Tag Archives: CA-16

Sen. Cantwell Well Ahead; Ex-Mayor Flips on Decision to Run; CA-45 Logjam; Louisiana Deadline Extended

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Dec. 4, 2023

Senate

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell (D)

Washington: Sen. Cantwell Easily Leads in New Poll — Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute (Nov. 14-15; 700 likely Washington general election voters; live interview & text) finds Sen. Maria Cantwell (D), running for a fifth six-year term, leading physician and former gubernatorial candidate Raul Garcia (R) by a 51-38 percent margin. Sen. Cantwell is a clear favorite for re-election in a race that should not become particularly competitive.

House

CA-16: Despite Saying No, ex-San Jose Mayor Forms Congressional Committee — Early this year, former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) said he was planning to challenge either Reps. Ann Eshoo (D-Atherton) or Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) in the 2024 jungle primary. In September, he indicated that he would not run for Congress but instead was pursuing opportunities in the private sector. Adding Rep. Eshoo’s recent retirement announcement to the political equation, Liccardo has now reversed course again and filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission.

Though Liccardo still says he has not yet made a final decision about running, he cited a poll from Public Policy Polling showing him leading what will likely be a crowded field. Liccardo was twice elected to four-year terms as San Jose’s mayor, in addition to winning a pair of four-year terms on the City Council prior to his citywide victory.

Other Democrats in the race are Santa Clara County supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian, Saratoga City Councilman Rishi Kumar, who twice challenged Rep. Eshoo, labor union organizer Evan Bell, and financial advisor Joby Bernstein. Former Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki and 2018 congressional candidate Karl Ryan are Republican contenders. State Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) is a possible candidate as is State Board of Equalization member and ex-state Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D).

The city of San Jose comprises approximately 40 percent of the 16th CD. A total of 85 percent of the district lies in Santa Clara County, with the remaining precincts crossing into San Mateo County. It is probable that two Democrats will advance from the March 5 all-party jungle primary. The candidate filing deadline in this race is Dec. 13. In California, candidate filing is extended five days when the incumbent does not file.

CA-45: Democrats Bunched in New Poll — A new Tulchin Research survey (Nov. 13-19; 500 likely CA-45 jungle primary voters; live interview & online) finds Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) easily securing first place in the March 5 jungle primary but shows a tightly bunched group of Democrats trying to advance into the general election. According to the Tulchin results, Rep. Steel posts 39 percent support.

Iraq War veteran Derek Tran records 11 percent, just ahead of Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen-Penaloza with 10 percent, and attorney Cheyenne Hunt at 6 percent. Jay Chen, the 2022 finalist who is reportedly considering running again, was not included in this poll.

The 45th District is almost fully contained within Orange County with an added sliver of Los Angeles County and is highly competitive. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+5. The Daily Kos Elections statisticians rank the seat as the fifth most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. President Joe Biden carried the district with a 52-46 percent margin in 2020. Rep. Steel defeated Chen with a 52-48 percent victory margin in 2022.

Louisiana: Court Extends Redistricting Deadline — With Gov-Elect Jeff Landry (R) taking office on Jan. 8, the special federal three judge panel has extended the deadline for the state to draw a Voting Rights Act compliant map, in accordance with the US Supreme Court’s Alabama decision, from Jan. 15-30. It will be interesting to see what the legislature draws because the state is suing over the VRA in another lawsuit. This action concerns the Louisiana legislature maps.

Chances are strong that we will see a similar situation to that of Alabama, where a new African-American influenced district is drawn, and two incumbent Republicans are paired into one district. Democrats are likely to gain one seat when the process eventually concludes.

Retirement Announcements in CA-16, MI-8; Rep. Johnson Accepts State University Offer; Maloy Wins UT-2

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Nov. 27, 2023

House

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton)

CA-16: Rep. Anna Eshoo to Retire — Veteran California US Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton) announced last week that she will conclude her congressional career at the end of the current Congress. Rep. Eshoo, first elected in 1992, is completing her 16th term.

Rep. Eshoo might have faced a serious Democratic intra-party challenge. Santa Clara supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Smitian (D) was close to announcing his congressional effort. Upon Rep. Eshoo’s announcement, speculation is circulating that state Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Cupertino) will quickly announce his intention to run for Congress.

