Tag Archives: Mayor Sylvester Turner

What Kari Lake’s Senate Bid Means;
Ex-Michigan Police Chief Out to Early Lead; CA-27 Democrat Drops Bid; NJ-7 Candidate Withdraws; Houston Mayoral Runoff Likely

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023

Senate

Kari Lake (R) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Arizona: Kari Lake Announces — As has been anticipated, 2022 Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee and former news anchor Kari Lake announced her US Senate candidacy yesterday. She enters what will likely be a three-way race with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I) and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix), the latter of whom appears to be the consensus Democratic candidate. With Lake officially in the Senate race, 2022 Senate nominee Blake Masters will likely withdraw. He announced a 2024 campaign several weeks ago but said he would depart if Lake entered the race.

Kari Lake has created much post-election controversy in Arizona with election fraud accusations, but she is still likely strong enough to win the Republican Senate nomination. Also in the race is Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb. Sen. Sinema has not formally announced her re-election campaign, but she is raising money and taking action to prepare for what will be the most interesting Senate general election in the country. All three candidates will have a path to victory, so the contest officially should be rated a toss-up. This Senate race will attract a great deal of national attention as the election cycle moves forward.

Michigan: Ex-Police Chief Craig Jumps Out to Early Lead — Public Policy Polling went into the Wolverine State to test Republican primary voters and just released their results. The survey (Oct. 9-10; 430 likely Michigan Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) finds retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig beginning with a 30-19 percent Republican primary lead over former Congressman Mike Rogers in the open US Senate race. This contest will develop over time with a late Aug. 6 primary scheduled.

The winner will likely face US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) who is a clear favorite to win the Democratic nomination. Four-term incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is retiring at the conclusion of this Congress.

House

CA-27: Democrat Drops Bid — Franky Carillo, who was once convicted of murder but freed after spending decades in prison when DNA evidence proved his innocence and has since become a Los Angeles County probation officer, has ended his congressional bid. This paves the way for former Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides (D) to advance into the general election to face three-term Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita).

CA-27 is one of the most politically marginal seats in the Republican Conference, ranked as the fourth most vulnerable on the Daily Kos Elections site scale. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+8, but Rep. Garcia has proven a consistent winner in the north Los Angeles County district. The 2024 election, however, is the first time he will face an opponent other than former state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D), whom he defeated three consecutive times.

NJ-7: Mayor Withdraws — Roselle Park Mayor Joe Signorello (D), who originally announced a challenge to Sen. Bob Menendez (D) but dropped out to instead enter the congressional race against Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield), has now withdrawn again. Signorello announced during the week that he would end his congressional effort.

The Signorello move leaves former State Department Counterterrorism official Joe Blazakis and progressive activist Sue Altman as the remaining Democrats vying for the party nomination. Others could still enter the race.

Rep. Kean will be a slight favorite for re-election in a politically marginal district. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat R+3. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 51.5R – 46.5D partisan lean. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks NJ-7 as the 16th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference.

Cities

Houston: Mayoral Runoff Likely — A new poll from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston (Sept. 30-Oct. 6; 800 likely Houston mayoral voters; text message), finds state Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) and US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) almost assuredly advancing to a December runoff election from the Nov. 7 initial municipal vote. According to the University of Houston ballot test, Sen. Whitmire, the longest serving legislator in Texas history (first elected in 1972), leads Rep. Jackson Lee 34-31 percent among the seven tested Houston mayoral candidates. A candidate must obtain majority support to be elected outright.

Looking ahead to the succeeding runoff, Sen. Whitmire outpaces Rep. Jackson Lee by a substantial 50-36 percent margin. The best news for Sen. Whitmire is that 40 percent of the undecided voters said they would consider voting for him, while 53 percent said they would never vote for Rep. Jackson Lee. Incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.

General to Oppose Marjorie Taylor Greene; Montana Candidate Filing; Another Opponent for Wisconsin Rep. Steil; Republican Candidate for Houston Mayoral Race

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023

House

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome) / Photo by Gage Skidmore

GA-14: Retired General to Oppose Rep. Greene — Retired Army Brigadier Gen. Shawn Harris (D) announced that he will enter the Democratic primary to hopefully challenge two-term Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome).

Defeating Rep. Greene in the general election is the longest of shots. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates GA-14 as R+45. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 69.4R – 28.8D. The question as to whether Greene is even vulnerable to a Republican primary challenge remains doubtful. In the 2022 race, the congresswoman was re-nominated with 69.5 percent of the vote with five opponents dividing the remaining 30.5 percent.

