Tag Archives: Rep. Jim Banks

Challenger May Be DQ’d in Indiana; California Rep. Napolitano to Retire; Barrett Returns in Michigan;
Top-Four vs. RCV in Idaho

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Senate

Indiana: Banks’ GOP Challenger May Be Out — Last week, egg farmer John Rust announced a challenge to Indiana Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) for the open GOP Senate nomination, but his quest might end before it even begins. This week, as the Daily Kos Elections site reports, we find that Rust may not qualify for the ballot because he is not in good standing as a Republican according to Hoosier State election procedure. Because Indiana is a non-party registration state, the GOP candidate qualification requirements include voting in the two most recent Republican primaries, or the approval of the individual’s local GOP county chair.

Rust last voted in the 2016 Republican primary but also participated in the 2012 Democratic primary. Jackson County Republican chair Amanda Lowery is quoted as saying she wants to speak with Rust before making a final determination regarding his qualification status. For his part, Rep. Banks is saying Rust is “a liberal Democrat trying to run in the GOP primary,” and therefore should not be awarded a ballot line.

House

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk)

CA-31: Rep. Grace Napolitano to Retire — Veteran Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk), who first won her seat in the 1998 election, announced Monday that she will not seek re-election to a 14th term next November. Napolitano, now 86 years old, is the oldest member of the House. She becomes the 14th House member and 10th Democrat to not seek re-election next year, but only the second to outright retire. The remainder are all running for a different office. Napolitano’s retirement decision also creates the fourth open House seat in the California delegation.

In her statement announcing her retirement, the congresswoman endorsed state Sen. Bob Archuleta (D-Norwalk) as her successor. Ironically, Sen. Archuleta, if elected to the House in 2024, would be, at the age of 79, the second-oldest freshman in American history. At a D+29 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization, the seat will not be competitive for a Republican candidate. Chances are high, however, that we would see another double-Democratic general election under California’s all-party top-two jungle primary system. The California qualifying election is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

MI-7: Ex-Sen. Tom Barrett (R) to Return — Former Michigan state Sen. Tom Barrett (R), who was considered at least a slight under-performer in the 2022 election against US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) when losing 52-46 percent, announced he will return next year for another try. Since Rep. Slotkin is running for the state’s open Senate seat, the politically marginal 7th District will also be open. Last week, former state Sen. Curtis Heftel (D) announced his candidacy with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) support. Heftel left the legislature to join Gov. Whitmer’s administration.

Neither man is expected to face much intra-party opposition, but the general election will be hotly contested. MI-7 is one of 20 US House districts where the FiveThirtyEight and Dave’s Redistricting App data organizations disagree over which party has the partisan edge. In this instance, 538 projects the 7th District as having a R+4 rating, while Dave’s App calculates a 49.3D – 47.9R partisan lean.

States

Idaho: Top-Four Primary Initiative Cleared for Signature Gathering — An organized group called Idahoans for Open Primaries has launched an initiative to transform the current Idaho partisan primary system into Alaska’s unique Top Four Primary, which includes a Ranked Choice Voting component for the general election. In the legislative session just concluded, a law was enacted banning Ranked Choice Voting in any Idaho election.

The initiative, if qualified and passed, would repeal the new RCV ban law and institute an all-party open primary where all candidates running for a particular office will compete to finish in the first four positions. All four would then advance into the general election. If no candidate receives majority support, Ranked Choice Voting would be implemented. In Alaska, the system has led to a Democrat winning the at-large congressional seat even though 60 percent of voters chose a Republican candidate in the open all-party primary.

Organizers are now cleared to begin gathering petition signatures. They must secure 63,000 valid Idaho registered voter signatures on or before May 1, 2024. Included in this number must be signatures from at least six percent of residents in 18 of the state’s 35 legislative districts.

Christie Gains Support; Indiana’s Holcomb Will Not Make Senate Bid; House Roundup: California, MD, Utah

By Jim Ellis — Monday, June 19, 2023

President

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)

National Research Poll: Christie Shows — A new National Research poll conducted for the American Greatness Super PAC (June 12-14; 500 likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters) finds former President Donald Trump gaining strength in the Granite State, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis drops down several points from the group’s last survey. In a surprise, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bolts into a third place tie with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) at seven percent apiece.

A point the pollsters made revolves around New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu deciding not to run for president. At least in this first poll taken after his announcement, the results did not help Gov. DeSantis as expected. Instead, the pollsters indicated the Sununu support appeared to gravitate to either Sen. Scott or ex-Gov. Christie.

Senate

Indiana: Gov. Holcomb Won’t Run — Term-limited Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) announced that he will not enter the US Senate race or run for any other office in 2024. The governor taking a pass on the Senate race means US Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the May 7, 2024, Republican primary. He will be viewed as a lock to win the general election as the Democrats have yet to produce a competitive candidate. Incumbent Sen. Mike Braun (R) is not seeking re-election in order to run for governor.