The FiveThirtyEight organization rates the seat as D+49. It is likely that we will see two Democrats emerge from the March 5 jungle primary and advance into the general election. Eshoo is the sixth House Californian not to seek re-election in this political cycle.

MI-8: Rep. Dan Kildee Won’t Seek Re-Election — The cavalcade of retirements continues, and one of the latest involves Michigan. Six-term Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) also announced last week that he will not run again. This move is a bit of a surprise, though the congressman did experience a cancer-related health scare before the previous election.

Unlike most of the other open seats, Michigan’s 8th CD will be hotly contested. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat R+1, though Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean in the Democrats’ favor, 51.0D-46.2R. President Joe Biden carried the seat in 2020 with a slight 50.3 – 48.2 percent victory margin. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 11th most vulnerable in the Democratic Conference.

OH-6: Rep. Bill Johnson Accepts — Eastern Ohio GOP Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) announced that he will accept an offer from Youngstown State University to become the institution’s president. Johnson had sent a release earlier in the week indicating that he had received an offer from the board of trustees to accept the university’s top position.

It is likely that Rep. Johnson will resign the seat before the term ends, and he certainly will not be on the ballot in the 2024 regular election. We can expect a crowded Republican primary field to form in order to battle for the Republican nomination in Ohio’s March 19 election.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+31. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks OH-6 as the 82nd-safest seat in the Republican Conference. With Johnson leaving and the UT-2 seat being filled, we see 32 open seats across the election board, 20 from the Democratic side as compared to 11 Republican-held districts. One open seat was created from the new Alabama redistricting map.

UT-2: Republican Maloy Wins Special Election — Republican Celeste Maloy was declared the victor in the Utah 2nd Congressional District special election early in the evening last Tuesday night as she recorded an unofficial 58-34 percent victory, performing almost exactly as the district’s vote history would have projected.

While Democrat Kathleen Riebe, an area state senator, easily won Salt Lake County with almost two-thirds of the vote, Maloy, the former legal counsel to resigned Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington), claimed each of the district’s 12 other counties with percentages between 59 and 90 percent of the cast ballots.

With Democrat Gabe Amo’s special election victory earlier in the month from Rhode Island, the House now returns to its full compliment of 435 members for the first time since June 1. Maloy’s Republican victory in Utah restores the House to its partisan divide of 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats.

Pennsylvania’s McCormick to Announce; Ex-San Jose Mayor Won’t Run; MI-13 Challengers; Anchorwoman to Run in PA-10; Progressive Mayor Elected

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023

Senate

Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick (R)

Pennsylvania: McCormick to Announce on Thursday — David McCormick, the former hedge fund CEO and Republican US Senate candidate who lost his 2022 party nomination bid to Dr. Mehmet Oz by just 950 votes, is reportedly poised to make a run at three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D) next year. He has scheduled an announcement event for Thursday, which should officially launch his 2024 campaign. Though it is unlikely that McCormick will face a strong challenge for the party nomination, Sen. Casey will begin the active campaign season as the clear favorite to win the race.

House

CA-16, 18: Ex-Mayor Won’t Run — Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) who said earlier in the year he was deciding whether to challenge Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton) or Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) in California’s March Democratic primary will not run against anybody. Instead, he has accepted a position with a legislative advocacy firm. Both Reps. Eshoo and Lofgren appear as prohibitive favorites to win another term in the House irrespective of who might be their Democratic primary and general election opponents.

MI-13: Two Will Return to Challenge Rep. Thanedar — Freshman Michigan Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit), who won a crowded open Democratic primary in 2022 with just 28 percent of the vote, will face at least two of the same opponents in his renomination fight next year. Former state Sen. Adam Hollier and John Conyers III, whose father held this same seat for 52 years, appear to be sure bets to return for another electoral battle. Once again, however, a crowded field will help Thanedar, because his opposition vote will be split. The Democratic primary will determine who represents the district. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates MI-13 as D+46.

PA-10: Anchorwoman May Soon Declare — Veteran news anchorwoman Janelle Stelson (D) has resigned her position with WGAL-TV in Lancaster, PA, ostensibly to soon declare her candidacy opposite US Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg/Harrisburg). While Stelson is well known in the Lancaster area, a media market that touches York County, the bulk of the 10th District population lies in the Harrisburg/Dauphin County region. Therefore, she does not command district-wide name identification.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the 10th District as R+9, which suggests a competitive race but one that a Republican should typically win. Rep. Perry was originally elected in 2012. He begins this race as a clear favorite for re-election.

