Tag Archives: Gov. Phil Murphy

Inconsistent GOP Coalition in Texas; Cuellar Indicted; NJ-10 Special ; Indiana Primary Today; Morrisey Back on Top in West Virginia

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, May 7, 2024

House

TX-12: An Inconsistent Coalition — While the Republican Party’s more conservative wing looks to be lining up behind real estate developer John O’Shea in the GOP runoff for the party nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Kay Granger (R-Ft. Worth), state Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Ft. Worth) launched a new ad (above) that purports to prove that O’Shea is not even a consistent Republican voter. The ad contains a video clip of O’Shea saying, “I am not a conservative,” and points out that he did not vote in the 2016, 2018, and 2020 elections. Conversely, Goldman brandishes his endorsements from Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), and the National Rifle Association.

The March 5 primary ended with Goldman capturing first place with 44.4 percent of the vote as compared to O’Shea’s 26.4 percent. The May 28 runoff was forced because none of the four competing Republican candidates reached the majority support mark. The runoff winner will be a lock to win the seat in November.

TX-28: Rep. Cuellar Indicted — On Friday, 10-term Texas US Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) and his wife were indicted on federal bribery charges, but the congressman says he is innocent and will not leave his re-election race. After two consecutive close call renomination campaigns in 2020 and 2022, Rep. Cuellar was unopposed in this year’s Democratic primary. The Republican side ended in a runoff between retired Navy officer Jay Furman and rancher Lazaro Garza, which will be decided on May 28. Neither man was expected to mount a major challenge in the general election, but the congressman’s legal situation could change that.

Texas’ 28th District begins in southeast San Antonio and moves all the way to the Mexican border through nine counties. In addition to part of San Antonio, the district houses the Laredo, Rio Bravo, and Rio Grande City communities. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates TX-28 as D+7. President Joe Biden carried the district by a 52-46 percent margin. After a very tight 2022 Democratic primary and runoff, Rep. Cuellar won a comfortable 57-43 percent general election victory.

NJ-10: Special Election Scheduled — Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has called a special election to replace the late Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) who passed away on April 24. The special primary will be held on July 16th, with the special general on Sept. 18. The winner will take the seat in late September and then be on the ballot for the regular term on Nov. 5.

Because Rep. Payne passed away after the candidate filing deadline, the local Democratic Party organizations will choose a replacement nominee after the July 16 special primary. It is presumed the delegates will choose the special primary winner. Republican Carmen Bucco and Green Party candidate Jon Serrano, along with Congressman Payne, were the only candidates to file at the March 25 filing deadline.

The Democrats will easily retain the Newark-anchored 10th District. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+58, and President Biden scored an 81-19 percent victory here in 2020. Now that Gov. Murphy has scheduled the special election, candidates will soon come forward.

Primary

Indiana: Primary Today — Indiana voters cast their primary ballots today, and while the presidential election nomination process is locked for both parties, several key US House races will be effectively decided. The incumbent facing the most competitive challenge today is Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) who originally announced her retirement only to change her mind before filing time. While eight Republican challengers are opposing the incumbent, the race is really between Rep. Spartz and state Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville). The crowded field likely helps Rep. Spartz, but polling suggests a close finish.

The state features three Republican open seats, and GOP nominees who will be heavy favorites in the general election will be chosen today. Reps. Greg Pence (R-Columbus) and Larry Bucshon (R-Evansville) are retiring, and the Republican winners this evening will be locks to win in November. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City), who is running unopposed for the party nomination in the US Senate race, leaves a field of eight Republican candidates vying to be his successor. The contest is winnowing to three candidates: former Circuit Judge Wendy Davis, former Congressman Marlin Stutzman, and state Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington).

Sen. Mike Braun: Likely to Win GOP Governor’s Primary — Indiana is one of 11 states featuring governors’ campaigns this year, and eight are open seat contests. US Sen. Mike Braun (R) is foregoing a re-election bid to attempt to succeed Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) who is ineligible to seek a third term.

Sen. Braun looks to be well positioned to win a plurality primary victory over Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and businessmen Eric Doden and Brad Chambers. The Republican nominee then becomes a heavy favorite in the general election against consensus Democratic candidate Jennifer McCormick, the former state Superintendent of Public Instruction and an ex-Republican.

