Tag Archives: Chuck Morse

Governors’ Races News — NH, NC, VT; Hollier Disqualified in Michigan

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Governor

Former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R)

New Hampshire: Ayotte Leads in New GOP Primary Survey — The National Journal published a new survey of New Hampshire voters (May 15-20; 420 likely New Hampshire voters; online) that posts to a double-digit Republican primary advantage over former state Senate president and 2022 US Senate candidate Chuck Morse. According to this data, Ayotte’s lead is 50-28 percent.

The survey is comprised of an online panel from Survey Monkey, which is one of the least accurate sources in the polling industry. The sampling universe began with 1,196 New Hampshire adults and then was winnowed to 420 likely GOP primary voters. Therefore, while Ayotte undoubtedly has a lead in the race, it may not be as strong as this poll suggests.

Additionally, with a late Sept. 10 primary election, this race has many weeks to fully develop. The eventual Republican nominee will face the winner of the Democratic primary between former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Council member Cinde Warmington.

North Carolina: Robinson Rebounds — After several consecutive polls found Attorney General Josh Stein (D) beginning to pull away from Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) in the open 2024 governor’s race, a series of new polls are again forecasting a seesaw political battle. From the March 3 to April 8 period, Stein was leading in four consecutive polls from four different polling firms including the April Quinnipiac University survey that posted him to an eight point lead.

Now, we see another four polls conducted from April 8 to May 18, two of which giving each man a slight edge. Looking at the North Carolina voting history, we can expect this race to bounce around from now until Election Day, which will likely culminate in a very close final result.

Vermont: Another Key Democrat Won’t Run — On the heels of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) announcing that he would not again run for his former position, ex-Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger (D) early this week made a similar announcement regarding the 2024 gubernatorial campaign.

With the May 30 candidate filing deadline fast approaching, Democrats have yet to recruit a strong opponent for four-term Gov. Phil Scott (R) who is seeking re-election to a fifth term. Despite Vermont’s heavily Democratic voting history, Gov. Scott again is well positioned to defy the odds and win yet another re-election.

House

MI-13: Hollier Disqualified — After the initial clerk staff reports revealed that former state senator and 2022 congressional candidate Adam Hollier (D) failed to submit the required number valid petition signatures for the 2024 congressional election, the Wayne County Clerk has verified that he is disqualified. According to the clerk’s report, Hollier filed only 863 valid registered voter signatures, well short of the needed 1,000. The disqualification is a break for freshman Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit), who defeated then-Sen. Hollier, 28-23 percent, in the 2022 Democratic primary.

It appeared that Hollier was the congressman’s most serious challenger. Remaining in the race are former state Rep. Mary Waters and resigned Southfield City Clerk Shakira Hawkins. The latter agreed to a plea bargain that required her to admit to criminal misconduct in office. Waters reported just over $5,000 cash-on-hand on her March 31 campaign disclosure report. Therefore, Rep. Thanedar’s political position has greatly improved.

Former Rep. Rogers Enters Michigan Senate Race; New Candidate Announces in Texas; Alabama Redistricting Map Struck Down; Primary Results in RI-1 and UT-2

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Sept. 8, 2023

Senate

Michigan: Ex-Rep. Rogers Enters Senate Race — As expected, via a strong video announcement, former US Rep. Mike Rogers (R), who served in Congress from 2001 to 2015 and rose to chair the House Intelligence Committee, officially declared his US Senate candidacy.

“No candidate is better prepared to have an impact on day one,” Rogers said in his video announcement. “I’m ready to serve again.”

The Rogers entry gives the Republicans a top-tier candidate in a state that has trended against the GOP in the last two elections. Polling suggests the favored Democratic candidate, US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing), who represents the same Michigan congressional district as did Rogers, would have only a small lead to start the campaign.

