By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023
HouseCA-45: Candidate Returns — A day after attorney Aditya Pai (D) announced that he was leaving the campaign trail because he found “no joy” in his effort, he reversed himself. Now, Pai is back in the race. Three other Democrats are competing, so it is probable that Pai fails to advance from the jungle primary. Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County) is the two-term incumbent and is a lock to secure the first general election ballot position.
Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen and attorney Cheyenne Hunt appear to be the leading Democrats. The California jungle primary is held concurrently with Super Tuesday on March 5, 2024.
NJ-7: New Candidate Files Exploratory Committee — Former State Department official Jason Blazakis (D) filed a congressional exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission for a potential run in New Jersey’s 7th District against GOP freshman Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield). Should Blazakis officially enter the Democratic primary he would have to get past Roselle Park Mayor Joe Signorello and Working Families Party state Director Sue Altman in order to advance into the general election. Another State Department official previously represented the district, former Rep. Tom Malinowski (D), who lost his 2022 re-election campaign to Kean after defeating him in 2020.
New Jersey’s 7th CD covers about one-third of Union County, all of Hunterdon and Warren, and parts of Morris, Somerset, and Sussex counties. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+3. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 51.5R – 46.6D. Rep. Kean will have the edge for re-election, but we can anticipate seeing a competitive campaign develop within the district confines.
NY-1: Democratic Primary Brewing — Late last week, Nancy Goroff, the 2020 NY-1 Democratic nominee who lost to then-Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) 56-44 percent, announced that she will enter the 2024 Democratic primary in hope of challenging freshman Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Suffolk County). First, however, she will have to overcome a bid from former state Sen. Jim Gaughran, who announced two days before Goroff. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-1 as R+5. Dave’s Redistricting App, however, calculates the partisan lean in the Democrats’ favor at 51.1D – 47.1R.
Louisiana: 2023 Candidate Filing Closes — The candidate filing period for this year’s Louisiana governor’s race closed on Friday, and 16 candidates filed for the office. The field includes eight Republicans, three Democrats, and five Independents. The jungle primary is scheduled for Oct. 14.
For the Republicans, the battle appears to be among Attorney General Jeff Landry, state Treasurer John Schroder, and former gubernatorial chief of staff Stephen Waguespack. Democrats are coalescing behind former state Department of Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson. It is likely that Wilson and one of the three aforementioned Republicans will advance to a Nov. 18 runoff election. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to run for a third term.