Tag Archives: Rep. Adam Schiff

Schiff Announces After Losing House Intel Committee Spot; Kentucky Gov. Beshear in Strong Shape; Watson Says No to Mississippi Gov. Run

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

Senate

California Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)

California: Now, Rep. Schiff Announces — As the California US Senate race continues to ripen even though incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) says she will not decide about her own political plans “for a couple of months,” another Democratic candidate late last week announced for the statewide position.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), a day after being stripped of his House Intelligence Committee position, officially entered the 2024 US Senate contest that will first begin with a March primary jungle primary election. Fellow southern California Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) was the first to officially enter, doing so in the early part of this month. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) is reportedly telling supporters that she, too, will enter the Senate race. Her fellow San Francisco Bay Area colleague, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Fremont), says he will assess the political situation after Rep. Lee makes a decision.

Rep. Schiff says he talks to Sen. Feinstein frequently and “has her blessing” to run, though he did confirm that such a statement does not mean that she is endorsing his candidacy. It is presumed that two Democrats will advance to the general election, but such did not happen in the 2022 governor’s race. Therefore, the March 5, 2024 Super Tuesday California primary will feature much more intrigue than just what happens in the presidential contest.

Governor

Kentucky: Gov. Beshear (D) in Strong Polling Shape — Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy just released a survey of the impending Kentucky governor’s race (Jan. 18-23; 625 registered Kentucky voters; 404 likely Kentucky Republican primary voters; live interview) and the data finds Gov. Andy Beshear (D) with high approval ratings and recording sizable leads against all potential Republican opponents. M-D projects the governor’s job approval ratio at 61:29 percent favorable to unfavorable, certainly in the top tier when compared with other state chief executives.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron has developed a big lead in the Republican primary according to the poll, topping former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft, state Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, and state Auditor Mike Harmon by a 39-13-8-5 percent count.

Gov. Beshear enjoys lead of at least 19 points over the latter three Republicans, but at a much closer 49-40 percent divide against AG Cameron. It is likely this race will draw closer before election day, but the incumbent governor is clearly beginning his re-election drive in the favorite’s position.

Mississippi: Sec of State Watson Says No — It appears what could have been a major 2023 Republican primary challenge for Gov. Tate Reeves later this year probably won’t materialize. Secretary of State Michael Watson (R), who was publicly contemplating a gubernatorial run, said late last week that he will not challenge the incumbent. With the candidate filing deadline scheduled for Feb. 1, it is unlikely now that a major GOP player will come forward.

Dr. John Witcher, who is an anti-Covid vaccination physician, formally declared his candidacy earlier this week but is not expected to become a strong challenger. Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. (R), who ran against Reeves four years ago, is still a potential candidate, however.

Phoenix Restaurant Owner Makes House Run; CA-30 Field to Replace Schiff Grows; Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Challenger; Miss. Gov. Gov. Reeves Clings to Tight Lead

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

House

Phoenix area restaurant owner Kelly Cooper (R)

AZ-4: Cooper to Return — Phoenix area restaurant owner Kelly Cooper (R), who lost in November to Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix), 56-44 percent from a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates only as D+1, said late last week that he will run again in 2024. With Congressman Stanton eschewing a US Senate run, the chances are good that we will see a re-match congressional race here next year. In 2022, Cooper upset GOP establishment favorite Tanya Wheeless in the Republican primary with a 28-25 percent win within a field of five contenders.

CA-30: Field to Replace Schiff Again Grows — Though California Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) has yet to announce that he is running for the Senate, it is becoming a foregone conclusion that he will officially declare his candidacy when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) publicly confirms her retirement. We now see a fourth Democratic candidate coming forward to run in what they believe will be an open 2024 congressional race.

Actor Ben Savage (D), brother of actor Fred Savage, who has appeared in film and television in roles from 1989 to the present, made public his intention to enter the 30th District congressional field. Already in the race are Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank), Los Angeles Unified School District board member Nick Melvoin, and businessman John Bocanegra. CA-30 is a safely Democratic seat that will likely advance two Democrats from the top-two jungle primary format.

