Tag Archives: Rep. Barbara Lee

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.

Ricketts Selected to Replace Sen. Sasse; CA-30 Race Already Rolling; Elvis’s Cousin Announces for Gov.

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Jan. 13, 2023

Senate

Former Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts selected to replace Sen. Ben Sasse.

Nebraska: Gov. Pillen Tabs ex-Gov. Pete Ricketts for Vacant Senate Seat — Sen. Ben Sasse (R) has officially resigned his seat in order to assume his new duties as president of the University of Florida, and new Gov. Jim Pillen (R), as expected, chose former Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) as the interim replacement. Ricketts will serve until the next general election in 2024. The seat is next in-cycle for a six-year term in 2026.

Gov. Pillen wanted to pick a senator who would commit to serving a long while in order to build seniority for the state to compliment two-term Sen. Deb Fischer (R) who is seeking re-election in 2024. Therefore, Ricketts committed to running both in 2024 and 2026. Senate-Designate Ricketts will be sworn into office when the Senate next convenes on Jan. 23.

House

CA-30: House Race Already Rolling — California Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-Irvine) move to declare for the Senate even before incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) announces her retirement has already set off a chain of reaction. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) says she will announce once Sen. Feinstein makes her retirement public. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) looks to be doing the same. In anticipation of the latter jumping into the Senate race, Los Angeles School Board member Nick Melvoin (D) announced yesterday that he will run for Schiff’s House seat.

Governor

Louisiana: Rep. Graves Considering Gov Race — Saying, “I think that the sentiment out there in the public for another candidate in this race is absolutely extraordinary,” Louisiana US Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) confirmed that he is still considering whether to run for governor later this year, and promises a decision in the next few days. The open gubernatorial field has changed drastically with both Sen. John Kennedy (R) and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R) declining to become candidates.

Graves was first elected to the House in 2018 and easily re-elected in 2020 and 2022 with 71 and 80 percent of the vote, respectively. He would not have to risk his congressional seat to run for governor in this odd-numbered year election. Attorney General Jeff Landry (R), state Treasurer John Schroder (R), and Department of Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D) presently appear to be the leading contenders.

The candidate filing deadline is not until Aug. 10. The jungle primary is scheduled for Oct. 14. If no one receives majority support in the initial vote, the top two finishers will advance to a Nov. 18 runoff election. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.

Mississippi: Elvis’s Cousin Announces for Governor — Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D), a second cousin to the late music legend Elvis Presley, announced that he will compete for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in a quest to challenge Gov. Tate Reeves (R) later this year. Presley was elected to the Public Service Commission in 2007 after serving seven years as mayor of Nettleton, a town of approximately 2,000 residents. He is the first person to become an official 2023 opponent to Gov. Reeves. Secretary of State Michael Watson is a potential Republican primary challenger.

Candidate filing closes Feb. 1. The statewide primary is set for Aug. 8 with a runoff date on Aug. 29 for those races where no candidate achieves majority support in the initial vote. The general election is Nov. 7.

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.