By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023
SenateArizona: Republicans Court Sen. Sinema — Reports suggest that Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is leading the group of GOP senators who are attempting to convince newly Independent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to join the GOP caucus. If successful, the Republicans would then draw even with the Democrats in that both parties would have 50 senators. The main benefit for the GOP would be neutralizing the Democratic advantage on all committees since the Sinema move would force committee membership parity, just as was the case in the last Congress.
It is unlikely that Sen. Sinema will coalesce with the Republicans, however. From a re-election standpoint, her best position would be running as an Independent in a three-way general election. An inability to clinch renomination in the Democratic Party primary was one reason she bolted, but winning a GOP nomination would likely be just as difficult. Therefore, cobbling together an Independent coalition that can reach a plurality figure of 35 percent with a Democratic and Republican nominee almost splitting evenly the remaining votes is her best victory scenario. Count on the Arizona Senate race again becoming a major national campaign in 2024.
HouseCA-47: Sixth Candidate Joins Early Forming Field — Over the weekend, we saw an announcement from locally well-known community activist and fitness business owner Dom Jones (D) that she would be the fifth entry into what will be an open Orange County 2024 congressional race after California Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-Irvine) very early Senate announcement initiated a plethora of early political action.
Yet another person stepped forward to declare her candidacy in what is quickly becoming a crowded race. Hollywood television writer and producer Lori Kirkland Baker (D) joined the 47th District political fray and will compete against former US Rep. Harley Rouda (D), state Sen. David Min (D-Irvine), ex-state assemblyman and 2022 congressional candidate Scott Baugh (R), IT consultant Brian Burley, and Jones. All will share the ballot in a March 2024 jungle primary that will yield two of the contenders advancing into the general election.
Baker is a significant figure in television, working on such shows as Frasier, Wings, and Desperate Housewives, among others. We can expect a very competitive open primary and general election campaign to shortly ensue.
Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot Rebounds in New Poll — For the first time in this election cycle, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who had been trailing in every released poll since early December, has moved into the lead according to a just released GBAO survey, as the nine candidates move toward a Feb. 28 non-partisan primary election. If no contender receives majority support in that election, the top two finishers will advance to an April 4 runoff.
The GBAO poll conducted for the Lightfoot campaign (Jan. 18-22; 800 likely Chicago municipal election voters; live interview & text) projects the mayor to a 25-22-18-11-9 percent leading edge over former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago), businessman Willie Wilson, and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, respectively. No other individual breaks the two percent support mark.
This is the first poll that fails to project Rep. Garcia as the leader, but he is just now beginning his advertising campaign. It appears a virtual certainty that no candidate will reach majority support in the first election, thus triggering the runoff. Should Rep. Garcia ultimately win the election, a special vote would then be scheduled to replace him in the US House.