MT-2: Republican Files Exploratory Committee in Anticipation — Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen (R) filed a congressional exploratory committee Monday in anticipation that Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Glendive) will run for the Senate. Arntzen, who is ineligible to seek a third term in her current statewide position, says she will only enter the US House contest if Rosendale vacates the seat for another statewide race.

Should he depart for the Senate, the 2nd District Republican primary figures to host a very crowded and competitive open primary. Carrying a R+30 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization and a 59.8R – 37.9D partisan lean factor that the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians calculate, a succession battle here would be decided in the Republican primary. The 2nd District covers central and eastern Montana and encompasses the cities of Billings, the state’s largest municipality, Great Falls, and the state capital of Helena.

WI-1: Second Democrat Announces Against Rep. Steil — Lorenzo Santos (D), a Racine County Emergency official, joined the Democratic primary with the goal of challenging three-term Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Janesville) next year. Already running is former local official Anthony Hammes (D).

This race is beginning to attract attention because of the possibility that the Wisconsin congressional map will be redrawn. If that happens, there is a strong probability the 1st District becomes more Democratic and enhances the possibility that Rep. Steil may opt for a Senate bid. We can expect further action coming from southern Wisconsin as the potential of a district reconfiguration begins to grow.

Cities

Houston: Republican Emerges — Hoping to split the Democratic vote between US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) and veteran state Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston), former at-large City Councilman Jack Christie (R) announced that he will now compete in the open mayoral race scheduled for Nov. 7. The structure is a jungle election contest where all 14 declared candidates would appear on the same ballot. If no contender receives 50 percent of the vote in the first election, a runoff will be scheduled between the two top finishers.

Though the field is large, polling suggests that Sen. Whitmire and Rep. Jackson Lee are well ahead of the remaining candidates who comprise the pool. Therefore, Christie’s strategy of coalescing the minority Republican vote and coming from the outside to capture a runoff position could potentially become viable. Incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) is ineligible to run for a third term.

Retired Army Pilot Returns for
Re-Match in PA-1; Archuleta to Retire?; Missouri Gov. Race; Denver, Houston Mayoral Races

By Jim Ellis — Monday, April 10, 2023

House

Retired Army pilot Ashley Ehasz (D)

PA-1: Nominee Returning — Retired Army pilot Ashley Ehasz (D), who fell last November to four-term Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown) by a 55-45 percent count, will return for a re-match, she announced late last week. The 10-point spread was the congressman’s strongest performance since he first began running for the seat in 2016.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the Philadelphia suburban district as EVEN. It is likely Democrats will want to find a stronger 2024 candidate, but Ehasz’s presence in the race suggests a primary contest will result if the party leadership decides to recruit a different contender.

CA-31: Preparing for Retirement? — California state Sen. Bob Archuleta (D-Norwalk) filed a congressional campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission last week. This is a curious move since veteran Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) has not announced that she is retiring. The act of filing a federal committee is not necessarily an official declaration of candidacy, but does allow the raising of federal funds.

Rep. Napolitano will be 87 years old at the time of the next election and is clearly a retirement possibility. Sen. Archuleta is now officially waiting in the wings. It is unlikely that he will launch a primary challenge against the incumbent since he would be risking his state Senate seat to do so. The 31st Congressional District is heavily Hispanic and Democratic, so any primary challenge will likely result in a double Democratic general election campaign under California’s all-party jungle primary system.

Governor

Missouri: Secretary of State Enters Governor Race — As expected, the “Show Me” state’s Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R), the son of former Missouri senator and US Attorney General John Ashcroft (R), announced late last week that he will enter the open 2024 governor’s race. Ashcroft was first elected to his statewide post in 2016, and re-elected in 2020. He lost his first race, however, a St. Louis-area state Senate campaign in 2014.

Gov. Mike Parson (R), who assumed the governorship in June of 2018 after then-Gov. Eric Greitens (R) was forced to resign and then was elected to a full term in 2020, is ineligible to seek a second full term.

Already in the open Republican primary are Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and state Sen. Bill Eigel (R-St. Charles County), thus guaranteeing a nomination fight. No Democrat has yet declared his or her candidacy. Republicans will be favored to hold the position in the general election.

Cities

Denver Mayor: Runoff Set — Last Tuesday’s open mayoral primary in Denver that featured 16 candidates attempting to succeed retiring Mayor Michael Hancock (D), who is ineligible to run for a third term, has now been officially decided. The two candidates advancing to the November runoff election are both Democrats.

