By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 17, 2023
SenatePennsylvania: Sen. Bob Casey Jr. Recovering from Cancer Surgery — Sen. Bob Casey, Jr’s. (D) office staff released a statement indicating that the senator’s surgery for prostate cancer is complete and doctors at least preliminarily believe he will need no further treatment. Sen. Casey previously said he hopes to run for re-election to a third term so long as his health responds. With early indications being positive, it is likely the senator will be back on the ballot in 2024.
West Virginia: New Poll Finds Gov. Jim Justice Topping Sen. Manchin — Mountain State Gov. Jim Justice (R) has been leaning towards challenging Sen. Joe Manchin (D) next year, and a new poll will likely add fuel to his fire. The Tarrance Group, polling for the Senate Leadership Fund (Feb. 5-7; 60 registered West Virginia voters, including an over-sample of 100 likely Republican primary voters; live interview), projects Gov. Justice leading Sen. Manchin by a substantial 10-point margin, 52-42 percent.
Testing the other known potential Republican candidates, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town), the results prove to be very different. Against each of these Republicans, Sen. Manchin holds a lead. If AG Morrisey were to return for a re-match from their 2018 campaign (Manchin won 50-46 percent), the senator would be staked to a reversed 52-42 percent advantage. He would fare better opposite Rep. Mooney. In this pairing, Sen. Manchin’s margin would be an even stronger 55-40 percent.
At this point, Rep. Mooney has announced his Senate candidacy. Morrisey says he is looking at the Senate race, along with governor, Rep. Mooney’s open congressional seat, or running for re-election. Gov. Justice is reportedly nearing a decision.
Louisiana: Transportation Sec Shawn Wilson Resigning; Likely Gov Candidate — Louisiana Department of Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D) announced that he is resigning his position largely with the intent of running for governor later this year. It appears he is doing so with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ (D) tacit endorsement. Gov. Edwards said of Wilson, “we would be very well served to have Shawn Wilson as our next governor.” Edwards is ineligible to seek a third term. At this point, Wilson would be the lone Democrat in the field.
Among Republicans, attorney general and former Congressman Jeff Landry and state Treasurer John Schroder are announced candidates. US Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) is another potential contender. The field won’t become finalized until Aug. 10. The jungle primary is scheduled for Oct. 14 with a runoff on Nov. 18 if no candidate receives majority support in the first vote.
Missouri: New Poll Favors Former Senator’s Son — The Remington Research Group released a survey of what will be an open 2024 Show Me State governor’s race. The study (Feb. 8-9; 820 presumed likely Missouri Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system) projects state Attorney General Jay Ashcroft, son of former US senator and US Attorney General John Ashcroft, leading the open GOP primary to replace term-limited Gov. Mike Parson (R) in the 2024 election.
The ballot test finds Ashcroft drawing 28Wilson support, more than tripling that of Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe who posts nine percent preference. The eventual Republican gubernatorial nominee will begin the general election campaign as a clear favorite.