Cities

Nashville, Tenn.: New Mayor Elected — The open mayoral runoff election was held on Tennessee’s unique Thursday election day at the end of last week, and the progressive left candidate, Freddie O’Connell an elected member of the Davidson County Metro Council, claimed the victory.

He easily defeated GOP strategist Alice Rolli on a 63-36 percent count. O’Connell will succeed Mayor John Cooper, brother of former Congressman Jim Cooper (D), who did not seek re-election.

Manchin Will Not Run for President; Ramaswamy Announces Presidential Bid; Sen. Tester to Seek Re-Election; Ex-San Jose Mayor Looks to Challenge

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 24, 2023

President

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D)

Sen. Joe Manchin: Will Not Run for President — Sen. Manchin (D-WV) made it clear Wednesday that he would not run for president. Rumors had abounded that the West Virginia senator might run for governor or president, both of which he has now dispelled. Previously, on national television, the senator said he will not again run for governor. With Gov. Jim Justice (R) ineligible to seek a third term in the Mountain State and broadly hinting that he will run for the Senate, the door would have opened for Manchin to again run for governor, a position he held from 2005-2010.

A seriously discussed option was for Manchin to run for president on a “No Labels” ticket, possibly even with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) as his running mate. Now that both running for president and governor are eliminated options, Sen. Manchin will soon opt for re-election to the Senate or outright retirement from politics. The early tea leaves suggest he will seek a third full term.

Vivek Ramaswamy: Announces for President — Venture capitalist Vivek Ramaswamy announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in a move that was anticipated. Ramaswamy, whose personal wealth is estimated to exceed $500 million, is basing his campaign on promoting the free enterprise system and opposing corporate “wokeism.”

While Ramaswamy’s wealth will certainly allow him to run extensive electronic advertising, he is a very long shot to become a top-tier candidate. Still, he is someone worthy of attention.

Senate

Montana: Sen. Jon Tester (D) to Seek Re-Election — Through a Twitter announcement Wednesday, Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) announced that he will seek a fourth term next year. Speculation about his potential retirement had become relatively intense.

The Democratic leadership needs Sen. Tester to run again in order to increase hope of holding onto the party’s tenuous Senate majority. The Democrats face a 2024 election map that forces them to defend 23 of 34 in-cycle seats, and keeping the Montana seat is no sure thing even with their best candidate.

While the media and the senator himself will continue to use a “moderate,” label to describe Tester, his voting record has moved decidedly to the left during this term and is now a solid leadership vote. Regardless of who ultimately becomes the Montana Republican Senate nominee, we can count on seeing an ideological contrast race being run with the GOP accusing Tester of being out of step with the state’s electorate, and the senator firing back with extremist claims about whomever his Republican opponent is.

House

CA-16 & 18: Ex-San Jose Mayor to Challenge a Democratic Incumbent — Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D), who was ineligible to seek a third term in 2021, Wednesday said he has informed both Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton; Palo Alto), and Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) that he plans to challenge one of the two veteran Democratic incumbents next year. Liccardo says he has polled both Rep. Eshoo’s 16th CD and Rep. Lofgren’s 18th District to assess his chances in what would likely transition into a double Democratic general election.

The 18th CD contains most of the city of San Jose, but Rep. Lofgren responded to Liccardo with a statement that she plans on seeking re-election in 2024. Lofgren, who was first elected in 1994, has been re-elected against light challenges with over 65 percent of the vote ever since. In the 2022 jungle primary, Rep. Eshoo dropped below the 50 percent mark suggesting some vulnerability to a future Democratic challenge.

The California Pairings

By Jim Ellis

California Congressional Districts

March 17, 2020 — The laborious California ballot verification and tabulation process continues, and now just two US House races fail to have general election finalists. Democratic Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Maxine Waters don’t yet know the identity of their general election opponent, but neither is in a politically competitive district.

Under the California electoral system, the top two jungle primary vote-getters from the March 3 Super Tuesday election advance into the general regardless of percentage attained and political party affiliation. It appears that 12 of the state’s 53 congressional districts will feature some level of competition. In each of these instances the seat is either open, known to be a national target, or the incumbent garnered less than 50 percent of the vote in the primary election.

