Tag Archives: Gov. Eric Holcomb

Rep. Banks Announces for Senate; Ohio Senate Rerun; More CA-30 Candidates; Mayor Announces House Challenge in Minnesota

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023

Senate

Indiana Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City)

Indiana: Rep. Banks (R) Announces for Senate — Not backing down from a potential Republican primary race against former Gov. Mitch Daniels, four-term US Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) announced Tuesday that he will enter Indiana’s open Senate race next year. Daniels has been sending signals that he will also run for the Senate, but the Banks move means the May Republican primary will likely be the big battle to replace first-term Sen. Mike Braun (R) who is bypassing re-election to run for governor. Other potential GOP candidates include term-limited Gov. Eric Holcomb and US Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville), among others.

Banks ended the 2022 election cycle with approximately $1.4 million remaining in his campaign account. Gov. Daniels last appeared on the ballot in 2008 when he was re-elected to a second term with a 58-40 percent victory margin. Rep. Banks leaving the safely Republican 3rd Congressional District means we will see a crowded and hotly contested GOP congressional field in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+34.

Ohio: 2022 GOP Senate Candidate Returns — Ohio State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), a minority owner of the Cleveland Guardians Major League Baseball club, will return for a second consecutive US Senate contest. This time, he hopes to challenge veteran Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in the 2024 general election.

In the last election, for the open seat created when Sen. Rob Portman (R) announced he would not seek a third term, Sen. Dolan competed against six opponents, losing to now-Sen. J.D. Vance (R) by a 32-23 percent margin with former state Treasurer Josh Mandel placing second just a point ahead of Dolan. In the current election cycle, Dolan’s chances for the party nomination appear better. If he is successful in the Republican primary, Dolan faces a difficult general election opponent in Sen. Brown even though Ohio has been moving decidedly closer to the GOP in recent elections. In 2018, Sen. Brown defeated then-US Rep. Jim Renacci (R), 53-47 percent.

House

CA-30: Yet, Another — Businessman Josh Bocanegra (D) who was looking to enter the US Senate race has instead decided to compete for the Burbank-anchored congressional race that most presume will be open. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) is widely expected to run for the Senate once incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D) announces her retirement. Already in the congressional race are state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) and Los Angeles Unified School Board Vice Chairman Nick Melvoin.

The seat will remain in Democratic hands, but it is likely we will see two Democrats advance to the general election from the top two jungle primary format that California has used since the 2012 election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-30 as D+45.

MN-2: Local Mayor Announces for House — After Navy veteran Tyler Kistner (R) ran two close but unsuccessful campaigns against Rep. Angie Craig (D-Prior Lake) in 2020 and 2022, Lexington Mayor Mike Murphy (R) announced that he will attempt to win the party nomination in hopes of becoming the congresswoman’s 2024 challenger. There is little indication as to what Kistner might be thinking about a third congressional run, but him losing two consecutive races suggests that the party leaders will be looking for a new contender.

Former Indiana Gov Considering Senate Run; Repubs Search for Senate Challenger in PA

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022

Senate

Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R)

Indiana: Former Governor Making Moves — After going through a very quiet 2022 election, the Indiana political scene is fast becoming a focal point of the early 2024 election cycle. Reports from the state surfaced late last week that former Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), who has ruled out a run for his former job, is making moves to assess his chances in an open US Senate race. Sen. Mike Braun (R) won’t seek re-election in order to mount his own campaign in the open governor’s race. Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) is ineligible to seek a third term, but has not wholly closed the door on entering the Senate race.

The Republican nominee, to be chosen in an early May 2024 primary, will be the heavy favorite to win both the open Senate and governor’s positions. Therefore, much attention will be paid to the GOP primary as it continues to evolve over what will now be a long period.

Pennsylvania: Republicans Searching for Challenger Candidate — The Pennsylvania Republican Party is planning to make a major run against Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) in 2024 and are already searching for a strong challenger. Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, who came within 900 votes of winning the 2022 Republican primary, is certainly a possible option, but the latest reports suggest that state Treasurer Stacy Garrity would be an attractive potential Senate candidate. We can expect a competitive GOP primary to develop, and yet another hard-fought general election in two years here not only for President, but also again for a critically important US Senate seat.