Former US Rep. Peter Meijer is also a potential Republican candidate, though the Rogers entry would make him a major underdog in a statewide primary. Meijer was elected to the House in 2020 but lost his bid for renomination in 2022. Rep. Slotkin faces state Board of Education President Pamela Pugh, actor Hill Harper, and former state Rep. Leslie Love in the Democratic primary. Both Rep. Slotkin and Rogers should be viewed as heavy favorites to win their respective partisan primaries.

Texas: New Dem Candidate Announces — Republicans in the Texas legislature have been coalescing in an attempt to strip Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez (D) from his office for failing to prosecute large numbers of criminals, following the lead of several big city DA’s such as those in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.

Instead of dealing with a potential legislative battle, Gonzalez abruptly resigned his post and then declared his candidacy for the US Senate. He, however, must first face US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) in the Democratic primary before getting a chance to make a statement in opposing incumbent US Sen. Ted Cruz (R). In what the Democratic leadership was hoping would become an easy primary for their favored candidate, Rep. Allred, is now evolving into something quite the opposite.

House

Alabama Redistricting: Replacement Map Struck Down — Yesterday, a federal three-judge panel in Alabama struck down the legislature and governor’s new map enacted to comply with the US Supreme Court’s June ruling that ordered a redraw for racial considerations. The argument rested upon census numbers indicating that a second majority minority seat could be drawn in the state.

The legislature’s map increased the African American population in District 2 from 30 to 39 percent, but the three-judge panel ruled the new plan did not go far enough. The judicial panel also ordered a special master to draw a new map.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) stated immediately after the new ruling that the state will appeal the decision. Redistricting appeals automatically go to the US Supreme Court. Considering the time required for the appeal to be heard and ruled upon, there is some chance that a new map will not be in place until after the 2024 election.

RI-1: Ex-White House Aide Wins Special Dem Primary — The long-awaited special primary election to replace resigned Rep. David Cicilline (D) was conducted Tuesday, and former Biden and Obama Administration official Gabe Amo clinched the crowded Democratic primary with a 32-25-14 percent victory over former state Rep. Aaron Regunberg and state Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Pawtucket). The remaining nine candidates, including Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, failed to even reach the 10 percent threshold.

Amo will be a lock to defeat the Republican winner, military veteran Gerry Leonard Jr. in the Nov. 7 special general election and upon election will be the first person of color to represent Rhode Island in Congress.

UT-2: Party-Endorsed Candidate Claims GOP Nomination in Special Primary — In Utah’s 2nd District, where Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington) will resign his seat on Sept. 15 due to family considerations, polling suggested that former state Rep. Becky Edwards had a significant lead in a three-way contest, and early vote counting seemed to confirm this prediction.

As counting progressed, however, Republican district convention winner Celeste Maloy chipped away at Edwards’ metro-area lead once the rural counties tallies began mounting. She then won a tight, but still unofficial, Republican primary special election. In third place, also relatively close, is former Republican National Committeeman Bruce Hough.

Assuming this election is certified, and the 1,400-plus vote margin is likely enough to withstand a recount should Edwards move to have one conducted, Maloy will advance to the special general election where she will face state Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights). Riebe was unopposed in last night’s Democratic primary.

Now, the partisans will turn their attention to the special general election scheduled for Nov. 21. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the UT-2 seat as R+23, and former President Donald Trump defeated President Joe Biden here, 57-39 percent. Last November, Rep. Stewart was re-elected with a 60-34 percent vote spread. Therefore, Maloy begins the special general cycle as a heavy favorite to carry the day for the GOP.

Ramaswamy Advances in Polling; Romney Support Dips in Utah;
Rep. Boebert’s Colorado Challenge; Significant Candidate Lead in NH

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Aug. 21, 2023

President

Vivek Ramaswamy (R) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Vivek Ramaswamy: Major Move in National Polls — Three new national Republican primary surveys find businessman Vivek Ramaswamy moving into the top tier within the large field of presidential candidates. The Fox News Poll (Aug. 11-14; 1,002 registered US voters; live interview) and the Quinnipiac University national surveys (Aug. 11-14; 1,632 self-identified US registered voters; 681 Republican and Republican leaning voters; 666 Democratic and Democratic leaning primary voters; live interview) project Ramaswamy as placing third behind former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The RMG Research survey finds Ramaswamy doing even better. In their latest poll (Aug. 11-14; 1,000 registered US voters; 229 likely Republican primary voters), though with a very small national GOP sample, Ramaswamy moves into second place with 13 percent compared to Gov. DeSantis’ 8 percent. Former President Trump tops the RMG poll with a whopping 60 percent support figure.