IN-3: First Open Seat Potential Candidate Emerges — Responding to four-term northern Indiana Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) announcing for the open Senate race, the first major potential US House candidate has filed an exploratory committee. State Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) confirmed that he is testing the waters for a congressional run but has not made any final decision about entering the open contest. A crowded Republican field is expected in a seat where the GOP nominee will have a major advantage in the general election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates IN-3 as R+34.

Puerto Rico: Resident Commissioner Draws Challenger — There are several unique points in Puerto Rico politics associated with sending one non-voting Delegate to the US House of Representatives. First, the position in Puerto Rico is designated as “Resident Commissioner,” second, the term is four years instead of two, and third, the political parties are different.

The current Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, is a member of the New Progressive Party (PNP), which is closely associated with the Republican Party. Yesterday, she received a challenge for the 2024 election from attorney and former gubernatorial aide Pablo Jose Hernandez Rivera of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), which is closely aligned with the mainland Democratic Party.

Governor

Mississippi: Gov. Reeves’ Tight Lead — A Siena College poll conducted for the Mississippi Today organization (Jan. 8-12; 821 registered Mississippi voters; live interview) finds first-term Gov. Tate Reeves (R) holding only a four-point, 43-39 percent, edge over newly announced Democratic candidate Brandon Presley, a cousin to the late music legend Elvis Presley, as the Feb. 1 candidate filing deadline fast approaches. The statewide primary is scheduled for Aug. 8, with a runoff on Aug. 29 for those races where no candidate receives majority support on the initial vote.

Gov. Reeves polled close in the 2019 election, but in the end won a 52-47 percent victory over four-term Attorney General Jim Hood (D). While his job approval rating, according to the Siena poll, is 48:45 percent positive to negative, his personal rating is an upside down 40:48 percent. It is unusual to see a personal rating register more negative than a job approval score.

Kari Lake Considering Senate Run; State Senator Declares for Porter’s Seat; Louisiana Rep. Graves Poised to Enter Gov Race; Two Dem Reps Oppose Mayor Lightfoot in Chicago

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Jan. 20, 2023

Senate

Former news anchor and candidate for governor, Kari Lake (R), is considering Senate run.

Arizona: Kari Lake (R) Considering Senate — Media reports from Arizona suggest that defeated gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, a former multi-decade Phoenix news anchor, is considering entering the 2024 US Senate contest. This campaign will be unique since it features the incumbent, Kyrsten Sinema, originally elected as a Democrat running as an Independent.

Democrats could be headed for a tough primary battle between Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) and Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix). The latter man also served six years as Phoenix’s mayor before being elected to the House. Other potential Republican candidates include Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb and state Treasurer Kimberly Yee. This race will prove interesting since both eventual major party nominees and Sen. Sinema all would have legitimate victory scenarios in a tight three-way general election campaign.

House

CA-47: State Senator Declares for Porter’s Seat — The whirlwind of California political activities in early anticipation of the 2024 election continues. With Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) already declaring for the US Senate and three others announcing for Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Burbank) House seat even though he has yet to say he’s running for the Senate, we now see a state legislator, Sen. David Min (D-Irvine), making a move.

Min announced his intention to compete for Rep. Porter’s open seat and will have the congresswoman’s endorsement. Since California state Senate seats are larger than congressional districts, Min’s overlay into the current 47th CD from his 37th District state Senate seat is substantial and includes the region’s anchor city of Irvine.

Governor

Louisiana: GOP Rep. Graves Poised to Enter ’23 Gov Race — It is believed that US Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge), who was just elected to a fifth term in the House, will imminently announce his 2023 gubernatorial candidacy. With both Sen. John Kennedy (R) and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R) deciding not to run for governor and incumbent John Bel Edwards (D) ineligible to seek a third term, the race becomes wide open.

The early leader appears to be attorney general and former Congressman Jeff Landry (R), but with the candidate filing deadline set for Aug. 10 and the initial primary scheduled for Oct. 14, this race still has months to develop. Since this is an odd-year election, Rep. Graves would not have to risk his House seat in order to enter the statewide contest.