Governor

West Virginia: Morrisey Reassumes Polling Lead — Two weeks ago, when a poll for the first time showed former state Delegate Moore Capito (R), son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), leading Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the open race for governor, we expected a counter poll to soon surface. Such is now the case.

During the April 20-22 period, NMB Research released survey results revealing a Capito GOP primary lead of 31-29 percent over AG Morrisey with businessman Chris Miller, son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), and Secretary of State Mac Warner trailing with 14 and 13 percent, respectively.

The counter poll was released late last week. Research America (April 24-May 1; 407 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters; live interview & online) sees Morrisey returning to the lead with 32 percent, while Miller and Moore follow with 25 and 24 percent, respectively. Secretary of State Warner drops back with 10 percent support.

Since polling for this race was first published in February of 2023, 10 surveys have been released. Morrisey has led in nine. The West Virginia primary is scheduled for May 14. The Republican nominee will almost certainly succeed term-limited Gov. Jim Justice (R).

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. Passes Away;
GOP Candidate Up in Colorado;
Ex-Rep. Santos Drops New Bid;
Trump Draws Into National Tie

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, April 25, 2024

House

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. / Fox News Photo

NJ-10: Rep. Donald Payne Jr. Passes Away — New Jersey US Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark), who suffered a heart attack on April 9 and unfortunately did not recover, passed away yesterday. His death means there are now six vacant congressional seats, thus reducing the total membership number to 429.

Since candidate filing is closed for the regular cycle and Rep. Payne is the only candidate on the ballot for the 10th District Democratic primary, he will posthumously win the nomination contest. According to a story in the New Jersey Globe newspaper, once all candidates are certified for the general election by the June 17 deadline after the June 4 primary election, the New Jersey secretary of state will declare the seat vacant. The various Democratic county party committee members would then meet in convention to choose a replacement nominee.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has leeway regarding calling a special election for purposes of filling the remainder of the current term. He can schedule a special primary and general within the time limits proscribed by New Jersey election law, or he can make the special general concurrent with the regular election. The 10th District is heavily Democratic, so the party’s new nomination process will decide who succeeds the late Congressman Payne.

CO-8: Rep. Caraveo (D) Drops Behind in New GE Poll — Despite trailing in fundraising by a better than 5:1 margin, an early April OnMessage survey in Colorado’s 8th Congressional District (April 1-4; 400 likely CO-8 voters; live interview) projects state Rep. Gabe Evans (R-Westminster) to have secured a 43-38 percent ballot test advantage over freshman Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Thornton). This, in a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+3. The Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians, however, calculate a different 48.3D – 47.0R partisan lean. In 2020, President Joe Biden carried the district 50.8 – 46.3 percent.

The 8th CD was created through 2020 national reapportionment since Colorado gained a seat and was drawn as a suburban/outer-suburban district to the north and northeast of Denver. This race will be rated as a toss-up campaign all the way through the November election.

NY-1: Ex-Rep. Santos Drops New Bid — Earlier this week, expelled US Rep. George Santos (R) announced that he is dropping his Independent bid in the state’s 1st District, attempting to deny Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Suffolk County) re-election. In his statement, Santos said, “I don’t want to split the ticket and be responsible for handing the House to the Dems. Staying in this race all but guarantees a victory for the Dems.” Santos may be overestimating his ability to draw votes as an Independent or minor party candidate.

Rep. LaLota, in a post on X, said he believes Santos ending his candidacy means he is negotiating a plea bargain to the 23 federal charges he soon faces in trial. In closing, Santos indicated that, “it’s only goodbye for now, I’ll be back.” Rep. LaLota, in a district that the new redistricting plan made slightly more Republican, is favored for re-election.

President

Quinnipiac Poll: Trump Draws Into a National Tie — Quinnipiac University conducts monthly national political polls, and their April survey reports a much different conclusion than the four previous studies had produced. The most recent poll (April 18-22; 1,429 US registered voters; live interview) finds President Biden and former President Donald Trump tied at 46 percent in the head-to-head delineation, and 37-37 percent when Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (16 percent) is added along with Green Party nominee Jill Stein (three percent), and Independent Cornel West (three percent).

This poll reveals a significant movement in Trump’s favor when compared with the four previous polls beginning in December that yielded President Biden leads of one, six, four, and three percentage points.

Trump Sweeping Biden in Swing States; Malinowski Searches for NJ Senate Support; GOP Puts Forth Interesting NY-3 Candidate; NC-13 Rep. Wiley Nickel Out; Longtime Pol Jumps Into NJ Race

Former President Donald Trump up in polling.