Senate

Utah: Sen. Romney at 30 percent in New GOP Poll — A Noble Predictive Insights survey conducted a month ago but just released just late last week (July 7-18; 598 registered Utah voters; 301 likely Republican primary voters; online) finds Utah Sen. Mitt Romney drawing only 30 percent support among a respondent sample of his own Republican primary voters.

Despite the low preference number, Sen. Romney leads a group of potential GOP opponents. Closest to him is Attorney General Sean Reyes, an unannounced Senate candidate, who posted 13 percent support. The two official candidates, state House Speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs posted five and three percent, respectively. When asked of the entire sample whether they believe Sen. Romney should run for re-election, 39 percent answered yes, while 44 percent replied with a negative response.

House

CO-3: Rep. Boebert’s Republican Challenge — Saying he’s “… not interested in becoming a social media celebrity … I’m interested in helping families and helping businesses and helping communities,” attorney Jeff Hurd entered Colorado’s 3rd District Republican primary hoping to deny two-term incumbent Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) renomination. In 2022, then-state Sen. Don Coram challenged her in the party primary but received only 34 percent of the Republican vote.

Should Rep. Boebert win renomination, she will again face a difficult general election against Democrat Adam Frisch who came within 546 votes of unseating her in the 2022 general election. This, despite the FiveThirtyEight data organization rating CO-3 as R+15.

Governor

New Hampshire: Significant Open Primary Polling Leads — Earlier in the week, we covered an Emerson College survey (Aug. 9-11; 837 registered New Hampshire voters; interactive voice response system, text & online) that posted former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) to substantial leads over two strong Democratic contenders. Now, we see the primary numbers from this same poll.

According to Emerson, Ayotte would not only lead in the general election, but she opens a definitive edge over who will likely be her chief Republican opponent, former state Senate President Chuck Morse. The initial ballot test finds Ayotte leading Morse, 45-9 percent. On the Democratic side, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig is staked to a strong 52-15 percent advantage over Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is retiring after serving what will be four consecutive terms when his tenure expires at the beginning of 2025.

Matos Under Scrutiny in RI; Republican Challengers Align in CA-9; Democrat Battle Brewing in NY-4; Kentucky, New Hampshire Gov. News

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, July 26, 2023

House

Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos (D)

RI-1: Matos’ Signatures Undergoing Greater Scrutiny — Earlier, we reported that Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos (D), a candidate in the special election to replace resigned Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline (D), is under scrutiny about the legality of her petition signatures. Now, the situation has become more serious. Yesterday, the Rhode Island Board of Elections members voted 5-1 to investigate her petition filing.

The Board will order research on each of the submitted petition signatures to ensure the required number of legal entries are present. If short of the required 750 number, Matos would be disqualified from participating as a candidate in an election where she appears as the clear leader. A total of 12 Democrats have preliminarily been approved for the special election ballot. The Democratic primary, winning of which is tantamount to claiming the seat, is scheduled for Sept. 5.

CA-9: Candidate Withdraws; Endorses — Pastor Brett Dood, who had previously declared his congressional candidacy to compete against Rep. Josh Harder (D-Tracy), has announced that he will end his campaign. Dood then said he would support Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln (R) who became a congressional candidate last week. Republicans now appear to be uniting behind Lincoln, meaning they will have a credible challenger against Rep. Harder in a district that can become competitive.

