and while this particular sampling period is long the US Senate ballot test results are consistent with other previously published surveys. According to the F&M data, Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) has a 46-39 percent advantage over Republican former hedge fund CEO David McCormick (R). Sen. Casey runs four points ahead of President Biden within the same sampling universe, while McCormick’s support percentage is three points below that of former President Trump.

House

AZ-8: Blake Masters Enters Open Race — As expected when this seat opened, 2022 Republican US Senate nominee Blake Masters announced that he will run for the 8th District seat in the 2024 election. Also in the race is Abe Hamadeh, the Republican attorney general nominee who lost the 2022 statewide race by less than 300 votes. Retiring US Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria), has already endorsed state House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Paradise), but Toma has yet to announce his congressional candidacy.

Masters’ chances of coming through a crowded primary with plurality support are good. The eventual Republican will be a heavy favorite in the general election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates AZ-8 as R+22. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 77th most vulnerable district in the Republican Conference.

Georgia: Federal Judge Strikes Down Congressional Map — In a developing story, a federal judge has struck down the Georgia congressional map as a racial gerrymander. The main district in question is Rep. Rich McCormick’s (R-Suwanee) 6th CD. It remains to be seen what steps the state takes. The judge is giving the lawmakers until Dec. 8 to redraw the map.

MD-3: Rep. John Sarbanes (D) to Retire — Nine-term Maryland US Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Baltimore) announced late last week that he will retire from the House after this current Congress ends. In a statement, Sarbanes said, “ … before coming to Congress, I also found great reward in working with nonprofits, volunteering and otherwise contributing to my community. That too is a powerful form of public service. For some time now, I have found myself drawn back to that kind of work — wanting to explore the many opportunities to serve that exist outside of elected office. With that in mind, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2024.”

Sarbanes’ departure will ignite a major Democratic primary for the open seat. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates this seat as D+14. President Biden carried the district with a 62-36 percent margin. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks MD-3 as the 79th most vulnerable district in the Democratic Conference. In a presidential election year, this race will be decided in what promises to be a crowded Democratic primary.

NC-14: Rep. Jackson (D) to Run for Attorney General — As expected, Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte), saying a Democrat cannot win the newly drawn 14th District, announced that he will not seek re-election and instead is now a candidate for the open attorney general’s position. In a video showing him as a boxer giving and taking punches, Jackson said he is targeting corrupt politicians, big corporations, and organized crime in his run for the top law enforcement job in the Tar Heel State.

As in the nine other Republican districts on the new congressional map, the new 14th that begins in Charlotte and moves west to encompass all or parts of five other counties, will likely elect the GOP nominee. All indications point to state House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland County) as Rep. Jackson’s eventual successor.

North Carolina: Redistricting Passes into Law; Ex-Rep. Walker Will Run — Both the North Carolina House and Senate passed the new congressional and state legislative maps, thus enacting them into law as Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has no veto authority over redistricting legislation. The map favors Republicans in 10 of the state’s 14 districts.

In Rep. Kathy Manning’s (D-Greensboro) new 6th District, which voted for Donald Trump by a 57-41 percent split according to the Daily Kos Elections statisticians, former US representative and 2022 US Senate candidate Mark Walker (R) announced that he will leave the governor’s race and instead run for this new district. For three terms, Walker represented a similar 6th District. He chose not to run in 2020 after a court-drawn map made NC-6 a heavily Democratic seat that Manning was able to claim.

Harris vs. Newsom for President?; Good/Bad News for Sen. Tester; Rep. Lesko to Retire; New Redistricting Maps in North Carolina; VA-10 News

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 20, 2023

President

Vice President Kamala Harris / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Democratic Poll: Harris vs. Newsom — Rumors have been rampant that the Democrats may somehow soon replace President Joe Biden as the party nominee. The Premise survey research company (Oct. 11-16; 1,417 registered US voters; 847 US Democratic registered voters; online) just tested the highly unlikely supposition.

The pollsters paired Vice President Kamala Harris against California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Many believe that Newsom would be Biden’s hypothetical replacement, but this first poll doesn’t concur. Premise reports a Harris lead over Newsom of 23-15 percent with a huge undecided factor. Expect President Biden to again become the Democratic nominee.

Marist College: First Three-Way Presidential Poll — Marist College, polling for National Public Radio (Oct. 11; 1,218 registered US voters), is the first survey research entity to release a Biden-Trump-Kennedy poll since Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced he would run in the general election as an Independent.

While the Biden-Trump ballot test found President Biden leading 49-46 percent, which is slightly better for the incumbent than most other current national polls, the addition of Kennedy sees the electorate break away from former President Donald Trump to the greater degree. The three-way result is 44-37-16 percent in favor of Biden. The big difference comes in the Independent sector. In a two-way, Independents break toward Trump, 49-43 percent. When Kennedy is added, the Trump-Biden-Kennedy split evolves to 34-33-29 percent, respectively.