House

CA-31: Former Dem Mayor Files Against Rep. Napolitano — Community College Trustee and former Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz (D) filed candidacy documents with the Federal Election Commission for her southern California congressional district. If she formally files, the race could lead to a Democrat vs. Democrat general election under California’s all-party jungle primary system.

It is also possible that Lutz is creating a placeholder committee in case 86-year-old incumbent Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) decides to retire.

MD-6: Lieutenant Governor Won’t Run — Maryland Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller (D) announced late last week that she will not enter the open 6th Congressional District race. Miller ran for the seat in 2018 when it was last open, finishing second in the Democratic primary to eventual winner David Trone. With Trone now running for the Senate, the politically competitive 6th District is now open again.

At this point five Democrats and three Republicans have announced their candidacies. On the Democratic side, two state Delegates are in the race, Lesley Lopez (D-Montgomery Village) and Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery County). Two-time GOP nominee Neil Parrott has not yet entered the race. Defeated GOP gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox also claims to be considering the congressional contest but has yet to make a final decision.

UT-2: Special Election Candidate Filing Closes — Gov. Spencer Cox (R) set the special primary election to replace resigning US Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Farmington) for Sept. 5 and the special general on Nov. 21. The candidate filing period has now closed. A total of 13 Republicans, three Democrats, and six minor party or Independent candidates have filed.

For the Republicans — who will be favored to hold the seat — former state House Speaker Greg Hughes, ex-state Rep. and US Senate candidate Becky Edwards, and former Republican National Committeeman Bruce Hough are official candidates, and at this point comprise the first tier. For the Democrats, the leading contender is state Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights).

The political parties will now call a special district convention. The delegates will nominate one candidate to advance into the special primary by majority vote. Others can still qualify for the primary through the petition signature process.

Q2 Senate Candidate Financial Filings

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, April 20, 2023

Senate

Financials: What the Numbers Show — The Daily Kos Elections website compiled the just-released second quarter Federal Election Commission campaign financial disclosure summaries for the in-cycle Senate races, and the funding reports again tell many interesting stories.

One of the first clues analysts consider is whether the quarter fundraising suggests retirement possibilities. One 2024 total, in particular, stands out as a strong possibility.

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin (D), who has been in elective office consecutively since 1967 when counting his service in the Maryland House of Delegates, the US House, and the Senate, raised only $14,000 in the 2nd Quarter. He still maintains just under $1 million in his campaign account, however. Sen. Cardin, who will be 81 years old at the time of the next election and says he will announce his 2024 political plans shortly, now looks to be a strong retirement possibility.

Just to the north, Delaware Sen. Tom Carper (D) is also mentioned as a retirement prospect. He raised only $193,000 in the 2nd Quarter but has just over $600,000 in the bank. In an at-large state, his financial situation is not particularly low. Still, at 77 years of age at the time of the next election and having been in elective office for 47 consecutive years, retirement is certainly a possibility.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R) has also not been a proactive fundraiser, attracting only $111,000 within the quarter just ended. His cash-on-hand figure of $604,000 is also low, but Sen. Romney has the ability to raise a great deal of money in a short period, and has already filed a 2024 campaign committee with the FEC. He says he will make a final decision about whether to seek a second term “during the summer.”

A senator who has been coy about her 2024 plans is Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, who left the Democratic Party in December to become an Independent. Some believed there was a question about whether she would seek re-election but seeing a $2 million 2nd Quarter and just under $10 million cash-on-hand strongly suggests that the first-term Grand Canyon State senator will compete for re-election.

The most active 2nd Quarter fundraisers were Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) at $15.5 million reported raised, but that figure includes an $11 million transfer from her existing US House committee. Her opponent in the open California Senate race, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), is the second-most prolific fundraiser, with $6.5 million in reported 2nd Quarter income.

Following are Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT; $5.0 million), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ; $3.7M), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH; $3.5M), Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI; $3.0M), and Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV; $2.4M), Christopher Murphy (D-CT; $2.3M), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI; $2.1M), and Sinema ($2.0M).

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Trump vs. DeSantis – Who Wins?;
Ariz. Senate Race; Feinstein Fallout; Indiana Candidate Search

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023

President

Former President Donald Trump (R); Florida Gov. Ron Desantis (R)

Quinnipiac: Poll Supports Crowded Primary Analysis — Quinnipiac University released their latest national presidential poll (Feb. 9-14; 1,580 US adults; 1,429 self-identified registered voters; 592 self-identified Republican or Republican leaning voters; live interview) and the results confirm some relatively common analyses. The numbers appear to support the idea that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could deny former President Donald Trump renomination if the race comes down to a choice directly between him and the former president.

Though a national poll is useful for detecting a popularity trend, a party nomination is won in the states. Looking at publicly released surveys since mid-November to the present, we see 29 state polls coming from 16 voting entities, including the pre-Super Tuesday locations of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.

From those 29 polls, a total of 17 tested Trump and DeSantis in a head-to-head contest. Already, DeSantis was polling ahead of the former president in 14 of those surveys. When the field was crowded, it was Trump who fared better. In the dozen multi-candidate studies, the former president led Gov. DeSantis in eight.