The following are the competitive general election pairings, including the special general election in the 25th District that will be held on May 12:


CA-7

Rep. Ami Bera (D) – Incumbent, 4th Term – 49.3%
Buzz Patterson (R) – Retired Air Force Officer – 34.8%
• The 7th District, which contains most of Sacramento County, has turned in some close elections since redistricting created it before the 2012 election. Rep. Ami Bera (D-Sacramento), first elected in that year, had very tight original election results but has seemingly secured the district in his latter campaigns. Though he did not hit the 50 percent mark in the primary, at least at this point, the four-term incumbent should still win comfortably in November. Likely Democratic


CA-8

• Open Seat (Rep. Paul Cook-R elected as San Bernardino County Supervisor)
Jay Obernolte (R) – State Assemblyman – 35.1% in primary
Chris Bubser (D) – Engineer – 28.7% in primary
• Since county supervisor races in California are non-partisan, retiring Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) was able to win his new office on March 3 by securing majority support. In his wake, state Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) and engineer Chris Bubser will advance to the November congressional election. The 8th is one of the very few safe Republican districts in the state, and Obernolte is a lock to become the new congressman. Safe Republican


CA-10

Rep. Josh Harder (D) – Incumbent, 1st Term – 43.3%
Ted Howze (R) – Former Turlock City Councilman – 34.9%
• Freshman Rep. Josh Harder (D-Turlock/Modesto) unseated veteran Rep. Jeff Denham (R) in 2018. Though he finished well below 50 percent in this primary, Rep. Harder is still a strong favorite for the general election in a district that continues to become more Democratic. Former local elected official Ted Howze (R) raised over $717,000 at the pre-primary filing period, but $325,000 of that total was self-contributed. Likely Democratic


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House Races Conclude; Landrieu Reeling

CA-7, CA-16

The two outstanding California House races are now finished. Both Democratic incumbents Ami Bera (D-CA-7) and Jim Costa (D-CA-16) have officially pulled out close victories.

Despite the Republicans chalking up their largest majority since the 1928 election, the Bera and Costa wins mean the Democrats actually gain one seat in the lopsided California delegation. This result was made possible because of five other very close wins in San Diego (Rep. Scott Peters over GOP challenger Carl DeMaio), Ventura County (freshman Rep. Julia Brownley barely surviving against Assemblyman Jeff Gorell), and San Bernardino (the open Republican seat where Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D) scored a tight 51-49 percent win over GOP candidate Paul Chabot).

With counting of absentee ballots just about complete, some 15 days after the election itself, Rep. Bera has now increased the lead he just took to 1,432 votes, a number that the national and local news media deems insurmountable for former Rep. Doug Ose (R) to overcome based upon the number of ballots still remaining to be counted.

In Fresno, the race is even closer with only a few more ballots left to count in Democratic strongholds. Rep. Costa, like Bera in Sacramento, trailing for most of the post-election period has now assumed an Continue reading >

McSally on Threshold; Sullivan Expands Lead; Fresno Hangs in the Balance

With most political overtime races trending toward the Democrats, Tuesday’s fortunes looked more favorably upon Republicans.

AZ-2: In Arizona’s 2nd District, it appears that challenger Martha McSally (R), who lost a bitterly close campaign two years ago, will win an even tighter battle this year.

The final count nears and McSally is clinging to a bare 133-vote lead, but it may be enough to unseat Rep. Ron Barber (D). All of the ballots are now tabulated with the exception of about 200 in Pima County. Since this entity is divided among three congressional districts (59 percent of the county is in District 2), it is likely that only between 110-120 of those votes are from the undecided CD. Even if Barber were to attract 60 percent of this number, he would still fall between 100 and 110 votes short of victory.

While it now appears evident that McSally will lead after all of the votes are tabulated and recorded, the closeness of the finish means that an automatic recount will be conducted. Rarely do recounts change the candidates’ finish order, but only a 100-vote spread of more than 215,000 cast ballots does suggest that eligibility challenges to individual voters could exceed that margin. Still, with Republicans in a strong House majority, the body itself must seat all of its members, and McSally’s chances of becoming the ultimate victor here are now Continue reading >