By Jim Ellis, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023

President

Bloomberg/Morning Consult Polls: Trump Sweeping Biden in Swing States — Bloomberg News and Morning Consult partnered for a swing state polling series in the domains that will likely decide the 2024 presidential election: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Individual surveys were conducted in each state during the Nov. 27 through Dec. 6 period. Sample sizes ranged from 451 registered voters to 801 such individuals depending upon the state’s population size. All included Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the questionnaire along with Independent Cornel West and likely Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

Trump led in all seven polls both when the ballot test included the minor candidates and when he and President Joe Biden were isolated. Trump’s margins (with the minor party candidates) were: Arizona (+4), Georgia (+7), Michigan (+4), Nevada (+5), North Carolina (+9), Pennsylvania (+1), and Wisconsin (+6).

To win the election, Trump would need to hold North Carolina, and carry Georgia plus one or two of the other aforementioned states. Trump’s smallest configuration to yield a victory of 270 electoral votes — and this assumes he holds all the other states he won in 2020 — would include Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Senate

New Jersey: Ex-Rep. Malinowski Interviews for Party Senate Endorsements — Former US Rep. Tom Malinowski (D), who served two terms in the House before his re-election defeat in 2022 and who is now an unannounced US Senate candidate, conducted interviews with the Union County municipal Democratic Party chairmen seeking their endorsement for his potential statewide bid. Malinowski represented most of Union County in the US House. New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy and US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) already are in the primary race, challenging indicted Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez.

Malinowski would have to overcome long odds in order to win the party nomination, and it is no foregone conclusion that he will actually enter the race. Despite calls for his resignation, Menendez is not leaving the Senate, nor has he ruled out running for re-election. Polls, however, suggest he would badly lose the Democratic primary.

House

NY-3: Local Republicans Nominate Mazi Melesa Pilip — The Nassau and Queens County Republican Party chairmen have nominated Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip, an Ethiopian-born former member of the Israeli military, as their special election congressional nominee. She will oppose the Democratic nominee, former Congressman Tom Suozzi in the Feb. 13 special election to serve the balance of expelled Rep. George Santos’ (R) term.

Interestingly, Pilip is reportedly still a registered Democrat even though she is an elected Republican and will now be the GOP congressional nominee. She is an interesting choice that will likely draw more attention to what is likely to become a competitive special election.

NC-13: Rep. Wiley Nickel Won’t Seek Re-Election, Will Return in 2026 — In an admission that he would not be successful running for re-election in North Carolina’s newly configured 13th Congressional District, Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary) announced late last week that he would end his career in the US House after one term. Rather, he will return to elective politics in 2026 and challenge Sen. Thom Tillis (R). In that year, Sen. Tillis, assuming he seeks re-election, will be on the ballot for a third term.

The new 13th District begins in the Dunn area south of Raleigh in Harnett County. The seat then moves northward around Raleigh on the east side of Wake County and stretches to the Virginia border. The 2022 state Supreme Court drew a 13th District that shared part of Wake County, annexing the city of Cary, and then moved south of the capital city to include Johnston County and parts of Hartnett and Wayne Counties.

The partisan lean for new Congressional District 13, according to the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians, is 56.6R – 41.2D. Under the map to which Rep. Nickel was elected, the 13th CD held a much different 49.5D – 48.1R partisan lean.

Also leaving the North Carolina congressional delegation are Reps. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) and Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte), who like Rep. Nickel face difficult re-election odds on the new Tar Heel State congressional map. Jackson is running for the open state attorney general’s position and will probably face his colleague in the adjoining congressional district, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte), in the statewide race.

Governor

New Jersey: Defeated State Senate President Launches ’25 Gov Campaign — Former New Jersey state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D), who served in the legislature for 20 years before his shocking upset defeat in the 2021 election, announced that he will enter the open 2025 gubernatorial campaign. Sweeney presided over the state Senate as its president for a 14-year period.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is ineligible to seek a third term and as in Virginia, where another odd-numbered gubernatorial position will be open, candidates are already announcing for their respective offices long before even the 2024 election transpires.

Announcing for the 2025 gubernatorial race before Sweeney was Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. Both US Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wycoff) and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) are reported to be testing the waters to also run for governor. For the Republicans, former state legislator Jack Ciattarelli — immediately after his close 2021 loss to Gov. Murphy — already announced that he would return for another gubernatorial bid in 2025.