In 2021 redistricting, Rep. Harder fared poorly and moved into the 9th District to run after veteran Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) announced his retirement. Though Rep. Harder had less than 28 percent of the crossover population from his previous 10th District, he still recorded a 55-45 percent victory over San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti (R) but needed to outspend him by a 6:1 ratio in order to do so.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-9 as D+8. Though in an underdog position, this is the type of seat Republicans need to put in play to protect their small majority.

NY-4: Dem Battle Brewing — There was no doubt that freshman Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park) was going to face a major re-election battle in 2024. He was the 2022 election cycle’s big upset winner in defeating former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen (D) in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+10. Now, however, it appears that Gillen, who has announced she will return for a rematch, will face her own major challenge in the Democratic primary.

Though he has not yet made an official announcement, two-term state Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) has filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission. Expect this race to draw significant national political attention from beginning to end.

Governor

Kentucky: GOP Poll Shows Closing Race — The Republican State Leadership Committee released a new Public Opinion Strategies survey (July 19-20; 500 Kentucky registered voters; live interview) showing a closing of the 2023 governor’s race between incumbent Gov. Andy Beshear (D) and Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R). The ballot test finds the governor holding only a 49-45 percent edge. The poll counters another POS poll from late June for a public interest group that posted Gov. Beshear to a 52-42 percent lead. The election is scheduled for Nov. 7.

New Hampshire: Former US Sen. Ayotte Enters Open Gov Race — Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R), who won a landslide 2010 victory with a 60-36 percent spread but lost her seat six years later to current incumbent Maggie Hassan (D) in a razor-thin 49-48 percent margin, announced Monday that she will return to active politics with a run for governor. Four-term incumbent Chris Sununu (R), who is not seeking a fifth two-year term, leaves behind what promises to be a hotly contested general election as well as two competitive party primaries.

In addition to Sen. Ayotte entering the governor’s race, former state Senate President and 2022 US Senate candidate Chuck Morse is also an announced Republican candidate. The Democrats already feature a race for their party nomination between Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington.

Brown Becoming Leading Senate GOP Candidate in Nevada; Redistricting Activist Challenges in Michigan; Kuster Stands Pat; Competition in NY-16; NC Gubernatorial Race Update

By Jim Ellis — Monday, July 24, 2023

Senate

Afghan War veteran Sam Brown (R)

Nevada: Brown Becoming GOP Candidate of Choice — Afghan War veteran Sam Brown (R), disfigured through his war injuries, is becoming the leading Nevada Republican US Senate candidate just since his official announcement on July 10.

According to published reports, he is already the leading fundraiser in the Republican field and has the endorsement of National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Steve Daines (R-MT), the Americans for Prosperity organization, and individual senators such as Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). The eventual Republican nominee will oppose first-term Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) in the general election. For Republicans to gain the Senate majority, the Nevada seat must become a prime target.

House

MI-4: Redistricting Activist to Challenge Rep. Huizenga — Attorney Jessica Swartz (D), who was one of the prime movers behind the successful ballot initiative to convert the Michigan redistricting system to a citizens’ commission, announced that she will challenge US Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland) next year.

Originally, Rep. Huizenga appeared to be the odd man out as national reapportionment cost Michigan a congressional seat. The map led to he and veteran Rep. Fred Upton (R) being paired in the new southwestern Michigan’s 4th CD. However, with Rep. Upton opting for retirement after serving 36 years in the House, that ultimately left the seat to Huizenga, who was re-elected with a 54-42 percent victory percentage last November even though he had not previously represented 75 percent of the new constituency. Expect this race to draw some national attention in 2024.

NH-2: Rep. Kuster Staying Put — Saying that Democrats already have “two great candidates,” US Rep. Annie Kuster (D-Hopkinton) said late last week that she would not enter the open governor’s race now that four-term incumbent Chris Sununu (R) has announced his retirement. It is presumed that Rep. Kuster will seek re-election to a seventh term in the House.

