Tag Archives: CO-4

Boebert Tops GOP Assembly Vote;
Two Qualify for CO-3 Primary;
Three-Way Outcome in CA-16; Morrisey Stretches Lead in WVA.

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, April 9, 2024

House

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

CO-4: Boebert Tops GOP Assembly Vote — Colorado Republicans met in a pair of local assemblies to potentially send candidates to the June 25 primary election. The big story surrounding the party assemblies comes from former Rep. Ken Buck’s (R) open 4th District where 3rd District Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) is attempting to win re-election in a new CD. Many believed she would not fare particularly well at the assembly, but a plurality of the 527 attending delegates proved them wrong.

Boebert finished first in the voting with 41 percent support, thus awarding her the first ballot position in the June 25 Republican primary. Former state Sen. Ted Harvey, who many believed to be the favorite, finished with 26 percent of the delegate vote. Therefore, he did not qualify for the ballot. Since he did not circulate petitions, Harvey is eliminated. Several others will qualify through petition, meaning we will see a contested primary election in this district.

CO-3: Two Qualify for Primary — Under Colorado election procedure, a candidate can qualify for the ballot either by receiving at least 30 percent of the delegate vote at district assembly or petitioning onto the ballot with 1,500 signatures for a congressional race. A candidate can both participate in the assembly and obtain signatures.

If a contender draws less than 10 percent of the assembly vote, he or she is disqualified from the primary.

In Rep. Boebert’s now open 3rd District, two individuals exceeded the 30 percent threshold, therefore securing primary ballot positions. Colorado Board of Education Member Stephen Varela and former state representative Ron Hanks have earned the first and second ballot positions.

Businessman Curtis McCrackin, who did not participate in the assembly, has qualified through petition signatures. Three more have submitted petitions and are awaiting certification from the secretary of state. An additional three candidates failed to reach the 10 percent threshold at the district assembly and are disqualified. Democrat Adam Frisch, the 2022 candidate, who lost to Boebert by only 546 votes, is a virtual lock to again be his party’s nominee.

CA-16: The Three-Way Outcome — Though official certification of the March 5th California primary will not occur until April 12, it appears that the second general election position in the state’s 16th Congressional District will end in a tie. With no votes remaining to be counted, San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian (D) and Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) both have garnered 30,249 votes. In first position is former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) with 38,489 tallies.

Under the top-two California jungle primary law, in the case of a tie the deadlocked participants both advance to the general election. The state has no automatic recount law, but a candidate can request, and pay for, a recount of the ballots. It is highly unlikely that either Simitian or Low will call for a recount, however. At this point, both are in the general election and a recount would very likely change the outcome by a small number of votes. This means each would be rolling the dice that a new tally would favor them.

The interesting part of this scenario, however, is whether Liccardo, the first-place finisher, will call for a recount. He is determining if a three-way race is to his benefit or squaring off with one of the others. Since he already placed first in the crowded field of 11 candidates, he will probably conclude that his chances are best in the three-way field. Therefore, this is a rare situation when the top-two system actually produced three qualifiers. And, to make the outcome even rarer, all three are Democrats.

Governor

West Virginia: Morrisey Stretches Lead in New Poll — WPA Intelligence released a survey for the Black Bear Super PAC, which supports Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s (R) bid for governor. The poll, (March 12-13; 501 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters) sees the AG posting a 37-20-19-14 percent GOP primary advantage over former Delegate Moore Capito, businessman Chris Miller, and Secretary of State Mac Warner, respectively.

The numbers and candidate order has remained consistent through three WPAi polls beginning with their first study in November. The West Virginia primary is scheduled for May 14. Gov. Jim Justice (R), ineligible to seek a third term, is running for US Senate. The eventual Republican nominee will have the inside track toward winning the general election.

Trump Stirs Controversy in Florida; Fong Saga Continues in California; Republicans Choose CO-4 Candidate; New Jersey Primary Challenge

By Jim Ellis — Monday, April 1, 2024

House

Florida Rep. Laurel Lee (R-Tampa)

FL-15: Rep. Lee’s New Opponent — Former President Trump may have ignited a hornets’ nest when he called for a MAGA candidate to come forward to oppose GOP freshman Rep. Laurel Lee (R-Tampa). While that has yet to happen, the controversy within the Republican base may have encouraged a new Democrat to come forward in what is a competitive district. Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp (D) announced on Friday that he will enter the Democratic primary and immediately becomes the favorite for the party nomination.