Endorsing NJ’s First Lady;
GOP Primary Challenge in SC-4; Washington’s Surprising Republican Contender; Louisiana Runoff Results

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023

Senate

Tammy Murphy, New Jersey’s First Lady

New Jersey: Tammy Murphy Scoring Key Endorsements — Being New Jersey’s First Lady certainly has its perks. Since announcing her Senate challenge to indicted incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) late last week, Tammy Murphy, the wife of incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy (D), already has secured four important county party endorsements.

In New Jersey, official county party endorsements mean more than in other states because the favored candidates received substantially better ballot positions in addition to having access to party resources. So far, the state’s two largest Democratic local party organizations, Bergen and Middlesex Counties, along with those in Camden and Hudson, have awarded Ms. Murphy their endorsements.

Additionally, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wycoff), who is reportedly testing the waters for a 2025 gubernatorial race when Mr. Murphy is ineligible to seek re-election, became the state’s first sitting US House member to endorse the First Lady. Aside from Sen. Menendez, who has yet to say whether he will seek re-election, US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) is in what is already becoming a highly competitive statewide Democratic primary campaign.

House

SC-4: Rep. Timmons Facing Potentially Strong Primary — In 2022, South Carolina Rep. William Timmons (R-Greenville) found himself winning his renomination campaign with just 53 percent of the vote against what were thought to be minor opponents. A highly publicized extra-marital affair that included accusing the congressman of using his office resources to conceal his activity was largely the reason his primary was so close.

On Friday, state Rep. Adam Morgan (R-Taylors) announced that he will challenge Rep. Timmons in the June primary election. Since Morgan will be a stronger opponent than any of the three individuals who ran in 2022, the 2024 primary will be one worth watching.

Governor

Washington: PPP’s Surprise Poll — Public Policy Polling again conducted one of their regular Washington statewide surveys for the Northwest Progressive Institute and the results are eye-opening. According to the PPP study (Nov. 14-15; 750 registered Washington voters; multiple sampling techniques), former Congressman Dave Reichert (R) and Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) are tied with 31 percent support apiece.

The shocker comes when the pollsters queried the respondents about who they would support in a general election assuming that both Reichert and Ferguson advance from the all-party jungle primary into the November election. On the ballot test, Reichert enjoyed a 46-44 percent lead over AG Ferguson. It is an astonishing result in that a Republican would post any kind of an advantage in Washington, one of the most Democratic states in the Union.

States

Louisiana: Runoff Election Results — After electing a new governor outright in the Nov. 14 election as Governor-Elect Jeff Landry (R) was able to secure majority support, Republicans finished the 2023 statewide elections with a landslide sweep. The GOP won the secretary of state, attorney general, and state treasurer’s office with between 65 and 67 percent of the vote. Former Congressman John Fleming (R) returns to elective office with his victory as State Treasurer.

Turnout was extremely low with almost 670,000 votes cast, which is just 44 percent of the total participation figure from the last statewide runoff in 2019. In that election, however, the governor’s race was being decided. The lack of the governor and lieutenant governor being forced into runoffs is the obvious reason turnout was down by such a large proportion.

New Hampshire Presidential Primary Remains 1st; NJ First Lady Announces; Arkansas Candidate Filing Closes; VA-5 Candidate Emerges

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Nov. 17, 2023

President

New Hampshire: Presidential Primary Finally Scheduled — New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan announced that the state’s “first-in-the-nation” presidential primary will be scheduled for Jan. 23, 2024. There is little surprise associated with this date. To remain as the first primary state and comply with New Hampshire election law — Iowa still votes earlier (Jan. 15), but they feature caucus voting — Jan. 23 became the state’s only choice.

The Nevada primary is Feb. 6, and New Hampshire law, which gives the Secretary of State sole authority to schedule and move the election to prevent another domain from jumping to the front, requires the primary to be at least one week before any other state. Thus, Jan. 23, in holding with their Tuesday voting tradition, was the secretary’s only viable option.

President Joe Biden will not participate in the New Hampshire primary because the state would not agree to the new Democratic National Committee schedule. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) will be on the Democratic ballot, however, and most of the party’s state leadership is organizing a write-in campaign to support President Biden.