North Carolina: AG Josh Stein (D) Declares for Governor — Two-term state Attorney General Josh Stein (D), who barely won re-election in 2020 with a scant 50.1 – 49.9 percent majority, announced his bid for governor Wednesday. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term in 2024, which will lead to another tight North Carolina open statewide campaign. Stein, who is the early favorite to win the Democratic nomination, will probably face Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who looks to have the inside track toward becoming the GOP standard bearer. We can expect another close statewide election in this highly competitive political state.

State & Local

Chicago: Two Dem Reps Oppose Mayor Lightfoot — Embattled first-term Mayor Lori Lightfoot continues to see support drift away. At an event the Chicago Teachers Union sponsored to declare its support of Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson for mayor, US Reps. Jonathan Jackson (D-Chicago) and Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) also announced their endorsement of the county official. Rep. Jackson criticized Mayor Lightfoot for not keeping her 2019 campaign promises.

The congressional member endorsements were a bit surprising since polling suggests that Mayor Lightfoot’s top competitor is their colleague in the House of Representatives, Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago). The mayoral election is Feb. 28. If no candidate receives majority support, the top two finishers will advance to an April 4 runoff election.

Rep. Banks Announces for Senate; Ohio Senate Rerun; More CA-30 Candidates; Mayor Announces House Challenge in Minnesota

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023

Senate

Indiana Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City)

Indiana: Rep. Banks (R) Announces for Senate — Not backing down from a potential Republican primary race against former Gov. Mitch Daniels, four-term US Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) announced Tuesday that he will enter Indiana’s open Senate race next year. Daniels has been sending signals that he will also run for the Senate, but the Banks move means the May Republican primary will likely be the big battle to replace first-term Sen. Mike Braun (R) who is bypassing re-election to run for governor. Other potential GOP candidates include term-limited Gov. Eric Holcomb and US Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville), among others.

Banks ended the 2022 election cycle with approximately $1.4 million remaining in his campaign account. Gov. Daniels last appeared on the ballot in 2008 when he was re-elected to a second term with a 58-40 percent victory margin. Rep. Banks leaving the safely Republican 3rd Congressional District means we will see a crowded and hotly contested GOP congressional field in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+34.

Ohio: 2022 GOP Senate Candidate Returns — Ohio State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), a minority owner of the Cleveland Guardians Major League Baseball club, will return for a second consecutive US Senate contest. This time, he hopes to challenge veteran Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in the 2024 general election.

In the last election, for the open seat created when Sen. Rob Portman (R) announced he would not seek a third term, Sen. Dolan competed against six opponents, losing to now-Sen. J.D. Vance (R) by a 32-23 percent margin with former state Treasurer Josh Mandel placing second just a point ahead of Dolan. In the current election cycle, Dolan’s chances for the party nomination appear better. If he is successful in the Republican primary, Dolan faces a difficult general election opponent in Sen. Brown even though Ohio has been moving decidedly closer to the GOP in recent elections. In 2018, Sen. Brown defeated then-US Rep. Jim Renacci (R), 53-47 percent.

House

CA-30: Yet, Another — Businessman Josh Bocanegra (D) who was looking to enter the US Senate race has instead decided to compete for the Burbank-anchored congressional race that most presume will be open. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) is widely expected to run for the Senate once incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D) announces her retirement. Already in the congressional race are state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) and Los Angeles Unified School Board Vice Chairman Nick Melvoin.

The seat will remain in Democratic hands, but it is likely we will see two Democrats advance to the general election from the top two jungle primary format that California has used since the 2012 election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-30 as D+45.

MN-2: Local Mayor Announces for House — After Navy veteran Tyler Kistner (R) ran two close but unsuccessful campaigns against Rep. Angie Craig (D-Prior Lake) in 2020 and 2022, Lexington Mayor Mike Murphy (R) announced that he will attempt to win the party nomination in hopes of becoming the congresswoman’s 2024 challenger. There is little indication as to what Kistner might be thinking about a third congressional run, but him losing two consecutive races suggests that the party leaders will be looking for a new contender.

