By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 16, 2024
HouseTN-7: Rep. Mark Green (R) to Retire — The second full House Homeland Security Committee chairman in less than a week announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election later this year.
Tennessee US Rep. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) joins Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) as Homeland Security Committee chairs most recently announcing their respective retirement. Reps. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who consecutively chair the Appropriations and Financial Services Committees, are also ending their long congressional careers.
Rep. Green said he has accomplished his promised goals in the House with the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the passage of the border bill earlier in this Congress. As chairman of Homeland Security, he was a key figure in both actions.
AZ-1: Another GOP Primary Challenger for Rep. Schweikert — Arizona US Rep. David Schweikert’s (R-Fountain Hills) close 2022 re-election contest has attracted a number of Democrats and Republicans into the 2024 campaign. Yesterday, former FBI agent Kim George (R) announced her candidacy. Also battling the congressman for renomination are businessmen Robert Backie and P.T. Burton. The crowded field will likely help the congressman win the Aug. 6 plurality primary.
While businessman Jevin Hodge held Schweikert to a scant one-point general election victory he is not returning for a rematch, but no less than nine Democrats are running. Within this large group are former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Andrei Cherney, ex-state Rep. Amish Shah, and former news anchorwoman Marlene Galan-Woods, widow of former Attorney General Grant Woods (D).
The politically marginal 1st District is fully contained within Maricopa County and carries an R+7 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization. The seat is ranked as the 18th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. President Joe Biden carried this district by a bare 50.1 – 48.6 percent margin in the 2020 election.
NJ-8: Internal Poll Finds Rep. Menendez Leading — Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s Democratic primary challenge to freshman Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City), son of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (D), may have lost some steam. Upon announcement, and at the height of Sen. Menendez’s legal trouble, Bhalla posted big fundraising numbers and appeared to mount some momentum toward unseating the younger Menendez in the June 4 primary.
Rep. Menendez’s campaign released an internal poll to the New Jersey Globe newspaper, without identifying the pollster (Jan. 25-Feb. 1; 400 registered NJ-8 Democratic voters; live interview) but publicizing the favorable ballot test. According to this data, Rep. Menendez maintains a 46-24 percent advantage over Mayor Bhalla.
This race still merits attention, particularly as Sen. Menendez continues to languish in statewide Democratic primary polling and is virtually a sure bet to lose the June election, assuming that he files a statement of candidacy at the end of next month. The Menendez campaign was quick to release one data point: 77 percent of the respondents agree that Rep. Menendez should be ‘judged on his own record, and not on that of his father.’
New Mexico: Ex-Sheriff Fails to Qualify for Senate Ballot — As we have seen in several places already in this election year, another potential candidate has been disqualified for failing to manage the petition signature requirement for ballot placement. Former Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales (R) has failed to qualify for the June 4 Republican US Senate ballot according to the New Mexico Secretary of State, thus likely leaving former hedge fund CEO Nella Domenici as the party’s lone contender.
Assuming the decision holds, the New Mexico Senate general election will feature Domenici, the daughter of former six-term US Sen. Pete Domenici (R), and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) who is seeking a third term. New Mexico is a Democratic state, so Sen. Heinrich is a clear favorite as the campaign officially starts, but Republicans believe that Domenici can become competitive.