Senate

Arizona: Rep. Gallego Leads in New Polling, But Numbers are Close — OH Predictive Insights, a frequent Arizona pollster, produced new numbers from their Jan. 31 – Feb. 9 survey of 1,000 registered voters through an online opt-in panel. Under various configurations, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) leads the various candidate fields, but he scores only between 31-34 percent in the three-way hypothetical contests.

Along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I), Gallego was tested individually with Republicans Doug Ducey (the former governor), 2022 Senate nominee Blake Masters, 2022 gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, and 2022 gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson. Sen. Sinema slightly improves her standing, topping out at 22 percent, while the highest Republican score is 27 percent for Ducey. However Ducey has repeatedly said he will not be a Senate candidate in 2024.

The online poll conducted over a long sampling period is often considered less reliable than other methodologies. The bottom line from this and other early AZ Senate polls, is that any one of the three, Gallego, Sinema, or an eventual Republican nominee, can win a tight three-way contest.

California: Rep. Lee Files Senate Committee with FEC — Now that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) has announced, as expected, that she will not seek re-election in 2024, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) immediately filed a Senate committee with the Federal Election Commission. Lee had been sending clear signals that she planned to enter the open Senate race, but would do so only after Sen. Feinstein made her plans known. The act of filing a FEC committee does not necessarily mean a Senate candidacy is forthcoming, but it is a clear indication this is where Rep. Lee is headed.

Indiana: NRSC Sending Banks Signals — Though former Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) and other GOP leaders are attempting to recruit a candidate to oppose conservative Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) for the open Indiana US Senate race, National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Steve Daines (R-MT) appears to be headed toward the congressman’s camp.

Reports suggest the Daniels group may be close to backing former Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R) for the Senate nomination, but with Banks having the rightward faction and what well could be the NRSC endorsement and resource support, the latter man will be very difficult to derail. Next week, Sen. Daines is hosting a fundraising event for Rep. Banks sending clear signals that the national party is going to back the northern Indiana House member.

Trump Tops DeSantis, Haley, Scott, Pence; Michigan Rep. Declines Senate Run; House Races Adding Candidates

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

President

Former President Donald Trump

South Carolina: Sen. Scott, Ex-Gov. Haley Badly Trail Trump, DeSantis — Presidential state polls are beginning to surface, and a recently released Moore Information South Carolina survey (Jan. 18-24; 450 likely South Carolina Republican primary voters; live interview) finds former President Donald Trump leading the GOP field in one of the top early primary states while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis follows. The surprise result is that both South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and the Palmetto State’s former governor and ex-UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, each of whom appears to be testing the waters for their own presidential run, fare poorly on the ballot test question.

According to the numbers, Trump holds a 41-31-12-5-4 percent advantage over DeSantis, Haley, Scott, and former Vice President Mike Pence, respectively. While the two South Carolinians don’t score well on the ballot test, their favorability ratings among the Republican faithful are on par with the two leading candidates. Trump has a positive rating of 83 percent, Gov. DeSantis is at 82 percent, while Haley and Sen. Scott score 79 and 78 percent, respectively. Pence is also viewed positively with a 70 percent favorable rating.

Senate

Michigan: Rep. Haley Stevens (D) Declines Senate Bid — Three-term US Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Birmingham) who defeated then-Rep. Andy Levin in a redistricting forced Democratic primary pairing last August, said Monday that she would not pursue a race for Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D) open seat next year. Rep. Stevens believes she “can best serve Michigan’s working families, manufacturers, students, and small businesses in my current role.”

It had been expected that Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) was preparing an official announcement to enter the Senate race, but has yet to move forward. Despite a flurry of early activity among Democrats examining the open race, no one has yet formally declared their intention to become a Senate candidate.

House

AZ-3: Dems Positioning for Open Race — Arizona state Senate Minority Leader Raquel Teran (D-Phoenix), also a former Arizona Democratic Party chair, confirms that she is considering entering the open primary to succeed Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix), who is now officially running for the Senate. With the downtown Phoenix 3rd District voting overwhelmingly Democratic — the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat D+44 — the August 2024 party primary will determine the next representative. A crowded field featuring a number of local and state elected officials is expected to form.

CA-30: Field Now Grows to Eight — Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) running for the Senate has already led to a field of six viable 2024 candidates with two more announcements coming over the weekend. Both state Sen. Anthony Portatino (D-La Canada) and former Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer (D) announced that they will run for the congressional seat next year.

Already in the field are state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Los Angeles Unified School District board member Nick Melvoin, actor Ben Savage, and businessman John Bocanegra (D). The California jungle primary is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024. It is likely that two Democrats will advance into the general election from this D+45 rated CD.

IN-3: Former Congressman May Return — Former Republican US congressman and ex-Indiana state legislator Marlin Stutzman confirms that he is considering running for his previous position since Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) has declared for the Senate. At this point, the only formidable announced candidate in what will be an open safe Republican congressional seat anchored in the Ft. Wayne area is state Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington). Rep. Banks’ successor will come from the May 2024 Republican primary.

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.

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.