Ricketts Already Draws Challenge; West Virginia Gov. Eyes Senate Bid; More Challenges re: Rep. Schweikert; Another One Jumps the Gun in CA-30

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023

Senate

Nebraska Rancher Chuck Herbster (R)

Nebraska: Senator-Designate Ricketts Already Draws a Potential Challenge — Not yet even sworn into office, Nebraska Senate-Designate Pete Ricketts (R), who new Gov. Jim Pillen (R) last week chose to fill the vacancy that former Sen. Ben Sasse’s (R) resignation created, may already be drawing a 2024 Republican challenger.

Rancher Chuck Herbster, the 2022 gubernatorial candidate who former President Trump endorsed and would lose to Pillen with then-Gov. Ricketts’ strong support, confirmed that he is considering launching a nomination challenge when the latter man first faces the voters in the May 2024 Republican primary. One reason Herbster lost the ’22 primary, however, was because several women went public with sexual harassment accusations, a controversy sure to arise again if he makes another attempt to seek public office.

Regardless of Herbster’s plans, it is probable that Ricketts will face a contested primary next year. His appointment was not unanimously well received within all quarters of the Nebraska Republican Party, but he has a full year in which to build an expanded intra-party winning coalition.

West Virginia: Governor Contemplates Senate Campaign — In a media interview at the end of last week, term-limited West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) confirmed that he is “seriously considering” making a US Senate run next year. Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has not committed to seeking re-election. He could retire, or enter the open governor’s race, since Gov. Justice is ineligible to run for a third term. Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) already has announced his intention to challenge Sen. Manchin. At this point, West Virginia appears as the Republicans’ top national conversion target.

House

AZ-1: More Challenges Brewing Against Rep. Schweikert — Arizona Rep. David Schweikert’s (R-Fountain Hills) 3,195-vote victory over media consultant Jevin Hodge — a percentage margin of just 50.4 – 49.6 percent — proved to be the 12th-closest US House result in the 2022 election cycle. Predictably, Schweikert — who has been plagued with an ethics controversy surrounding his handling of campaign and federal monies and who significantly under-performed in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+7 — will draw another serious challenge in 2024.

Already, three individuals are publicly taking action or mulling challenges. Dr. Andrew Horne, a local orthodontist, has officially announced his candidacy. Hodge, the 2022 nominee, confirms that he is considering another run. Former local news anchor Marlene Galan-Woods (D), widow of the late Republican-turned-Democrat Attorney General Grant Woods, also acknowledges her potential interest in making a congressional run in the state’s new 1st CD. Count on this race developing into another major national target campaign next year.

CA-30: Another One Jumps the Gun — We continue to see a chain reaction of political moves in California since Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) announced her intention last week to run for the Senate. In anticipation of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) entering the Senate contest (though he has yet to say so), we now have two credible Democratic candidates announcing for what they think will be the congressman’s open seat.

As we previously reported, Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Vice Chairman Nick Melvoin (D) declared for the House seat, and immediately afterward state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) announced that she, too, will compete for Rep. Schiff’s federal position. Through all of this, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) has yet to announce her own 2024 plans, though all of these moves are based upon her expected retirement.

Arizona’s Kari Lake Leads in New Senate Poll; Calif. Rep. Lee Indicates a Senate Run; Manchin for WVa Gov.?

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023

Senate

Former Arizona newscaster Kari Lake (R)

Arizona: Kari Lake (R) Leads in New Senate Poll — Former local Phoenix news anchor Kari Lake (R), who just lost a close race for governor, claims a small lead in a new hypothetical US Senate poll featuring she, incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I), and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix).

David Binder Research conducted the survey (Jan. 5-8; 618 registered Arizona voters; interactive voice response system & text) and projects that Lake, who has not indicated that she will run for the Senate, leads Rep. Gallego and Sen. Sinema, 36-32-14 percent, respectively. Though Sen. Sinema trails badly, she could certainly rebound and come from the outside to win especially if the Democratic and Republican candidates almost evenly split the remaining vote. Considering recent vote history since 2018, such an outcome is certainly possible.

Rep. Gallego is an all-but-announced Senate candidate. He may, however, face opposition from US Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix), and possibly others, in the Democratic primary.

California: Rep. Lee (D) Says She will Run for Senate — California Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) reportedly is telling supporters that she will run for the Senate next year, following Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-Irvine) lead, but will not declare her intentions until Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) announces her expected retirement. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) is also expected to follow a similar path into the Senate contest.

