Tag Archives: Rep. Mark Green

Rep. Mark Green to Retire; Another GOP Primary Challenger in AZ-1; Rep. Menendez Leading in NJ-8; New Mexico Senate Candidate Fails to Qualify

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 16, 2024

House

Tennessee Rep. Mark Green (R-Clarksville), US House Homeland Security Committee Chairman, announces his retirement. / Twitter

TN-7: Rep. Mark Green (R) to Retire — The second full House Homeland Security Committee chairman in less than a week announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election later this year.

Tennessee US Rep. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) joins Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) as Homeland Security Committee chairs most recently announcing their respective retirement. Reps. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who consecutively chair the Appropriations and Financial Services Committees, are also ending their long congressional careers.

Rep. Green said he has accomplished his promised goals in the House with the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the passage of the border bill earlier in this Congress. As chairman of Homeland Security, he was a key figure in both actions.

AZ-1: Another GOP Primary Challenger for Rep. Schweikert — Arizona US Rep. David Schweikert’s (R-Fountain Hills) close 2022 re-election contest has attracted a number of Democrats and Republicans into the 2024 campaign. Yesterday, former FBI agent Kim George (R) announced her candidacy. Also battling the congressman for renomination are businessmen Robert Backie and P.T. Burton. The crowded field will likely help the congressman win the Aug. 6 plurality primary.

While businessman Jevin Hodge held Schweikert to a scant one-point general election victory he is not returning for a rematch, but no less than nine Democrats are running. Within this large group are former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Andrei Cherney, ex-state Rep. Amish Shah, and former news anchorwoman Marlene Galan-Woods, widow of former Attorney General Grant Woods (D).

The politically marginal 1st District is fully contained within Maricopa County and carries an R+7 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization. The seat is ranked as the 18th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. President Joe Biden carried this district by a bare 50.1 – 48.6 percent margin in the 2020 election.

NJ-8: Internal Poll Finds Rep. Menendez Leading — Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s Democratic primary challenge to freshman Rep. Rob Menendez (D-Jersey City), son of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (D), may have lost some steam. Upon announcement, and at the height of Sen. Menendez’s legal trouble, Bhalla posted big fundraising numbers and appeared to mount some momentum toward unseating the younger Menendez in the June 4 primary.

Rep. Menendez’s campaign released an internal poll to the New Jersey Globe newspaper, without identifying the pollster (Jan. 25-Feb. 1; 400 registered NJ-8 Democratic voters; live interview) but publicizing the favorable ballot test. According to this data, Rep. Menendez maintains a 46-24 percent advantage over Mayor Bhalla.

This race still merits attention, particularly as Sen. Menendez continues to languish in statewide Democratic primary polling and is virtually a sure bet to lose the June election, assuming that he files a statement of candidacy at the end of next month. The Menendez campaign was quick to release one data point: 77 percent of the respondents agree that Rep. Menendez should be ‘judged on his own record, and not on that of his father.’

Senate

New Mexico: Ex-Sheriff Fails to Qualify for Senate Ballot — As we have seen in several places already in this election year, another potential candidate has been disqualified for failing to manage the petition signature requirement for ballot placement. Former Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales (R) has failed to qualify for the June 4 Republican US Senate ballot according to the New Mexico Secretary of State, thus likely leaving former hedge fund CEO Nella Domenici as the party’s lone contender.

Assuming the decision holds, the New Mexico Senate general election will feature Domenici, the daughter of former six-term US Sen. Pete Domenici (R), and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) who is seeking a third term. New Mexico is a Democratic state, so Sen. Heinrich is a clear favorite as the campaign officially starts, but Republicans believe that Domenici can become competitive.

McCarthy’s Resignation; NY-16 Primary Challenge; NY-17 Primary Challenge Avoided; Disgraced Nashville Mayor Now in House Race; Utah Challenger Emerges

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Dec. 8, 2023

House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R)

CA-20: Ex-Speaker McCarthy to Resign — With the California candidate filing deadline looming today, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) announced that he will not seek re-election to a 10th term and is leaving Congress at the end of the year. The outcome is not surprising, and one many expected since his ouster as House Speaker two months ago. The McCarthy decision means 35 House seats are now open with seven coming from California alone.