Senate

New Jersey: State’s First Lady Announces for Senate — Tammy Murphy (D), wife of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), officially declared her candidacy to oppose indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) in next year’s Democratic primary. Though most believe Sen. Menendez will not seek re-election, there has been no such confirmation from the Menendez camp.

Ms. Murphy should be regarded as a long shot to win the party nomination. Immediately upon Sen. Menendez’s indictment becoming public, US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) announced his challenge to Menendez, and he has already established a large lead in polling and fundraising. Conversely, Ms. Murphy is a first-time political candidate.

House

Arkansas: 2024 Candidate Filing Closes — The Arkansas ballot is now set. With the candidate filing deadline now past, we’ll look forward to seeing one contested congressional primary election on Super Tuesday, March 5. The presidential primary will be held that day, and with no Senate seat on the Arkansas ballot this year, the four congressional seats become the state’s only other federal elections.

In three districts, the general election candidates are now set. In the eastern 1st District, veteran Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Jonesboro) will run for an eighth term against Iraq War veteran Randy Govens (D). Five-term Rep. French Hill (R-Little Rock) will face retired Army Col. Marcus Jones (D) in the Little Rock-anchored 2nd CD. Fourth District incumbent Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) will be tasked with defending his seat against Democratic attorney Risie Howard.

The only primary contest among the congressional districts comes in the state’s western 3rd District where state Sen. Clint Penzo (R-Tontitown) will oppose seven-term Rep. Steve Womack (R-Rogers). It remains to be seen if this race develops into a major challenge. Republicans will be favored to again retain all four of the Natural State’s congressional districts.

VA-5: Rep. Good Challenged for Renomination — Two-term Virginia Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg), one of the outspoken Freedom Caucus members who was a leader in the move to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy, will have a renomination challenge next year.

John McGuire III, a state Delegate first elected in 2017 who then won a state Senate seat last week in unopposed fashion, filed a congressional campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. McGuire, a retired Navy SEAL, ran for Congress once before, losing in the former 7th District’s 2020 Republican nominating convention. State Delegate Nick Freitas, who defeated McGuire that year, would then lose a close battle to Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Ellen) in the general election.

Rep. Good was first elected to the Campbell County Board of Supervisors in 2015. He defeated then-US Rep. Denver Riggleman (R) in a district convention that his key supporters controlled. Assuming Rep. Good is as strong with the local Republican Party as he was during his first election campaign, it would be very difficult for McGuire to upset him within such a favorable venue.

New Hampshire for Biden Write-In Effort; NJ First Lady Files; OR-3 Rep. Blumenauer to Retire; Bowman on Hot Seat Since Pulling Fire Alarm

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023

President

A New Hampshire for Biden poster

New Hampshire: Democratic Leaders Launch Biden Write-in Effort — A group of leading Democrats, including the state’s two senators and their pair of US House members, as well as all 10 Democratic state senators and most of the party’s large delegation to the state House of Representatives, are forming an organization to qualify President Joe Biden as a write-in candidate for the still unscheduled Democratic presidential primary. Biden is choosing to bypass New Hampshire because the state did not agree with the new Democratic National Committee presidential primary scheduling recommendations.

Though the show of internal Democratic strength is positive for the Biden campaign, their move also increases the stakes for the New Hampshire primary. US Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) is a candidate and will secure a ballot position. Therefore, the pressure would be on the Biden write-in effort to defeat Phillips, otherwise his national campaign would begin with a major political black eye.

Senate

New Jersey: NJ First Lady Files Candidate Committee — New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy (D) may be joining the US Senate race. Rumored to be a candidate once the scandal involving incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez (D) broke, Murphy had not taken any official step to create a formal campaign. That changed Tuesday, however, as she filed a senatorial exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission but stopped short of declaring her candidacy. An announcement may be coming in the next couple of weeks.

Murphy may have a difficult time in the Senate Democratic primary. Sen. Menendez, though faring poorly in early polling, has not indicated that he will resign or retire. Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) immediately announced his Senate primary entry upon the Menendez indictment becoming public and has jumped out to an early lead.

Additionally, Gov. Phil Murphy had a close call for re-election in 2021, meaning the Murphy family is likely weakened within the Democratic voting base. Finally, Murphy has never been a candidate before, and starts well behind Rep. Kim despite having name identification. An early October Data for Progress poll showed Kim leading an entire proposed candidate field, including Sen. Menendez, by a large margin. Murphy stood at just four percent support.