The official general election contenders will be former state senator and ex-gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston and ex-Denver Chamber of Commerce CEO and former mayoral chief of staff Kelly Brough. Brough served as then-Mayor John Hickenlooper’s top aide. Hickenlooper is now, of course, Colorado’s current junior US senator and a former governor and presidential candidate. A competitive general election is expected.

Houston Mayor: New Candidate Emerging — Former Houston mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee, who lost the 2019 runoff to Mayor Sylvester Turner, 55-45 percent after spending $12 million of his own money, may enter the 2023 campaign. Buzbee was quoted as saying he could spend $15-50 million more of his own money to win the election. His stated belief is that he is the only candidate who could defeat US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston), who is now an official mayoral contender.

Candidate filing does not conclude until August, so this open race still has much time to solidify. Mayor Turner is ineligible to seek a third term and is openly considering entering the 2024 Senate race against incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Two More Presidential Prospects; New Candidate for NC Gov’s Race; Chicago, Houston Mayoral News

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, March 30, 2023

President

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC)

New Prospects: Two Schedule Trips to Primary States — A pair of new Republican potential presidential candidates appear to be exploring the national campaign hustings. Reportedly, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) are beginning to test the political waters with appearances in the early primary states.

Should they move forward, former President Trump will likely be the big winner. The greater number of individuals who have little chance of winning the nomination but still become candidates makes it easier for Trump to score plurality victories and secure the highest number of delegates.

States

North Carolina: New Gubernatorial Candidate Enters — Tar Heel State Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) has received the preponderance of early attention regarding the 2024 open Republican gubernatorial nomination, but another individual has jumped ahead of him to become the first official GOP candidate. State Treasurer Dale Folwell declared his gubernatorial candidacy Monday, thus setting up a tough primary battle with Robinson, who is set to soon officially announce his bid.

The lone Democrat in the race, Attorney General Josh Stein, is well on his way to becoming a consensus party candidate. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. As with all North Carolina statewide races, the 2024 battle will yield a tight final result.

Cities

Chicago: Breaking Vallas’ Way — Two positive occurrences happened Monday for Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas, now just one week away from runoff election day. First, Emerson College released their new survey conducted for the WGN Television in Chicago and The Hill newspaper in Washington, DC. The study (March 23-25; 1,000 likely Chicago voters; multiple sampling techniques) posts Vallas to a 46-41 percent lead over Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson. The polls have see-sawed throughout the runoff period.

Secondly, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) has announced his public support of Vallas, thus bringing him more key Illinois Democratic establishment support. The election is scheduled for April 4.

Houston: Rep. Jackson Lee (D) to Run for Mayor — As has been anticipated for several months, Texas US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) announced Monday that she will enter the 2023 open Houston mayor’s race. The congresswoman will not have to risk her US House seat to run for the post, but must resign if elected. If this occurs, a special election will then be scheduled to fill the unexpired portion of her congressional term. Already, a field of 11 individuals have announced their mayoral candidacies even though candidate filing doesn’t conclude until Aug. 21.

The major candidates, in addition to Rep. Jackson Lee who was first elected to Congress in 1994, include state Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston), former city councilwoman and ex-US Senate candidate Amanda Edwards, Houston Metro Board member and ex-Texas Democratic Party Vice Chairman Chris Hollins, and attorney Lee Kaplan. Incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner is ineligible to seek a third term.

Lt. Gov. a Potential Senate Candidate in Wisc.; Mayor Sheila Jackson Lee?; Reeves Rebounds in Mississippi; West Virginia Candidate Decisions

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Senate

Wisconsin’s former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R)

Wisconsin: Former Lieutenant Governor Potential Senate Candidate — We reported late last week that business owner Scott Mayer is considering competing for the Wisconsin US Senate nomination in a race that has not yet begun. Now we see reports surfacing that former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) is “leaving the door open” to considering a bid against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D).

Kleefisch, who served as lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Scott Walker (R) from 2011 to 2019, but who lost the 2022 GOP nomination for governor to businessman Tim Michels — who would then lose the general election to Gov. Tony Evers (D) — is currently leading the 1848 Project organization, a Wisconsin-based conservative action group.

House

TX-18: Mayor’s Option Still Open — Texas US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) is not commenting about further reports suggesting she will enter the open mayor’s race later this year. At the same time, she is not denying interest in doing so, and reports suggest that the congresswoman is telling close supporters that she is actively considering the race. The candidate filing period does not conclude until August, so quite a bit of time remains for her to enter the citywide campaign. Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) is ineligible to seek a third term, and is reportedly considering challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R) next year.

