Tag Archives: Paul Junge

New Jersey First Lady Suspends Campaign; Gov. Justice Up in West Virginia Poll; Tight Voting Results in California; Michigan Senate Candidate Moves to House Race

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Senate

Tammy Murphy, New Jersey’s First Lady

New Jersey: First Lady Suspends Campaign — New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy (D), who had been fighting with Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) over county Democratic Party endorsements that yield favorable ballot placements, surprisingly has ended her campaign. Murphy said she didn’t want to spend money attacking another Democrat when the funds could be used to help defeat former President Donald Trump.

The more likely reason for her withdrawal decision is failing to see a viable victory path after falling behind Rep. Kim in early polling. Additionally, Kim’s lawsuit against the state for the county ballot placement system that awards a favorable line position might well be successful, thus derailing the advantage she gained by winning endorsements in several entities. The development makes Rep. Kim a prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination, which is tantamount to winning the general election.

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Way Up in GOP Primary Poll — Emerson College, polling for WOWK-13 television station in the Charleston-Huntington market (March 19-21; 735 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters; multiple sampling techniques), sees Gov. Jim Justice holding a commanding 54-17 percent lead over US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) with the West Virginia primary now seven weeks away on May 14. Without incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in the race, the eventual GOP nominee becomes a heavy favorite to convert the seat in the general election.

In the governor’s race, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) also enjoys a GOP primary advantage according to the same poll. Morrisey holds a 33-16-14-6 percent advantage over businessman Chris Miller, former state Delegate Moore Capito, and Secretary of State Mac Warner, respectively. Miller is the son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), while Capito is Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-WV) son. Here, too, the eventual Republican nominee will be a virtual lock to win the general election.

House

California: CA-45 Set, Down to One Vote in North — With still 17 days remaining in the California election certification process, another congressional finalist has clinched a general election ballot position. With virtually all of the votes finally tabulated, Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Nguyen-Penaloza yesterday ended her fight for the second qualifying position, conceding the vote to attorney Derek Tran. The race came down to a spread of just 366 votes between the two candidates, or a percentage spread of 15.9 – 15.6.

US Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County), on the ballot for a third term, easily captured the first general election ballot position with a 54.9 percent showing. While Rep. Steel is in good position to begin the general election campaign, the 45th CD leans Democratic at D+5 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization. Therefore, plan for a highly contested congressional battle here in political prime time.

A few more votes were released in the nip-and-tuck open 16th Congressional District and San Mateo County Supervisor and ex-state Sen. Joe Simitian (D) saw his lead over Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) shrink from four votes to only one, 30,229 to 30,228. The eventual second-place qualifier faces former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) who locked down first place with 38,464 votes or 21.1 percent of the jungle primary total. Should Simitian and Low end in a flat tie, both would advance into the general election, thus leading to a three-way general election campaign.

MI-8: Senate Candidate Moves to House Race — State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder (R), who was the first person to declare for the open Senate race after incumbent Debbie Stabenow (D) announced that she would retire, never saw her campaign generate excitement or significant support. Therefore, Snyder announced that she is ending her Senate quest and will instead enter the Republican primary for the open 8th Congressional District.

There, Snyder will join two time congressional candidate and former news anchor Paul Junge in the GOP primary. Snyder is also not the first candidate to switch from the Senate race to this congressional contest. Earlier, State Board of Education president Pamela Pugh (D) made the change soon after six-term incumbent Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) announced that he would not seek re-election.

The 8th District will feature a hard-fought and tough election cycle. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the central Michigan 8th CD as R+1. President Joe Biden carried the district with a slight 50.3 – 48.2 percent margin.

No 2024 Re-Match in Ariz.;
MI-4 Re-Match on the Horizon; Killdeer Announces Cancer Diagnosis; Re-Election Run in WI-1

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, April 5, 2023

House

Arizona businessman Jevin Hodge (D)

AZ-1: No 2024 Re-Match — Arizona businessman Jevin Hodge (D), who held veteran Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) to a scant 50.4 – 49.6 percent re-election victory last November, a margin of 3,195 votes that proved the 12th-closest vote spread of all US House races, said Friday that he will not return to seek a re-match in 2024.

Even without Hodge as the party nominee, the Democrats are expected to make this race a key 2024 conversion target. Rep. Schweikert, still dealing with the after-effects from the penalties for 11 House ethics violations and an official reprimand in 2020, only recorded 43 percent in a three-way 2022 Republican primary. Therefore, it is probable that the congressman will again have strong Republican and Democratic challengers next year. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the 1st District as R+7. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 50.9R – 47.5D.

MI-4: Re-Match on the Horizon — After Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland) was the victim of his state losing a congressional seat in 2020 national reapportionment, he found himself paired with veteran Rep. Fred Upton (R). Upon Upton then deciding to retire after serving 18 terms, Rep. Huizenga was viewed as a lock for re-election. Surprisingly, however, his victory margin was only 54-42 percent against Marine Corps veteran Joseph Alonso (D) who spent just $36,159 on his campaign.

Last Friday, Alonso announced he will return for a re-match in 2024, and we can expect the Democrats to take a more serious look at his candidacy and the new 4th District. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat R+9, and the newly adjusted Dave’s Redistricting App calculations casts a 51.8R – 45.1D partisan lean. Rep. Huizenga is reportedly considering a run for the state’s open Senate seat but is ultimately expected to seek re-election next year.

MI-8: Rep. Killdeer Announces Cancer Diagnosis — Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) made public last week his cancer diagnosis, but the prognosis for full recovery post-treatment is strong. At this point, the congressman is expected to seek re-election next year. In 2024, he turned back a competitive challenge from former news anchorman Paul Junge (R) with a 53-43 percent margin.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates MI-8 as R+1, but Dave’s Redistricting App, in their adjusted post 2022 election ratings, calculates the partisan lean at 51.0D – 46.2R.

WI-1: Rep. Steil “Plans” to Seek Re-Election — During an interview last Friday, House Administration Committee chairman Bryan Steil (R-Janesville) says he is “planning” to seek re-election to his southern Wisconsin US House district and not challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) next year. The senator is expected to formally announce her re-election campaign later this month.

The statewide odd-year election could potentially change Rep. Steil’s mind, however. Should Democrat Janet Protasiewicz win the state Supreme Court election and flip the judicial panel to a Democratic majority, it is likely that immediate lawsuits will be filed to overturn the state’s congressional map. Protasiewicz has already said that she thinks the current 6R-2D federal plan is “unfair,” so it is likely that she, and the other Democratic justices, would vote to overturn the map.

If all of this happens, both Reps. Steil and freshman Derrick Van Orden (R-Prairie du Chien/La Crosse) could find their congressional districts on the partisan chopping block. At that point, talk of Rep. Steil running for the Senate could re-emerge.