By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, April 5, 2023
HouseAZ-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.