McCarthy’s Bakersfield-anchored district will remain safely in Republican hands, but the question remains as to whether a special election will be called. When the most recent California seat became vacant — San Diego’s Duncan D. Hunter resignation in early 2020 — Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) simply didn’t schedule a special election and the seat remained vacant for the better part of a year.

Since Newsom previously got away with this course of action, it is quite possible he will attempt to again hold the McCarthy seat in abeyance, particularly since the Republican majority is dwindling with the expulsion of Rep. George Santos and Rep. Bill Johnson’s (R-OH) pending resignation.

California’s 20th District draws a R+31 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization and is the safest Republican seat in this heavily blue state. Former President Donald Trump posted a 61-34 percent victory margin here over Joe Biden in 2020. For the regular election, seeing a double-Republican runoff evolve from the all-party jungle primary is a distinct possibility. The two leading potential contenders appear to be state Sen. Shannon Graves (R-Bakersfield) and Assemblyman Vincent Fong (R-Bakersfield).

NY-16: Primary Challenge Now Official — Earlier in the week, we reported that Westchester County Executive and former state legislator George Latimer had filed a congressional committee with the Federal Election Commission and was expected to officially declare his Democratic primary candidacy against two-term Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers). Wednesday, Latimer made his official announcement.

Several key primaries are evolving around the nation, and this challenge is a serious effort. Bowman, himself, came to Congress through unseating an incumbent, veteran Rep. Eliot Engel, in the 2020 Democratic primary, and now the tables may turn in 2024.

NY-17: Rep. Lawler Avoids Primary Challenge — Former Trump White House aide Bill Maloney, who was considering challenging freshman Rep. Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River) because he believed the congressman was not demonstrating sufficient loyalty toward Trump, now says he will not run. Rep. Lawler is likely to find himself in a very difficult general election campaign, thus making it necessary for him to have an uncontested primary campaign.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-17 as D+7. The district, however, will likely change after a congressional map redraw, so it is likely this Hudson Valley seat will become even more Democratic. The Daily Kos Elections statisticians rank the seat as sixth most vulnerable in the Republican Conference, and is likely to become even more competitive post-redistricting.

TN-7: Disgraced Nashville Mayor Announces Against Rep. Green — Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry (D), who resigned her position in disgrace as part of a plea deal for misuse of public funds to facilitate an extra-marital affair with a member of her security detail, on Wednesday announced that she will enter the 7th Congressional District Democratic primary. Should she win the nomination election, Barry would then challenge three-term Tennessee US Rep. Mark Green (R-Clarksville), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

CD-7 is a safely Republican western Tennessee district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+21. Former President Donald Trump carried TN-7 with a 56-41 percent victory margin. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 76th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. Rep. Green was re-elected in 2022 with a 60-38 percent victory margin.

Governor

Utah: Another Gubernatorial Primary Challenger Emerges — Gov. Spencer Cox (R) is favored to win a second term next year, but he will first have to out poll now two intra-party opponents. In late October, state Rep. Phil Lyman (R-Blanding) announced his Republican primary challenge to Gov. Cox, and this week, state Rep. Brian King (R-Salt Lake City) also entered the race.

While Gov. Cox would be favored against multiple candidates on a primary ballot, the candidates will first enter the Utah Republican Party endorsement convention, which can send as many as two candidates to the primary ballot. Not entering the convention, which may be the route Gov. Cox chooses, a candidate would need to recruit 28,000 valid petition signatures in order to compete in the party primary. Expect Gov. Cox to prevail in the nomination process and for re-election next November.

Rep. Jim Cooper to Retire;
Alabama Map Tossed

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 27, 2022 — The Tennessee state Senate passed the state House version of the new 9-District congressional map on Tuesday, which led to a political move. The redistricting plan now goes to Gov. Bill Lee (R), and he is expected to sign the legislation.

Retiring Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville)

Upon passage of the new map that would significantly change the Nashville area, veteran Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) quickly announced that he will not seek re-election later this year.

The map drawers divided Davidson County, which houses the Democratic city of Nashville, and split it among three districts: Cooper’s 5th, Rep. John Rose’s (R-Cookeville) 6th CD, and Rep. Mark Green’s (R-Clarksville) TN-7.