In her comments, Rep. Kuster was referring to Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington who are declared Democratic gubernatorial candidates. Republican former state Senate President Chuck Morse immediately announced his candidacy when Gov. Sununu made his retirement plans public. Ex-US Sen. Kelly Ayotte may also soon join the open Republican primary.

NY-16: Potential Tougher Challenger for Rep. Bowman — Last year, New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers) turned back two Democratic primary challengers by a 54-25-19 percent margin in what proved to be a moderately competitive campaign. This cycle, his competition may be more formidable.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer (D), who defeated a Republican incumbent in 2017 and then won a 62-38 percent re-election campaign, confirms that he is considering challenging Rep. Bowman. Prior to his election to local office, Latimer served in both the New York Assembly and state Senate. Westchester County, the population of which is just short of 1 million residents, dominates the 16th CD. A total of 91 percent of the district lies in this one county, with the remaining territory crossing into the Bronx borough.

Governor

North Carolina: New Candidate Emerges — Former state Sen. Andy Wells announced late last week that he will enter the Republican gubernatorial primary. This sets up a re-match of sorts with Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson. The two ran against each other in the 2020 lieutenant governor’s primary, a political battle that Robinson won by almost a 2:1 ratio. Also in the race is former Congressman Mark Walker. Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro at this point is unopposed but may have opposition from former state Supreme Court justice Mike Morgan. The 2024 governor’s race is open because incumbent Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.

Poll Shows Presidential Race Tightening; Ohio Senate Race Still a Toss-Up; Big Lead for Mondaire Jones; Gov. Sununu Declines to Run Again

By Jim Ellis — Friday, July 21, 2023

President

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)

New Hampshire: UNH Poll Shows GOP Race Tightening — A University of New Hampshire Granite State Poll was released during the week (July 13-17; 2,208 registered New Hampshire voters; 898 likely Republican primary voters; 743 likely Democratic primary voters; online), and it shows a tightening of the Republican presidential contest. According to this data, former President Donald Trump’s lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has dropped to 37-23 percent. The second tier has also moved up. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley all posted between eight and five percent support.

On the Democratic side, 65 percent of President Joe Biden’s voters say they will vote for him as a write-in if he doesn’t participate in the New Hampshire primary. This would likely be enough for him to beat Robert F. Kennedy Jr, even without the president’s name on the ballot. New Hampshire is not likely to agree with the new Democratic National Committee primary schedule, so Biden may not participate.

Senate

Ohio: New Poll Continues to Show Toss-Up Race — Suffolk University, polling for USA Today (July 9-12; 500 Ohio mostly likely voters; live interview), finds Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in a dead heat match with newly announced US Senate candidate Frank LaRose (R), Ohio’s Secretary of State. According to the results, the two candidates would each attract 45 percent of the vote. If state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) were the Republican nominee, Sen. Brown would lead 46-43 percent. Should businessman Bernie Moreno win the GOP primary, Sen. Brown’s margin against him in a general election pairing would be 48-41 percent.

The poll tested the Republican primary, but the sample cell is too low (190) to make a definitive judgment. The basic results give LaRose just a 19-14-9 percent edge over Sen. Dolan and Moreno, respectively. A majority of 56 percent, however, said they were undecided. Ohio will be one of the top Senate races in the 2024 general election.

House

NY-17: Ex-Rep Opens with Big Dem Primary Lead — Former US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D), in a comeback attempt in his former Rockland/Westchester County district after losing re-election last year in New York City, released a survey of Democratic voters. The results of the Public Policy Polling study (July 14-15; 570 likely NY-17 Democratic primary voters) gives Jones a strong 43-8 percent ballot test advantage over local school board member Liz Gereghty, who is also the sister of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). The Democratic primary winner will face freshman Rep. Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River) in what promises to be a tight general election.

Governor

New Hampshire: Gov. Sununu Won’t Run Again — As expected, four-term Granite State Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced Wednesday that he will retire when his term ends at the end of next year. Gov. Sununu is only the second chief executive in state history to serve four two-year terms. The other was Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who was in office from 2005 to the beginning of 2013.