Governor

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D)

Mississippi: Reeves Rebounds — Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy conducted a new Mississippi governor’s poll for the Magnolia Tribune (March 6-9; 625 registered Mississippi voters; live interview) and sees Gov. Tate Reeves (R) rebounding from a January Tulchin Research survey. The Mason-Dixon ballot test posts Gov. Reeves to a seven-point lead over Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D), 46-39 percent. The Tulchin poll staked Presley to an early 47-43 percent advantage.

In the M-D poll, the governor has leads throughout the state with the exception of the state’s 2nd Congressional District (Rep. Bennie Thompson-D), that occupies most of the Mississippi Delta area. In that region, Presley pulls a 15-percentage point lead. Gov. Reeves is strongest — a pair of 15-point spreads — in the Tennessee border region and on the Gulf Coast. With party nominations secure for both Gov. Reeves and Presley, the two are already waging a general election battle that will be settled on Nov. 7.

West Virginia: AG Morrisey Leads in New Poll — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), who lost to Sen. Joe Manchin in a close 49-46 percent result in 2018, claims to be deciding among seeking a re-match in the Senate race, or running for the open governor or 2nd Congressional District positions, or simply seeking re-election.

A newly released National Research poll that was conducted in late February for the Black Bear PAC (Feb. 23-28; 600 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters) projects Morrisey to be holding a 28-15-11-6 percent advantage in an open governor’s primary against state Delegate Moore Capito (R-Charleston), the son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R); Secretary of State Mac Warner (R); and businessman Chris Miller, son of Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington).

Though Morrisey has yet to commit to a race, this poll suggests his gubernatorial prospects are positive. Incumbent Gov. Jim Justice (R) is ineligible to seek a third term, and is likely to challenge Sen. Manchin.

Challenger Emerges in Texas;
Top Dem Declines to Run in Louisiana;
SCOTUS Redistricting Action in NC; Rep. Jackson Lee to Run for Mayor?

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023

House

Army veteran Kyle Sinclair (R)

TX-28: New Rep. Cuellar (D) Challenger Emerges — Army veteran Kyle Sinclair (R), who lost 68-32 percent against Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) in Texas’ 20th District last November, announced he is moving to the 28th District to challenge veteran Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo). The congressman’s most serious vulnerability is in the Democratic primary; however, as illustrated in his 2022 victorious race for renomination decided in a May runoff by just 311 votes. We can expect to see more political action next year in this CD that stretches from San Antonio to the Mexican border.

Governor

Louisiana: Dem Chair Won’t Run — Though candidate filing for the Louisiana governor’s race doesn’t close until Aug. 10, the open-race field is already winnowing. At the end of last week, Louisiana Democratic Party chair Kate Bernhardt announced that she will not become a gubernatorial candidate after considering the possibility of entering. The top candidates appear to be Attorney General Jeff Landry (R), state Treasurer John Schroder (R), and state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D). Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. The state’s jungle primary is Oct. 14, 2023, with a runoff on Nov. 18 if no contender receives majority support in the first election.

States

North Carolina: State Supremes Schedule Action — The North Carolina state Supreme Court is sending clear signals to the US Supreme Court over the state’s election and redistricting law challenges. Before departing at the end of their term in January, the former NC Supreme Court panel, with a 4D-3R majority, declared the state Senate map a partisan gerrymander and overturned the NC voter identification law. On Friday, the new 5R-2D court announced it will hear arguments to overturn those rulings in the middle of March.

The move is significant since SCOTUS is considering the North Carolina political gerrymandering case and will rule before July 1. The state court, however, potentially taking action on similar cases before the US Supreme Court ultimately decides, could allow the latter panel simply to yield to the state’s decisions. At the end of the process and regardless of which court sets the final parameters, it is probable that we will see a complete redistricting of the North Carolina political boundaries before the 2024 election.

Cities

Houston: Rep. Jackson Lee Considering Mayor’s Race — Reports are emanating from Houston that veteran US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) is conducting citywide polling to determine her chances in the open mayor’s race scheduled for November of this year. Incumbent Sylvester Turner (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.

At this point the leading contender appears to be state Sen. John Whitmire (D), who was first elected to the legislature in 1972. He served 10 years in the state House of Representatives before moving to the state Senate in 1982. He is Texas’ longest-serving state senator.

If no candidate receives majority support on Nov. 7, a runoff between the top two finishers will be scheduled. The mayor’s race is non-partisan in that candidates’ party affiliations are not listed on the ballot. Other major candidates are City Councilman Robert Gallegos, former city councilwoman and 2020 US Senate candidate Amanda Edwards, and Houston Metro Board Member Chris Hollins.