Yesterday, national and Minnesota Republicans recruited an individual who has the potential of becoming a strong and interesting challenger to the state’s western district 12-term incumbent, Rep. Collin Peterson (D).
State Sen. Torrey Westrom (R) was first elected to the legislature in 1996, moving from the House to the Senate in 2012 after chairing two committees. Westrom is native to the district, growing up on a dairy farm, and tragically lost his eyesight in an agriculture-related accident when he was 14 years old. Despite his disability, Sen. Westrom became a lawyer, married, is father to three children, and has won nine state legislative elections.
The potential race against Rep. Peterson – and retirement rumors continue to swirl around the 69-year old congressman – can become competitive. One of only eight seats in the country to vote for Mitt Romney (53.9 percent) and elect a Democrat to the House, MN-7 ranks as the fourth-most Republican seat to be represented by a member of the opposite party. Continue reading >
The Louisiana Senate race took a bit of an unexpected turn during the past few days that may lead to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA-6) settling their pending contest in the November 2014 primary election instead of being forced into a December run-off. Under Louisiana election law, all candidates appear on the same primary ballot, which is held concurrently with the national general election. If no candidate receives an outright majority, the top two, regardless of political party affiliation, advance to a December run-off election. In 2014, the first election is Nov. 4.
Two Republican state legislators who had already announced their intentions to join the field of candidates challenging Sen. Landrieu suddenly withdrew from the contest and endorsed Rep. Cassidy. This leaves Tea Party-backed former Air Force officer Rob Maness in the Republican field alone with Cassidy.
Though both Sen. Elliott Guillory and state Rep. Paul Hollis would have been relatively minor US Senate candidates, their presence on the ballot was significant. The more individuals drawing votes in such an Continue reading >
Late last week, local Michigan pollster Denno Research released the results of their new poll in conjunction with Lambert, Edwards & Associates, also a Michigan-based firm (Nov. 12-14; 600 registered Michigan voters). They again detect a statistical tie for the state’s impending open US Senate race, projecting Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI-14) to a mere 37-36 percent advantage.
This past July, Denno (July 23-24; 600 registered Michigan voters) contradicted most conventional political analyses. They reported then that the two major party candidates had fallen into a 39-39 percent tie. EPIC MRA, another Detroit area survey research firm, later published confirming numbers (Sept. 7-10; 600 registered Michigan voters; 38-37 percent Democratic edge). Up until that time, Peters was a presumed solid favorite over former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R).
This race is already becoming more competitive than was once believed likely, Continue reading >
A new national political paradigm may have begun this weekend in northeast Louisiana. There, businessman Vance McAllister (R), who certainly ran as a political outsider but not an overt Tea Party Republican, easily overcame and defeated the GOP establishment candidate, state Sen. Neil Riser.
From the beginning of this special election campaign, the state legislator was viewed as the front-runner. He had strong regular Continue reading >
Last week, the House Republicans’ most senior member, Florida Rep. Bill Young, announced that he would retire at the end of the current term and not be on the congressional ballot for the first time since 1970. On Friday, the 82-year-old congressman passed away due to complications from a serious back operation. Young had endured chronic back problems ever since surviving a small plane crash the year he was first elected to federal office.
In the entire House, only representatives John Dingell (D-MI-12), John Conyers (D-MI-13), and Charlie Rangel (D-NY-13), had more seniority than Young. The late congressman was the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee chairman. He served as full Appropriations Committee chairman from 1999-2005.
Young’s western Tampa Bay peninsula district now becomes the House’s fourth vacant seat. Gov. Rick Scott (R) soon will call a special election to fill the position for the remainder of the term. Political musical chairs were already beginning to move due to the incumbent’s retirement announcement, but now potential candidates will be forced to quickly make decisions as we head toward a special election.
All eyes will be on former state chief financial officer and gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink (D) who last week expressed interest in running for Congress, a month Continue reading >