We will probably see a Democratic brawl that could last the entire election cycle considering that California’s top two primary system will likely advance two Democrats into the general election.

Considering both Reps. Porter’s and Schiff’s strong fundraising prowess, Rep. Lee will be at a clear financial disadvantage. The Bay Area, however, has produced most of the recent statewide elected officials, so geography would be a point in her favor. Count on a very crowded Senate field should Sen. Feinstein, in fact, decide to retire.

Governor

West Virginia: Sec of State Announces for Governor — Secretary of State Mac Warner yesterday announced his 2024 gubernatorial candidacy in what is already becoming a crowded open seat Republican primary. Mountain State Gov. Jim Justice (R) is ineligible to seek a third term, and may run for the Senate.

Already in the race is state Del. Moore Capito (R-Charleston), son of West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), and auto dealer Chris Miller, the son of 1st District Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-Huntington). Two other minor candidates have also entered the race. No Democrat has yet come forward. Former state Delegate S. Marshall Wilson is also running, representing the Americans Coming Together Party (ACT). Many more candidates are expected to enter the race. Rumors persist that Sen. Joe Manchin (D) may run for governor instead of seeking re-election.

Rep. Porter Announces for Senate in California, Candidates Immediately Announce for Her Seat; Virginia State Races

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023

Senate

California: Rep. Porter (D) Announces for Senate — California Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) yesterday announced (see above video) that she will enter the 2024 US Senate campaign, apparently irrespective of what veteran Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) decides about her own political future.

Accompanying the Porter video announcement was a poll that the David Binder Research company conducted for the congresswoman’s campaign committee soon after the November election. The study tested a hypothetical general election battle between Reps. Porter and Adam Schiff. Also included in the poll were Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna (D-Fremont), the latter of whom has also discussed running for the Senate. No Republican alternative was listed.

The Binder survey (Nov. 19-21, 2022; 600 registered California voters; live interview & online) projected that Reps. Porter and Schiff would advance into the general election from the state’s top two jungle primary system. Between Porter and Schiff, the electorate would break 37-26 percent in Porter’s favor with Republicans backing the Orange County congresswoman at a 25-5 percent clip. This is largely due to Schiff’s strong negative ratings among Republicans, likely over his prominent role in the Trump impeachment process.

House

CA-47: Candidates Declare for New Open Seat — We also saw quick action in what will be an open 47th Congressional District now that Porter is an announced Senate candidate. Former California state Rep. Scott Baugh immediately declared that he would run again, as did former Congressman Harley Rouda (D). The latter man was elected to the House in 2018 from the former 48th District, approximately 59 percent of which now lies in Porter’s new 47th. In 2020, Rouda lost his re-election to current 45th District US Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Orange County).

The CA-47 seat now becomes the second district to already open for the 2024 election cycle. Earlier, Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) announced that he will challenge Sen. Joe Manchin (D) next year, thus opening in northern West Virginia 2nd Congressional District for the next election.

States

Virginia Senate: Democrats Capture Vacant Seat — Though Republican state Sen. Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) defeated US Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Norfolk) in the November election, Tidewater Democrats rebounded last night with a tight win to convert her vacated Senate seat. Democrat Aaron Rouse captured a close 50.4 – 49.5 percent win over Republican Kevin Adams to expand the Dems’ Senate advantage to 22-18.

In 2020, President Biden carried this state Senate district with a 54-44 percent margin, but GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin won the seat 52-48 percent in the 2021 gubernatorial election. Therefore, the 7th Senatorial District is clearly politically marginal in nature.

Virginia House: Each Party Wins One Special Delegate Election — In two House of Delegates special elections, each party held a risked vacancy in landslide proportions. In the 24th District where Delegate Ronnie Campbell (R-Rockbridge) passed away in December, the deceased incumbent’s wife, Ellen Campbell, easily succeeded her late husband with a 66-34 percent victory.

In Fairfax County’s 35th House of Delegates district, Democrat Holly Seibold recorded a 67-33 percent win to keep the seat in the Democratic column. She will replace Del. Mark Keam (D) who resigned to accept a position in the Biden Administration. The pair of victories now yield 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats in the state House.