States

Pennsylvania House: Majority Depends Upon Deceased Representative — The 203-member Pennsylvania House is facing a dilemma. The Democrats scored a one-seat majority in the election and, on paper, have a 102-101 edge. Unfortunately, veteran Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Penn Hills), passed away just before the election; he represented that 102nd vote. Running against a Green Party candidate, DeLuca was re-elected with 85 percent of the vote even though he had already passed away.

Additionally, Pennsylvania law allows candidates to simultaneously run for more than one office in the same election. This means two more Democratic House vacancies have occurred. State Rep. Summer Lee (D-Braddock) resigned her state House seat because she was elected to Congress. State Rep. Austin Davis (D-McKeesport) left the House to assume his new position as lieutenant governor.

A further problem at the state house is that the Speaker of the House sets the special election calendar to fill vacancies in the chamber and not the governor. Therefore, the legislators are embroiled in a dispute over whether or not these special elections can even legally be called since no official Speaker has been elected. Republicans have rejected the Democratic Leader’s special election schedule and Democrats opposed the outgoing GOP Speaker’s special election plan even though both had placed the elections on the same day.

Indiana Gov. Holcomb Leaves Door Open for Senate Bid, Sen. Braun Up in Released Gov Poll; CA-22 Re-Match Already Building; NC Redistricting Case Could be Moot

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022

Senate

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R)

Indiana: Gov. Holcomb Leaves Door Open — Early political reports coming from the Hoosier State suggest that Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) will not pursue a 2024 US Senate bid when his tenure as governor comes to an end. Gov. Holcomb is ineligible to seek a third term.

When asked about running for the Senate this week on wishtv.com, however, Gov. Holcomb replied, “there’ll be time for me to think about the future in the future. But it would be next to irresponsible for me to take my eye off the job that I’ve got.”

This response suggests the Senate race door is not fully closed and will certainly remain an option for Holcomb as time moves forward. With universal statewide name identification and the ability to quickly raise large amounts money, Gov. Holcomb has the luxury of waiting to make a decision until he sees how an open Senate field develops. First-term Sen. Mike Braun (R) is a clearly preparing a run for governor, thus leaving his Senate seat open.

House

CA-22: Re-Match Already Building — California Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) is tied for representing the most Democratic seat in the country that sends a Republican to the US House. Long Island Rep-Elect Anthony D’Esposito (R-Hempstead) holds the other. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates both Valadao’s CA-22 and Mr. D’Esposito’s NY-4 at D+10.

Despite the odds stacked against him, Rep. Valadao was able to post a 51.5 – 48.5 percent victory over state Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) in November, who was arguably the most difficult opponent Valadao faced in his five winning electoral campaigns. Yesterday, Salas, who risked his Assembly seat to run for Congress, filed a committee to seek a re-match in 2024. If he ultimately follows through and runs two years from now, this race will again become a top national Democratic conversion target.

Governor

Indiana: Sen. Braun Releases Gov Poll — Sen. Mike Braun (R) is clearly moving toward making a quick gubernatorial announcement after filing a state gubernatorial campaign committee last week. Reports suggest that Sen. Braun may make his formal declaration as early as next week. In preparation for launching a gubernatorial bid, he just released the results of an internal poll.

The study, from the Mark It Red research group (Nov. 18-22; sample size not released), finds Sen. Braun opening with a large Republican primary advantage in what will be an open race for governor. According to the survey results, Sen. Braun would lead Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and venture capitalist Eric Doden, 47-10-5 percent, respectively.

States

North Carolina: Redistricting Case Could be Moot — The North Carolina partisan gerrymandering case that was heard before the US Supreme Court yesterday is a potential landmark case, but some North Carolina state political sources suggest the arguments may go by the proverbial wayside. The high court will rule before the end of June, but before that occurs, the new North Carolina legislature may draft new redistricting plans for the US House, state Senate, and state House of Representatives. Since a court map is only an interim plan, the legislature can replace it with a permanent draw at any time.

If this occurs as described, and new maps are enacted –- remember, in North Carolina, the governor has no veto power over redistricting legislation -– it is possible that the action could render the case before the Supreme Court as moot. If so, the issue of whether the Constitution views state legislatures as solely independent when handling redistricting could well go unanswered.

Michigan Senate Okays Primary Move; Sen. Braun Moving Toward Indiana Gov Race; West Virginia Senator’s Son Announces for Gov

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Dec. 2, 2022

President

Michigan: State Senate Okays Primary Move — The Michigan Senate approved a bill to move up the Wolverine State presidential primary from the day designated as Super Tuesday in March to the second Tuesday in February. The move underscores the state leadership’s desire to move Michigan into one of the state slots allowed to vote before Super Tuesday.