Trump targeted Rep. Lee because she was the only member of the Florida Republican delegation to endorse Gov. Ron DeSantis against the former president in this year’s national campaign. Florida’s 15th District carries an R+7 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization. However, Trump won the district by only a 51-48 percent margin in the 2020 presidential election.

CA-20: Appellate Court to Hear Fong Ballot Status — The Vince Fong ballot saga is not yet over. You may remember because former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) resigned from the House at the California candidate filing deadline, the Secretary of State disqualified Fong from running for Congress because he was already certified as a candidate for state Assembly to remain in his seat there. California election law prohibits candidates from running for more than one office simultaneously and the withdrawal deadline had already expired.

Fong sued over the decision and the court awarded him the congressional ballot line. Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) appealed the ruling, however, and arguments will be heard this week. Therefore, though Assemblyman Fong has qualified for both the special and regular general elections for the congressional seat, an adverse appellate court ruling could send this succession election into political chaos.

CO-4: Republicans Choose Caretaker Candidate — Late last week, the local Republican committee formed to choose a special election nominee for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District special election to replace resigned Rep. Ken Buck (R) chose a candidate who agreed not to run for the regular term. The move is a break for US Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt), switching over from District 3, and the 10 other candidates in the regular Republican primary.

The committee chose former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez as their special election candidate. He will be favored to win the upcoming special election which is held concurrently with the regular primary on June 25.

Lopez, a former state director for the Small Business Administration, will be favored against the Democratic nominee who will be chosen later today. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CO-4 as R+26. Former President Donald Trump won the seat 58-39 percent in the 2020 presidential election.

States

New Jersey: Court Rejects Party County Line Balloting — New Jersey is one of the few remaining states where the county political parties have substantial power. What makes them strong is endorsing candidates in the primary and providing them extremely favorable ballot placements to the point where opponents are listed on separate ballot pages.

Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown), running for the Senate, filed suit against the practice and the federal judge granted a preliminary injunction to halt the practice. While Kim is now becoming the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic Senate nomination since First Lady Tammy Murphy exited the race and Sen. Bob Menendez announced that he is not seeking the party nomination, his legal move will likely create a more even playing field for down-ballot races. This will probably become a major factor in changing how New Jersey primaries are run.

Conflicting Polls in Ohio; Boebert Won’t Run in Special; Ranked Choice Toss-up Result in Alaska; California General Election Becoming Clearer

By Jim Ellis — Monday, March 18, 2024

Senate

Ohio businessman Bernie Moreno (R)

Ohio: Conflicting Polls — Late last week, we reported on an Emerson College poll of the Ohio Senate Republican primary that posted state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) to a 26-23-16 percent edge over businessman Bernie Moreno and Secretary of State Frank LaRose, respectively. Now we see a Survey USA study (March 6-11; 1,241 registered Ohio voters; 533 likely Republican primary voters; online) that projects Moreno holding a 22-18-16 percent lead over Sen. Dolan and Secretary LaRose. The closeness of both polls suggests any of the three still has a chance to win this coming Tuesday.

House

CO-4: Boebert Won’t Run in Special — Colorado US Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) announced late last week that she will not compete in the special election to replace resigning Rep. Ken Buck (R-Windsor) but will remain in the race for the full term. Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave Williams, who is himself a congressional candidate in open District 5, announced that he will be assembling a committee of party leaders and elected officials to choose a 4th District special election nominee within “the next several weeks.” Gov. Jared Polis (D) has already said he will schedule the special election concurrently with the state’s June 25 primary election. The Democrats have a selection committee of more than 200 members, and the party leadership says a special vote to choose their nominee will occur on April 1.

The move not to enter the special makes sense for Boebert. It is highly unlikely that she would be chosen as the committee’s nominee, since she currently represents another district. Therefore, if the congresswoman wins the regular primary election it is irrelevant as to who would hold the seat for the remainder of this term. Unless the special election winner also wins the regular primary on the same day, then said person will not compete in the general election.

AK-AL: New Poll Shows Ranked Choice Toss-up Result — A new Data for Progress survey (Feb. 23-March 2; 1,120 likely Alaska general election voters; web to text) finds a very tight impending at-large congressional race with no clear leader after several hypothetical rounds of Ranked Choice Voting. Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Bethel) leads the original field of businessman and former congressional candidate Nick Begich III (R), Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom (R), and Libertarian Chris Bye by a 44-35-10-2 percent break. In Ranked Choice Voting, the primary sends four candidates to the general election and the pollsters project these individuals would be the eventual finalists.

Since no one receives majority support in the initial round, RCV begins, and Bye is eliminated. In the second round, Rep. Peltola would lead 48-41-12 percent over Begich and Dahlstrom. This result would lead to Dahlstrom’s elimination. The third round finds Peltola and Begich in a dead heat at 50-50 percent. Though Rep. Peltola has a 10-point personal favorability spread, the best of all the tested politicians, it appears the electoral system makes this race a toss-up.

California: General Election Becoming Clearer — More vote totals are being released from the long California ballot counting process, and congressional general election matchups are now becoming cemented. In preparation for Tuesday’s special election to replace resigned House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, it is now likely that we will see a double-Republican regular general election between Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Bourdeaux.

To the Democrats’ benefit in open Districts 30 and 31, Democratic-Republican general elections appear to be the final result. Such pairings would almost assuredly elect state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) to replace Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), and former Congressman Gil Cisneros (D) returning to the House to succeed retiring Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) also appears to be a certainty.

The closest race is occurring in open District 16 where Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Atherton) is retiring. Former San Jose Mayor Sam Riccardo (D) has secured the first general election position, but the battle for second place is still undecided. San Mateo County Supervisor and former state Sen. Joe Simitian (D) has yielded second place to Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell). The razor-thin margin is only 59 votes between the two according to the secretary of state’s official count. An unspecified number of ballots remain uncounted. District 16 will definitely send two Democrats to the general election, but the second finalist position is still undecided.

Chaos in CO-4 Helps Boebert; LA-6 Candidate Announcement; Ashcroft Leading in Open Missouri Race;
Big Lead for Spanberger in Virginia

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Jan. 26, 2024

House

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

CO-4: Brewing Chaos Likely Helps Rep. Boebert — Colorado’s open 4th District Republican primary featuring 11 announced candidates is beginning to deteriorate, which could favor Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt). Boebert is moving into this open district to seek re-election instead of facing the most well-funded congressional candidate in America from her original District 3.

Two of the more prominent candidates are embroiled in controversy. State Rep. Mike Lynch (R-Ft. Lupton), as now comes to the forefront, was arrested in 2022 on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in addition to possessing a firearm while intoxicated. Lynch pled guilty to the charges and is serving a probationary sentence. His congressional candidacy has obviously brought the arrest to the forefront, and the publicity surrounding it has caused a movement within the state House Republican caucus to remove Lynch as Minority Leader. Not wanting to face a vote, Lynch quickly resigned from his leadership position.

Pro-life State Rep. Richard Holtorf (R-Akron), another District 4 candidate, who in urging a “No” vote on an abortion-related piece of legislation, stated that he had helped finance a girlfriend’s abortion and further said having the procedure helped her “live her best life.” He, too, is at the center of a media storm and his inconsistency will clearly diminish his prospects as a congressional candidate. Though other credible candidates, such as former state legislator Ted Harvey, are in the crowded GOP primary, Rep. Boebert is now in better position thanks to two of her main opponents being forced to navigate rough political waters.

LA-6: Ex-Congressman Announces for New Seat — Originally being elected to Congress in 1992 and serving only two terms after a mid-decade court-ordered redistricting map changed the political landscape thus forcing him to retire, state Sen. Cleo Fields (D-Baton Rouge) announced that he will enter the race to fill the new court-ordered revamped 6th Congressional District that stretches from Baton Rouge to Shreveport. Therefore, Sen. Fields will attempt a long-awaited return to the US House, a body from which he departed 28 years ago.

We can expect a spirited open-seat campaign among Democrats who will be competing to win the new district later in this year’s regular election. The seat is designed to elect an African-American Democrat. Current 6th District incumbent Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) will look to run elsewhere, probably in the new 5th District where he will be forced to challenge fellow GOP Rep. Julia Letlow (R-Start).

Governor

Missouri: Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft Leading Open Governor’s Race — The Remington Research Group, the usual pollster for the Missouri Scout political blog, went into the field to test the open Republican gubernatorial primary to be decided in early August. The survey (Jan. 17-18; 806 likely Missouri Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) sees Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R), son of former Missouri senator and US Attorney General John Ashcroft, leading the field for the GOP nomination.

According to the Remington results, Ashcroft posts a 34-20-4 percent advantage over Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, and state Sen. Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Spring), respectively. The eventual Republican nominee will be a clear favorite to win the general election. Gov. Mike Parson (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.

Virginia: Rep. Spanberger Opens With Big Lead for ‘25 — Though the next open Virginia governor’s race isn’t until November of 2025, candidates are already building war chests and developing campaign strategies to succeed Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) who is ineligible to seek a second term.

As a result of the early activity, Christopher Newport University included a Democratic primary question on their latest statewide survey (Jan. 11-17; 1,000 registered Virginia voters; live interview). The results project US Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) opening with a big lead over Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. On the ballot test, Rep. Spanberger posts a 52-8 percent advantage and already leads Stoney in fundraising $3.6 million to $750,000. While the congresswoman is off to a fast start, many months remain before this primary and general election are decided.

The Boebert Switch

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024

House

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Election Strategy: Rep. Boebert Jumps Districts — During the Holiday break, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) announced for re-election as expected, but surprisingly from a different place.

Saying, “I will not allow dark money that is directed at destroying me personally to steal this seat. It’s not fair to the 3rd District and the conservatives there who have fought so hard for our victories,” Rep. Boebert announced that she is leaving her western Colorado congressional seat to seek re-election in eastern Colorado’s 4th CD. The 4th is open because five-term Rep. Ken Buck (R-Windsor) is retiring.

Together, the 3rd and 4th districts form a virtual horseshoe within the state’s confines. The 3rd contains Colorado’s northwest border and the state’s entire western boundary shared with Utah. The 4th encompasses the Centennial State’s northeast border and the entire eastern edge shared with Nebraska and Kansas. Together, the two districts then form Colorado’s southern border co-occupied with New Mexico and Oklahoma.

While Rep. Boebert faces difficult odds in attempting to capture the Republican nomination in an unfamiliar open district, a reconfigured seat that encompasses less than five percent of the constituency that initially elected her in 2020, her chances are likely better than winning the general election in her current CD even though CO-3 is considered a relatively safe Republican seat.

Her move is largely an admission that she would not win re-election in the 3rd District, especially with 2022 Democratic opponent Adam Frisch (D), a former Aspen City Councilman, having already raised just under $8 million through the Sept. 30 campaign finance period. During the same period, Rep. Boebert raised $2.4 million.

Boebert, who won with the closest 2022 re-election of any House race in the country (a 546-vote margin from 327,132 cast ballots), severely under-performed in a 3rd District that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+15. It was clear that she would be the most endangered incumbent seeking re-election in a non-redistricting political situation.

Therefore, her switch to the 4th CD, Colorado’s safest Republican seat (FiveThirtyEight: R+26; Daily Kos Elections ranks it as the 115th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference), not only enhances Rep. Boebert’s ability to remain in Congress but is a major boon to the Republican Party because a new 3rd District GOP candidate will begin at least on an even footing with Frisch.

Continue reading

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.

Pennsylvania’s McCormick Announces for Senate; Retired Police Chief Craig to Announce Candidacy; Anti-Impeachment Rep. May Resign; IL-17 Battle; No Re-Election Run for Rep. Baird; Primary Clash Evolving in Maine; Chaffetz Declines to Run

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Sept. 25, 2023

Senate

Pennsylvania: Republicans Get Their Man — David McCormick, the former CEO of the Bridgewater Associates hedge fund who lost to Dr. Mehmet Oz by just 950 votes in the 2022 Pennsylvania US Senate race, announced late last week that he is returning next year to challenge Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D). Though he faces an uphill battle, McCormick’s presence gives the Republicans a credible candidate with whom to challenge the three-term incumbent.

Though Pennsylvania decidedly leans Democratic, it is one of the top targeted states in the presidential election. While that will mean more focus on former President Donald Trump throughout the general election campaign, it also means that McCormick will be the beneficiary of more party resources being spent on organization and voter turnout operations. At this point, Sen. Casey must be rated a clear favorite for re-election, but this contest is now a race to watch.

Retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig (R)

Michigan: Another Candidate to Announce — According to the Politico publication, retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig (R) will announce his US Senate candidacy at the beginning of October. Craig had filed to run for governor in 2022 but failed to return the proper number of valid petition signatures, thus disqualifying him.

Assuming this report is true, Craig will enter an Aug. 6 Republican primary against the favorite for the nomination, former Congressman Mike Rogers, and Michigan Board of Education member Nikki Snyder who was the first candidate to announce. The winner will then likely challenge Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) who is favored to win the Democratic nomination.

House

CO-4: Rep. Buck Faces Potential GOP Challenge, May Resign — Rep. Ken Buck (R-Windsor), who has been critical of the House Republican leadership for moving to an impeachment hearing against President Joe Biden, may resign his seat. Apparently, he is talking to both MSNBC and CNN about developing a contractual relationship.

Additionally, as a direct result of his latest Republican-on-Republican attacks, Rep. Buck may have drawn a potential GOP primary challenger. State Rep. Richard Holtorf (R-Akron) filed a congressional exploratory committee to assess his chances against Rep. Buck in the expansive eastern Colorado district. The 4th District is safely Republican (R+26 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization) and encompasses most of the Colorado territory north and east of the Denver metropolitan area.

IL-17: Former Local Judge to Run for Congress — Former Circuit Judge Joseph McGraw (R), who resigned from the bench in July igniting speculation that he would run for Congress, has filed an organizational committee with the Federal Election Commission. He would join a field that includes businessman Ray Estrada and farmer Scot Crowl. The eventual Republican nominee will then challenge freshman Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-Moline) in a heavily gerrymandered district that begins in the city of Rockford, meanders west to capture the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, then back east to the cities of Galesburg, Peoria, and Bloomington.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+4. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 51.1D – 44.0R. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks IL-17 as the 26th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic conference. Republican Esther Joy King twice ran here, losing a competitive 2022 battle to Sorensen by a 52-48 percent count.

IN-4: Rep. Baird Reportedly Won’t Run for Re-Election — The local Indiana blog Howey Politics is reporting that US Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) is planning to retire in 2024 but may time his announcement to block other Republicans from challenging his son, state Rep. Beau Baird (R). The 4th District, located north and west of Indianapolis, is safely Republican. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+33. The Daily Kos House overview ranks IN-4 as the 59th safest seat in the Republican conference.

Now that local media reports are already covering this story, the element of surprise has been lost. Therefore, potential candidates wanting to run will now be ready to file in case Rep. Baird does not.

ME-2: Republican Primary Developing — Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, which has delivered an electoral vote to Donald Trump both in 2016 and 2020, is rated as the second-most vulnerable seat in the Democratic conference. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+10 yet, and largely thanks to Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting system, Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) has won three consecutive elections here.

With former Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) out of the 2024 picture, Republican leaders were pleased to see state representative and former NASCAR driver Austin Theriault (R-Fort Kent) come forward last week to declare his congressional candidacy. Now, Theriault has company. Fellow state Rep. Michael Soboleski (R-Phillips) declared his candidacy, thus creating a Republican nomination battle in the June 18, 2024, state primary. Regardless of who wins the party nomination, ME-2 will be a major GOP target race next year.

Governor

Utah: Ex-Rep Chaffetz Not Likely to Run — Former congressman and Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz (R) late last week ruled out challenging Gov. Spencer Cox in next year’s Republican primary and also said, while not closing the door on running for Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R) open seat, that the Senate race is “not something I’m actively pursuing.” The political move that he finds most attractive at present is entering the open 2028 gubernatorial campaign when Gov. Cox will be ineligible to seek re-election.