House

OR-3: Rep. Earl Blumenauer to Retire — Fifteen-term Oregon US Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) has announced that he will retire at the end of the current Congress. Blumenauer, first elected to the House in a 1996 special election, has served in public office consecutively since 1973, including his time in the Oregon House of Representatives, the Multnomah County Commission, and as a Portland City Commissioner, in addition to his 28-plus years in Congress. He currently serves on the Ways & Means and Budget Committees.

Rep. Blumenauer leaves a safely Democratic Portland suburban-anchored seat that covers Hood River County and parts of Multnomah and Clackamas counties. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+43. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a whopping 70.5D – 25.0R partisan lean. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks OR-3 as the 155th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference.

Blumenauer’s retirement decision means there are now 22 open House seats, 15 from the Democratic side, six that Republicans hold, with one new redistricting-created open seat in Alabama. Of the 21 incumbents not seeking re-election at this point, eight are retiring or have resigned, and 13 are running for a different office. We can expect a crowded and hotly contested 3rd District Democratic primary scheduled for May 21, 2024.

NY-16: Rep. Bowman Primary Opponents Unifying — Pastor Michael Gerald (D) announced that he is putting his Democratic primary challenge against Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers) on hold until Westchester County Executive George Latimer (D) decides whether he will run. Rep. Bowman has been on the hot seat regarding being found guilty of deliberately pulling a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building and could face an expulsion resolution. Obviously, this has generated negative publicity for the congressman.

Prior to winning the County Executive’s position in the 2017 election, Latimer had served in the New York State Senate and Assembly. Westchester County contains 91 percent of NY-16, so a Latimer challenge to Rep. Bowman, should it materialize, would become a major campaign.

Election Day Upsets and Surprises

By Jim Ellis

Nov. 4, 2021 — Now that Tuesday’s election numbers are becoming more available and final, we can explore the contests that proved to be upsets and ones providing us with some surprises. In most instances, the Republicans performed better in these races than expected.

The first obvious upset, though a mild one as we approached election day because most people understood that Republican Glenn Youngkin had a legitimate chance to score a victory over former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, is the Virginia statewide race. The biggest surprise was New Jersey Republican Jack Ciattarelli within one percentage point of defeating Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

With that background, let’s begin with our upsets:

• Georgia: Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D), attempting to regain his former position in the open seat 2021 race, has apparently failed to qualify for the runoff. Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore (D) placed first, with City Councilman Andre Dickens (D) running 612 votes ahead of Reed for second position with all of the precincts reporting.

Mail votes and ancillary ballots could still push Reed into a runoff with Moore, but it appears that Dickens has the inside track to nose the former mayor out of this race.

• Maine:• New Jersey: State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) has apparently lost his southern New Jersey seat to truck driver Edward Durr (R) who spent only about $5,000 on his campaign. Durr leads 52-48 percent, which should be enough for him to eventually claim victory.

• New York: Big Republican local election wins occurred in Suffolk and Nassau County on Long Island. GOP candidates won the Suffolk and Nassau County District Attorney’s offices, and defeated the Nassau County Executive. They also reclaimed the majority on the Suffolk County legislature for the first time since 2005.

• Texas: Continuing a GOP rebound among Hispanic voters in Texas, Republican John Lujan converted a 71 percent Hispanic district in southeast Bexar County (San Antonio). Lujan was a 51-49 percent winner in Texas House District 118.

• Virginia: Glenn Youngkin (R) defeated Terry McAuliffe (D), 51-48 percent. Winsome Sears (R) topped state Del. Hala Ayala (D), 51-49 percent. State Del. Jason Miyares (R) ousted Attorney General Mark Herring (D), 51-49 percent. Republicans have clinched or lead in 52 House of Delegates races, enough for them to re-claim the majority. Not only did Youngkin score an upset win, but he had obvious coattails.

There were several interesting surprises on election night, too:

• Florida: Miami area Democrats went to the polls to choose a special election nominee to replace the late Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Delray Beach) and the result yielded a photo finish. Recounts will be ordered and a long post-election process is expected before someone advances to the January 11th special general election.

At first take with supposedly all votes counted, businesswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick looks to have secured the party nomination by just 31 votes. A later count then put Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness on top by an even smaller 12-vote margin. Expect this one to be in the courts long before a Democratic nominee is finally settled upon.

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