Senate

Montana: Good News & Bad News for Sen. Tester — Emerson College surveyed the Montana electorate (Oct. 1-4; 447 registered Montana voters; multiple sampling techniques) as part of a series of polls conducted in several states. Here, we see Sen. Jon Tester (D) leading aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy (R) by a close 39-35 percent split. The good news for Sen. Tester in this poll is his maintaining a lead in a state the Republicans must win if they are to claim the Senate majority. The bad news is he fails to even reach the 40 percent plateau.

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive), who most believe will enter the race, was not tested because he is not yet an announced candidate. Former Secretary of State Brad Johnson (R) just declared his own candidacy, so he, too, was not included.

House

AZ-8: Rep. Lesko (R) to Retire, Two New Candidate Possibilities — Three-plus term Arizona US Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria) announced that she will not seek re-election to her state’s 8th Congressional District next year.

The congresswoman indicated that time away from her family, including her 94-year-old mother, while expressing frustration saying, “it is hard to get anything done [in Congress],” led to the decision to bring her political career to a close.

Lesko first won election to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2008, before capturing a state Senate seat in 2014. After US Rep. Trent Franks (R) resigned from Congress, Lesko won the 2018 special election to become his successor. She was re-elected to a full term in the 2018 regular election and easily won two additional terms.

AZ-8 is reliably Republican. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+22. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 57.3R – 40.8D partisan lean. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the 8th as the 77th most vulnerable district in the current 221-member GOP Conference. Former President Trump scored a 56.1 – 42.5 percent victory over President Biden here in 2020.

Lesko’s (R-Peoria) retirement announcement has potentially attracted two well known names from the 2022 election cycle. Attorney General nominee Abe Hamadeh, who lost the statewide race by just 280 votes of over 2.5 million votes cast, and US Senate nominee Blake Masters are among the Republicans being mentioned as potentially having interest in the newly open congressional seat.

North Carolina: New Redistricting Maps Released — Tar Heel State legislative leaders released two proposed congressional maps for legislators to consider. Both would improve Republican prospects and likely break the current 7D-7R map into a plan that would largely benefit the GOP.

Each map would endanger three Democratic incumbents: Reps. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro), Wiley Nickel (D-Cary), and Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte). The first map would likely return a 10R-4D split, while the second plan could conceivably bring the Republicans a 11R-3D division.

The legislators will now have the opportunity to debate the map proposals, consolidate the draws into one map, and amend the bills. Once the legislature passes a final plan, expect the Democrats to sue. The state Supreme Court will likely have to make a final ruling, but this is a much different judicial panel from the one that continued to reject the legislature’s intent during the past decade.

In 2022, Republicans captured a majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court, reversing the Democrats’ 4-3 edge. The new court features five Republicans and two Democrats. Getting to the US Supreme Court is a much more difficult exercise because SCOTUS has generally made the state Supreme Courts the redistricting final arbiter.

VA-10: Del. Filler-Corn Switches to House Race — Former state House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Springfield), who was ousted as minority leader after the Democrats lost the state House majority in the 2021 election, has altered her future political path. Originally saying she was not running for re-election to the state House of Delegates in order to prepare a run for governor in 2025, Filler-Corn announced that she now won’t run statewide but will instead enter the 2024 open 10th Congressional District race.

Incumbent Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg) is retiring due to health considerations. The 10th District will remain in Democratic hands, but next year’s nomination process promises to feature a competitive party primary.

The Coming New Specials

By Jim Ellis

May 1, 2018 — Just when we thought the number of special elections was lessening when Debbie Lesko won the AZ-8 election last week to replace resigned Arizona Rep. Trent Franks (R-Peoria), new vacancies are popping up.

Pennsylvania Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Chadds Ford), abruptly resigned Friday.

Pennsylvania Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Chadds Ford), abruptly resigned Friday.

On Friday, Pennsylvania Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Chadds Ford), who had previously announced his retirement for term’s end, abruptly resigned when learning the House Ethics Committee was going to launch an investigation into the severance payment awarded to one of his staff employees. The source of this particular recompense was the special taxpayer funded congressional account found to cover members’ special staff settlements.

Meehan also pledged to repay the $39,000 payment that is the investigation’s basis within the next 30 days. Now that Meehan has exited the House, the Ethics Committee no longer has jurisdiction. He joins former Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) who resigned in early April also to avoid a congressional investigation.

Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Tulsa) resigned his seat in late April to accept his position in the Trump Administration as the new NASA Administrator. Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Allentown) says he will resign his seat at an unspecified date in early May, presumably because he will be accepting a position in the private sector. As we know, the late New York Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-Rochester) passed away on March 16.

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