With the Democrats clearly preparing to change the nominating rules, voting schedule, and primary order of the states, Michigan is attempting to get a head start toward being one of at least the first four states to vote before Super Tuesday. If the state formally takes this action, it is likely that the Republicans would have to follow suit and schedule the Michigan primary early in the process.

Senate

Indiana: Sen. Braun Moving Toward Gov Race — As expected, Indiana Sen. Mike Braun (R) filed papers with the Secretary of State’s office in Indianapolis Tuesday to become an open-seat gubernatorial candidate, which is his first step toward foregoing re-election to a second term in the US Senate. Incumbent Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) is ineligible to seek a third term under Indiana’s term limit law.

Should he become a candidate, Sen. Braun will very likely face credible opposition in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Already venture capitalist Eric Doden (R) has announced his Senate candidacy. Other potential names being bandied about include former two-term Gov. Mitch Daniels, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, retiring Congressman Trey Hollingsworth (R-Jeffersonville), and former state senator and ex-Indianapolis mayoral candidate Jim Merritt. For the Democrats, the only announced candidate is Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick.

Assuming he shortly makes a formal announcement of candidacy, the Indiana Senate seat will be the first to open in the 2024 election cycle.

House

IN-3: Rep. Banks Signals Interest in Senate — With Indiana Sen. Braun (R) making moves to enter the open governor’s race, a fierce Republican primary battle for the right to succeed him in the Senate is sure to occur. Already saying through a spokesman that he is considering competing for the open statewide position is US Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City), who was recently defeated in his run for House Majority Whip. Other Republican names popping up are Attorney General Todd Rokita, retiring US Rep. Hollingsworth, and Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville), who was just re-elected to a second term. Term-limited Gov. Holcomb’s (R) political plans at this point are unknown.

Should Banks run for the Senate, we can expect a heated open battle for his northeastern Indiana 3rd District seat anchored in Ft. Wayne. A crowded GOP primary is sure to form with the winner punching his or her ticket to Washington in a district that the FiveThirtyEight organization rates as R+34.

Governor

West Virginia: Senator’s Son Announces for Governor — West Virginia state Delegate Moore Capito (R-Charleston), son of US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) and grandson of the late former Gov. Arch Moore (R), this week announced his own campaign for governor. He hopes to succeed term-limited Gov. Jim Justice (R) who may soon launch his own run for US Senate. Delegate Capito was first elected to the state House in 2016 and currently chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

Two New Senate Polls
From Indiana and Rhode Island

By Jim Ellis

gravis-marketing-Anzalone-Liszt-Grove-ResearchMay 21, 2018 — Gravis Marketing went into the field two days after the Indiana primary ended to test the new general election pairing between Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) and former state representative and businessman Mike Braun (R). According to the poll (May 10-15; 400 likely Indiana voters), the race has already lapsed into a dead heat.

Forecast as a toss-up all the way to November, Gravis finds Braun, who scored a 41-30-29 percent Republican primary plurality victory over Reps. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg/ Lafayette) and Luke Messer (R-Greensburg/Muncie), respectively, edging Sen. Donnelly by a single point on the first ballot test, 45-44 percent.

When respondents leaning to both candidates are added, Gravis reports that Braun is up 47-46 percent. The pollsters pushed the undecideds to make a choice, but the secondary responses reportedly break 19-13 percent for Sen. Donnelly, while the remaining 69 percent maintain they are still undecided. Adding these totals into the decided ballot test appear to produce a 46-46 percent split, but the Gravis analysis gives Braun the one-point lead. Regardless of the mathematical fine-tuning, these results conclude that the Indiana Senate race is already in pure toss-up mode.

Sen. Donnelly posts a 41:40 percent favorable to unfavorable job approval score. This includes 11 percent who say they strongly approve and 18 percent who strongly disapprove. In comparison, President Trump posts a 47:47 percent score, with 24 percent strongly approving and 35 percent strongly disapproving. Indiana’s junior senator, Todd Young (R-IN), was also comparatively tested and recorded a 36:34 percent favorability index (ine percent strongly favorable; 15 percent strongly unfavorable). Hoosier State Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) fared best in the Gravis poll, however. His job approval index is 54:30 percent, with 16 percent and seven percent strongly approving and disapproving, respectively.

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