By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, May 24, 2023
PresidentGov. Ron DeSantis: Announces Today — Multiple reports are indicating that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will announce his long-awaited presidential campaign today in a Twitter interview with Elon Musk.
Thus, the slow developing national campaign is now getting underway. In addition to the DeSantis announcement, ex-Vice President Mike Pence, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are all expected to soon formally enter the race, joining former President Donald Trump, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. The first vote will be in the Iowa Caucuses currently scheduled for Feb. 5, 2024.
Delaware: Sen. Tom Carper (D) will Retire — Delaware Sen. Tom Carper (D) announced that he will conclude his long political career at the end of this Congress. Doing so means he will have served in elective office for 48 consecutive years when his current term ends.Sen. Carper was first elected state Treasurer in 1976, then to the US House in 1982, governor in 1992, and the US Senate in 2000. During yesterday’s retirement announcement, he encouraged At-Large US Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Wilmington), one of his former congressional staff members, to run for the Senate seat.
Carper becomes the fifth senator to forego re-election in 2024 and the fourth Democrat. He joins Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in the group who are voluntarily ending their Washington careers. All are retiring from politics with the exception of Sen. Braun who is running for governor of Indiana.
It remains to be seen if Rep. Blunt Rochester runs for the Senate – it is presumed she will – but another possibility is outgoing Gov. John Carney (D) who is ineligible to seek a third term in 2024. Carney, himself a former congressman, could launch a primary challenge for the Senate, which could send Rep. Blunt Rochester into the open governor’s contest. The latter move is not likely, however, since the congresswoman could have easily hopped into what was known to be an open race long before Sen. Carper’s announcement.
AZ-1: Another Democrat to Challenge GOP Rep. David Schweikert — Arizona Rep. David Schweikert’s (R-Fountain Hills) close one-point re-election victory over Democratic newcomer Jevin Hodge last November has led to several different Democrats vying for the right to challenge the veteran GOP congressman in the next election. The Democratic field is enlarged because Hodge has decided not to return for a re-match. The new 1st District, that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+7, is six points less Republican than Rep. Schweikert’s previous 6th CD.
Joining the group with the announcement is former television news anchor Marlene Galan-Woods, the wife of the late Attorney General Grant Woods who was originally elected as a Republican but switched to the Democratic Party.
Previously announced are state representative and physician Amish Shah (D-Phoenix), former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Andrei Cherni, ex-Arizona Red Cross CEO Kurt Kroemer, orthodontist Andrew Horne, and educator and frequent candidate W. John Williamson. Expect this race to again evolve into a national competitive congressional campaign after the Democratic nomination is decided in the Aug. 6, 2024, primary election.
NY-3: Top Republican Says “Not Interested” — As the saga of Congressman George Santos (R-Long Island) continues, it has been no secret that Long Island Republican Party leaders were looking to state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) as a potential replacement congressional nominee. While Sen. Martins indicated Monday that he “… hopes Santos will resign,” he further stated that he is “not at all interested” in running for the seat regardless of whether Santos is in the congressional race or not. Therefore, the GOP brain trust may have to begin again to identify a potential candidate either in an open-seat situation or to challenge a beleaguered Rep. Santos in the next Republican primary.
North Carolina: Ex-Rep. Walker Declares for Governor — Former three-term US Rep. Mark Walker (R), who found himself without a district under the state Supreme Court-drawn map in 2020 and then ran an ill-fated 2022 US Senate campaign (losing the Republican primary to now-Sen. Ted Budd and only attracting 9.2 percent of the vote), Monday announced his gubernatorial candidacy.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is ineligible to seek a third term, so the position will be open in the 2024 election. So far, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) has a wide early lead for the party nomination and even enjoys a small polling edge over his likely Democratic gubernatorial counterpart, Attorney General Josh Stein. Walker argues that Lt. Gov. Robinson will be a poor general election candidate, thus potentially leading the party to a big loss in the November 2024 vote: hence, his reasoning for entering the governor’s race. North Carolina promises to host one of the most competitive gubernatorial campaigns on the 2024 national election card.