Gov. Sununu was first elected in a close 2016 election, but then recorded three successive victories with substantial margins. He briefly considered entering the 2024 presidential campaign before deciding against launching a national effort.

Immediately, former state Senate President Chuck Morse (R), who actually served two days as governor when then-Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) resigned early to be sworn into the Senate, confirmed that he will run. Morse last ran for the Senate in 2022 but suffered a one-point loss in the Republican primary. Ex-US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) is also a potential gubernatorial candidate. Previously announced Democratic gubernatorial candidates are Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington. Expect this open governor’s race to yield a hard fought toss-up campaign.

Gallego Leads in Three-Way Polling; Montana Jungle Primary System Appears Dead; Rep. Bost Challenger in IL-12; Calif. Gubernatorial Candidate Announces; NH Candidate Jockeying;

By Jim Ellis — April 26, 2023

Senate

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D)

Arizona: Rep. Gallego (D) Leads in New Three-Way Polling — Rep. Ruben Gallego’s (D-Phoenix) US Senate campaign released its internal Public Policy Polling survey that gives the congressman healthy leads over all of the potential Republican opponents as well as incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I). The PPP poll (April 18-19; 559 Arizona voters) finds that former gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake performs best of the potential Republican nominees, trailing 42-35-14 percent with Sen. Sinema in third place. The poll also finds the incumbent plagued with a poor 27:50 percent favorability index.

These results are much different than the recent OH Predictive Insights poll that perched Gallego in the low 30s and Sen. Sinema hovering around the 20 percent mark with a favorability rating much closer to even. Expect to see many polls being released throughout this unique Senate campaign.

Montana: Top Two Primary Idea Appears Dead — The state measure to use the 2024 US Senate race as a test case for a top two all-party jungle primary system appears to be dead. GOP state legislators appear not to have the stomach to move forward with the test, even though the state Senate had originally passed the legislation.

Republicans were apparently trying to eliminate the probability of the Libertarian candidate attracting in the three percent range, which is common in Montana. The belief is most of those votes would go to a Republican candidate. Therefore, eliminating minor party candidates from the general election ballot would at least theoretically make Sen. Jon Tester’s (D) road to re-election much more difficult.

House

IL-12: Ex-GOP Gubernatorial Nominee to Challenge Rep. Mike Bost (R) — Former Illinois state senator and 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey (losing 55-42 percent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, D) is reportedly testing the political waters for a primary challenge to five-term Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro/Carbondale).

The 12th District is one of just three Republican seats in the state and occupies all of southern Illinois. It appears a Bailey victory path is difficult to chart, since Rep. Bost is solidly conservative and unlikely to upset the party base. Should Bailey move forward, this will be another race to watch in Illinois’ March 19, 2024, primary.

Governor

California: Lieutenant Governor Already Announces — California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D) is wasting no time in making her intention known that she will run for governor in 2026. She announced Monday the formation of her campaign committee even though the electoral contest is still three years away from occurring. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will be ineligible to seek a third term at that time. It had become common knowledge that Kounalakis would not enter the open 2024 US Senate race because she was planning a ’26 gubernatorial bid.

New Hampshire: Ex-Senate Candidate Eyes Governor Race — Former state Senate President Chuck Morse (R), who lost the 2022 Republican US Senate primary by one percentage point, confirms that he has interest in running for governor next year if incumbent Chris Sununu (R) decides not to seek a fifth term.

Though New Hampshire has just two-year gubernatorial terms, only Gov. Sununu and former Gov. John Lynch (D) have served four consecutive terms. Most believe that Gov. Sununu will not run a fifth time since he is a potential presidential candidate. It is possible, however, for him to enter the national campaign and still have time to again run for governor should he not succeed in his presidential effort. New Hampshire has one of the latest candidate filing deadlines and primary elections in the country.

Former US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) is also frequently mentioned as a potential open-seat gubernatorial contender. Outgoing Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig attracts the most attention as a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate.