Tag Archives: Colorado

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.

Pence Suspends Campaign; Allred Leads in Texas Poll; Boebert Struggling in Colorado; Gimenez Jumping Into FL-28 Campaign; Georgia Governor Calls Special Session

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023

President

Former Vice President Mike Pence / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Mike Pence: Suspends Campaign — At the Republican Jewish Coalition event in Las Vegas on Saturday, former Vice President Mike Pence, saying it is evident that “now is not my time” suspended his 2024 presidential campaign. Pence follows former US Rep. Will Hurd and commentator Larry Elder in dropping out of the presidential race. Upon his exit, Pence did not endorse another candidate as Hurd did, who now supports former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley; Elder is backing former President Donald Trump.

Senate

Texas: Rep. Allred Leads in Dem Primary Poll — YouGov, polling for the University of Texas, conducted a new statewide poll of the Lone Star electorate (Oct. 5-17; 1,200 registered Texas voters; 568 likely Republican primary voters; 409 likely Democratic primary voters; online; weighted sample). In testing the Senate Democratic primary, the pollsters found US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) leading state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), 2022 congressional candidate Sherri Taylor, former Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez, and state Rep. Carl Sherman (D-Dallas) with a 21-10-3-2-2 percent, respectively. Nine additional names were also included on the ballot test question.

Though Rep. Allred, the Democratic establishment-backed candidate, has a lead in polling and certainly fundraising, the large field and his underwhelming early support total suggests it will be difficult for him, or any other candidate, to win the primary outright on March 5. Therefore, advancing to a May 28 runoff election between the top two Democratic primary finishers at this time appears a likely result.

House

CO-3: Boebert Primary Opponent Gaining Steam — Attorney Jeff Hurd, one of four Republicans challenging Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) for re-election in Colorado’s western slope 3rd District, has earned a major endorsement. Former two-term Gov. Bill Owens (R-1999-2007), the last Republican to win the office, announced his support for Hurd late last week.

Rep. Boebert will be hard-pressed to win re-election. Surviving in the closest campaign of 2022 (a 546-vote margin), her former opponent, ex-Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch (D), is returning for a re-match and has already raised a whopping $8.5 million toward his 2024 campaign. A strong Republican primary challenge from Hurd will now be interesting to watch. The Colorado primary is scheduled for June 25, 2024.

FL-28: Rep. Gimenez Leads in New Poll — Retired Navy Cmdr. Phil Ehr (D), who twice ran unsuccessfully for Florida’s northernmost district (FL-1; losing general election to Rep. Matt Gaetz in 2020; losing Democratic primary in 2018) is now attempting to win the state’s southernmost district, FL-28. A new Change Research poll, conducted for Ehr’s fledgling campaign (Oct. 13-17; 500 likely 2024 FL-28 general election voters; online) finds Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Miami) leading Ehr, 45-32 percent.

There has been speculation that Rep. Gimenez, a former Miami-Dade County mayor who was ineligible to seek re-election to a third term in 2020, may eschew re-election to the House in order to oppose the individual who succeeded him, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D).

Rep. Gimenez first won his US House seat in 2020, defeating then-Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D), who is now running for US Senate. He was re-elected in 2022 with a strong 64-36 percent victory margin. The 28th District, which stretches from Miami to Key West, is politically marginal. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+4. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a different partisan lean, however. Dave’s App finds the Democrats holding a 51.0 to 47.6 partisan advantage. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 12th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference.

Georgia: Governor Calls Special Session — In order to comply with last week’s federal district judicial ruling that declared the Georgia congressional and state legislative maps as illegal racial gerrymanders, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has scheduled a special legislative session for Nov. 29 for purposes of drawing new congressional and legislative boundaries. Republicans may appeal the ruling, however, which could delay the process. Therefore, it remains unclear if any new map will take effect in time for the 2024 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.

Former NASCAR Driver Declares in Maine; Ohio Redistricting Lines Stand; New Candidates in CO-8 & VA-2

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Sept. 11, 2023

House

Austin Theriault (R), retired NASCAR driver

ME-2: Former NASCAR Driver Declares for Congress — Austin Theriault (R), a retired NASCAR driver who is now a state representative from one of the Canadian border districts in northern Maine, is reportedly planning to challenge Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) in the most Republican district that elects a Democrat to the House. Rep. Golden has twice defeated now-former Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) with the help of the Ranked Choice Voting system, which eliminates the possibility of a plurality victory.

Without Poliquin making a return appearance, Republicans need a fresh candidate to potentially take advantage of what could be a more favorable GOP turnout model. Former President Donald Trump has twice carried the 2nd District, in 2020 by six percentage points, so running with him in 2024 is more attractive than in other election years.

Ohio Redistricting: Lines Will Stand for 2024 — The Ohio State Supreme Court late this week rejected plaintiffs’ arguments that a new congressional map should be drawn, meaning the current lines will remain intact for the 2024 election. Under the original redistricting act’s passage, the map was to be reconfigured after four years, meaning before the 2026 election. That remains to be the case. In the meantime, activists are attempting to qualify a ballot initiative that would transform the Ohio redistricting system into a citizens’ commission. The initiative organizers need 413,000 valid Ohio registered voter signatures to qualify their measure for a vote in the 2024 election.

CO-8: GOP State Rep Announces Candidacy — State Rep. Gabe Evans (R-Westminster), an Army veteran and ex-police officer, has entered the 8th District Republican congressional primary with the quest of challenging freshman Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Thornton) who represents one of the most politically marginal districts in the country. The 8th District was awarded to Colorado in the 2020 national apportionment formula due to extensive population growth.

The Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission crafted the seat, just north of Denver, as one that either party can win in any election year. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat R+3, while Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a partisan lean that slightly favors the Democrats, 48.3D – 47.0R. President Joe Biden carried the district, 50.8 – 46.3 percent.

Rep. Evans, should he win the primary, will be a strong candidate for the Republicans. State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-Weld County), who held Rep. Caraveo to a 48.4 – 47.7 percent tight victory, is not seeking a re-match. Instead, she is running for re-election to her current position in the state Senate. Weld County Commissioner Scott James will be opposing Evans for the Republican nomination.

VA-2: Democrats Recruit Challenger Candidate — In further evidence that defeated Rep. Elaine Luria (D) will not seek a re-match with freshman Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach), Democrats have found a new candidate in the person of Missy Cotter Smasal, a Navy veteran and former state Senate candidate. At this point, she is the only announced Democratic contender and has support from former Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and newly elected US Rep. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond).

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the Virginia Beach anchored 2nd District as R+6. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 50.1R – 48.3D.

WI-3: Former Local Board Chairman Enters Cong Race — Former La Crosse County Board chair Tara Johnson, who served 20 years on the local panel, announced that she is joining the Democratic primary in hope of challenging freshman Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Prairie du Chien/La Crosse) in next year’s general election.

The race is getting more attention from Democrats who believe southern Wisconsin will be redrawn with their presumption that the new state Supreme Court Democratic majority will find a way to toss the current map. Johnson joins business owner and 2022 congressional candidate Rebecca Cooke in the Democratic primary. The seat appears relatively safe for Rep. Van Orden in its current configuration, but a redraw could drastically change the situation.

McClain Declines Michigan Senate Run; Boebert Challenged in CO-3; Pappas Gets Republican Challenger; Matos Review Reversed

By Jim Ellis — Monday, July 31, 2023

Senate

© Theresa Finck Photography 2018, Lisa McClain for Congress

Michigan: Rep. McClain Declines Senate Run — Two-term Michigan US Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Bruce), who represents the region commonly referred to as “the thumb” since the state’s Lower Peninsula configuration resembles a human hand, said yesterday that she will not enter the open US Senate race next year. The move presumes that she will seek re-election to the House in 2024.

Rep. McClain had been mentioned from time to time but was not considered as having a serious desire to run for the Senate, so her decision to pass on the statewide run is not surprising. As the Republican Conference Secretary, Rep. McClain is part of the GOP majority leadership team.

House

CO-3: Dem Primary Forming to Challenge Rep. Boebert — Grand Junction Mayor Mary Anna Stout (D) announced late last week that she will run for the US House. Her main opponent in the Democratic primary is 2022 nominee Adam Frisch, who only lost to Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) by 546 votes in the closest US House race in the country. Beginning this campaign, Frisch has already raised a whopping $2.6 million in the 2nd Quarter and has $2.5 million cash-on-hand, or more than $1 million over what Rep. Boebert has in her account ($1.4 million). Three other minor Democrats are also announced candidates.

There are two options for qualifying for the Colorado ballot. First, is through garnering the requisite number of delegate votes at the Democratic Party district convention, or second, through obtaining petition signatures from registered voters in the particular district. It is a virtual certainty that Frisch will dominate the convention, so the others will likely choose the petition route. The CO-3 race will probably be the top Democratic conversion target in the country next year despite a R+15 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization.

NH-1: Rep. Pappas Draws GOP Opponent — Former New Hampshire Executive Councilor and ex-state Sen. Russell Prescott (R) announced that he will again enter the 1st District congressional race. He ran in 2022 but finished a poor fourth in the Republican primary with only 10 percent of the vote. Prescott and incumbent Rep. Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) are well known to each other. They served together on the state’s Executive Council, the position Pappas held before his election to the House in 2018.

Prior to redistricting, the 1st District had defeated more incumbents than any seat in the country during the past decade. Therefore, the campaigns here are always competitive. Rep. Pappas won a surprisingly strong 54-46 percent victory last November over former Trump Assistant Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt (R).

RI-1: Board of Elections Reverses Course — After voting 5-1 to review the signature petition process for Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos’ (D) special election congressional campaign, the Board members reversed themselves 24 hours later. Their stated reasoning is that the local boards had already done the job of culling through the names and referring those they found irregular to law enforcement.

The reversal sets the stage for Matos being approved for the ballot. Early polling casts her as the race leader. A dozen Democrats have already been awarded a ballot position. The special Democratic primary to replace resigned Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) is scheduled for Sept. 5. The special general will be Nov. 7, but winning the Democratic primary will prove tantamount to claiming the seat.

Flores Announces Rematch Bid in Texas; New Colorado Candidate; Close Polling in Illinois; New York State Senator to Enter House Race

By Jim Ellis — Friday, July 14, 2023

House

Mayra Flores

TX-34: Former Rep. Flores (R) Announces Rematch Bid — In 2020, Republican Mayra Flores won a special election to succeed resigned Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) in the pre-redistricting 34th District. The post-redistricting seat changed the 34th from a D+5 seat according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization into a D+17. Predictably, Flores, then being forced to run against another incumbent, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen), lost by a substantial 53-44 percent margin.

This week, Flores announced that she will return for a rematch with Rep. Gonzalez, though her odds of attaining victory are not appreciably better. Her presence makes the seat somewhat competitive, but Rep. Gonzalez must again be considered a strong favorite in a district drawn to elect a Democrat so a Republican, in this case Rep. Monica de la Cruz (R-McAllen), could win the adjacent 15th CD.

CO-8: No Rematch; GOP has New Candidate — One of the closest 2022 congressional elections came in the northern Denver suburbs from a new seat that Colorado earned in national reapportionment. In November, then-state Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Thornton) defeated state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R), 48.3 – 47.7 percent, to become the first winner of this new congressional district. In 2024, the Republicans will have a new candidate.

Kirkmeyer announced Wednesday that she will not return for a congressional rematch next year, instead saying she will seek re-election to the state Senate. Upon that announcement, Weld County Commissioner Scott James (R) immediately filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission. The close political nature of this new district means we will again see a competitive race here in 2024, and very likely another close finish.

IL-12: Close Primary Challenge Poll — At a 4th of July celebration event, former state senator and 2022 Illinois Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey announced a congressional primary challenge to veteran Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro), the chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Committee.

Immediately after the 4th, the Cor Strategies firm went into the field with a survey (July 5-8; 661 IL-12 registered Republican voters; multiple sampling techniques) and sees Rep. Bost posting only a 43-37 percent advantage over Bailey. The congressman leads big in the southern and western parts of the district while Bailey has a clear advantage in the northern and eastern geographic sections.

NY-22: State Senator Says he will Run for Congress — Freshman Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Syracuse) scored a 50-49 percent win in November to secure a D+2 (according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization) seat for the GOP. A pair of Democrats had already announced for the seat, including local town councilwoman Sarah Klee Hood, and now state Sen. John Mannion (D-Geddes) says he will enter next year’s congressional race. During Rep. John Katko’s (R) four-term congressional career, the district was perennially competitive, and the same pattern is likely to continue well into this decade.

Countering the Record

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, May 18, 2023

Elections

Jacksonville, Fla., former local news anchor Donna Deegan (D).

The media is covering Tuesday’s elections — particularly in Jacksonville, Fla. and Colorado Springs, Colo. — as Democratic or liberal upsets, but much more exists below the political surface that the analysts are either ignoring or missing.

To recap, Democratic former local news anchor Donna Deegan scored a 52-48 percent victory over Republican Chamber of Commerce CEO Daniel Davis. The media analysts portrayed the race as an upset since the Republicans held the Jacksonville mayor’s office for the past eight years in the person of term-limited incumbent Lenny Curry.

In actuality, the upset was Curry winning the past two elections, and not Deegan scoring this most recent victory. Though the Republicans now have a 400,000-plus person voter registration advantage statewide in Florida, Democrats considerably outnumber Republicans, by approximately five percentage points, within Jacksonville.

Additionally, the combined minority population in the city, led by the African-American contingent at 31 percent, now comprise a slight majority. Considering that Democrats do much better than Republicans within these communities, a victory for them in the citywide mayor’s race is less than surprising.

Furthermore, Deegan did not emphasize typical Democratic themes in her communication points. Rather, she issued detailed plans on infrastructure, affordable housing, downtown redevelopment, emergency health service, and creating a plan for attracting further state and federal aid for local projects. Therefore, her broad-based plan was more comprehensive and sellable than her Republican opponent’s approach.

In Colorado Springs, Independent candidate Yemi Mobolade, easily defeated Republican former Secretary of State Wayne Williams. Though Mobolade grew up in the socialist country of Nigeria, his campaign talking points were hardly based upon those values.

Mobolade is the city’s Small Business Development administrator who emphasized business, community and leadership development, entrepreneurship, and ministry in his successful mayoral campaign. His was not a left of center message, and though Republicans lost this mayoral race, it was not a liberal who won.

Philadelphia’s Democratic mayoral primary ended much differently than polling projected. Though the data consistently showed as many as five candidates having a chance to win the primary, the final result proved decisive. Former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker captured the party nomination in rather easy fashion, a 33-23-22-11-9 percent margin over former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart, ex-City Councilmember Helen Gym, former City Councilman Allan Domb, and businessman Jeff Brown.

All of the politicians are “formers” because Philadelphia has a resign-to-run ordinance in effect for city officials. Therefore, in order to seek a different office than the one held an official must resign before declaring a new candidacy.

In Philadelphia, the analysis coverage was not necessarily miscast, but a key point was glanced over. That is, the candidate furthest to the left and the one who drew the most support from the vocal progressive left movement, which included endorsements from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), was former City Councilwoman Helen Gym. In what is a liberal city, Gym fared poorly, attracting only 21 percent of the vote in what was for her, a disappointing third-place finish.

The winner, Parker, campaigned much differently — as a centrist who said she wants to “stop the sense of lawlessness that is plaguing our city.” She pushed the themes of increasing law enforcement and cracking down on the city’s rapidly rising crime rate. Likely as a result, she attracted much of the Philadelphia political establishment’s support. Term-limited Mayor Jim Kenney (D), while not formally endorsing anyone in the race, admitted to the local media that he cast his own ballot for Parker.

While Republicans lost mayoral elections in two cities they had controlled for the past eight years, the reasons leading to victories for those who won on Tuesday night appear beyond the typical ideological paradigm. As in most elections, success rewarded the candidate(s) whose messages best met the voters’ needs. Once again, we see that this is the lesson future candidates need to understand.