The effect creates a new 5th District that moves from a victory margin of 60-37 percent for President Biden to a seat that former President Trump would have carried 54-43 percent according to the Daily Kos Elections site statisticians. Both Reps. Rose and Green would continue to have solid Republican seats even with the Davidson County additions to their districts. Under the plan, the Tennessee delegation is expected to move from 7R-2D to 8R-1D.

Cooper is serving his 16th term in the House, winning his first election from the state’s east/southeastern 4th District in 1982, which he represented until he ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 1994. He returned to the House from the Nashville district in 2002 when then-Rep. Bob Clement (D-Nashville) left the seat to challenge then-Sen. Fred Thompson (R), the same man who defeated Cooper in his statewide bid.

During his second tour of duty in the House, Rep. Cooper was not seriously challenged for re-election. He is a member of the House Armed Services Committee where he chairs the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. He also is a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and the House Budget panel. It appeared that Cooper was preparing for a Democratic primary challenge this year, but that is moot now that the new 5th District becomes decidedly Republican.

Rep. Cooper is the 29th Democrat not to seek re-election. Counting the Democratic and Republican retirements along with the new and created (through redistricting) open seats, the House will see a minimum of 50 new members coming into office at the beginning of 2023.
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Rep. Hollingsworth to Retire;
Tennessee Map Advances

By Jim Ellis

Indiana Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Jeffersonville)

Jan. 14, 2022 — Three-term Indiana Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Jeffersonville) announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in the autumn, becoming the 12th Republican to retire in this election cycle. The congressman’s retirement decision means at least 46 seats will be open in the 2022 House election.

Saying, “I ran for Congress to return this government to the people from the career politicians who had broken it, and I will be damned if I become one in the process,” Hollingsworth will draw his congressional career to a close after six years. When he first ran in 2016, he pledged to serve no more than four terms. He expresses a desire to return to the private sector.

Indiana’s 9th District occupies most of the state’s southern sector and for years was a Blue Dog Democratic area. For 17 terms, Congressman Lee Hamilton (D), who became chairman of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees, represented the district. Democrat Baron Hill succeeded him in 1998, and served until his defeat at the hands of Republican businessman Mike Sodrel in 2004. Two years later, Hill recaptured the seat and held it until his second loss in 2010, this time to attorney Todd Young (R) who is now the Hoosier State’s senior senator.

Since the Young victory in 2010, the 9th has performed as a solid Republican district. Donald Trump carried in the seat in 2016 with a 61-34 percent margin, and again in 2020 with a similar 61-37 percent vote spread.

Under the new Indiana congressional map, the new 9th moves to the north and east, but retains its population centers in Jeffersonville, Clarksville, and New Albany, all across the Ohio River from Louisville, KY, and in the college town of Bloomington where the Indiana University resides.

Dave’s Redistricting App rates the new seat as a 59.7 percent Republican domain, while the FiveThirtyEight statistical site projects the new IN-9 with an R+30 rating, up from R+27 on the current map. The Republican primary is expected to be crowded and competitive. The Indiana candidate filing deadline is Feb. 4 for the May 3 statewide primary.
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The Tennessee Rumor

Tennessee Congressional Districts (click on image to see larger)

By Jim Ellis

Sept. 13, 2021 — Unconfirmed stories from Democratic sources are flying around the Internet suggesting that the Tennessee Republican state legislative leadership is in the process of drawing a new congressional map that would shred Rep. Jim Cooper’s (D-Nashville) seat and convert the current 7R-2D map into 8R-1D.

This may well be happening, but when looking at the population densities in each of the state’s nine congressional districts, drawing such a map may be unavoidable and not entirely partisanship-driven. The problem for Cooper and the Democrats is not the congressman’s Nashville-anchored 5th District. Rather, the Memphis seat of Rep. Steve Cohen (D) is the source of their difficulty. It is this 9th District, with a major population shortage and unfavorable geographic boundaries from a redistricting perspective, that could adversely affect Rep. Cooper.

Despite Tennessee ranking as the 17th fastest growing domain during the previous decade, the Volunteer State did not gain a new congressional seat in reapportionment. Additionally, and the fundamental problem for Rep. Cooper, middle Tennessee is experiencing explosive growth, while the east and the west are inhabitant deficient, at least from a congressional district equivalency perspective. Rep. Cohen’s Memphis anchored seat is the least populated of the nine CDs and must gain 77,122 people to meet the new Tennessee congressional district population requirement of 767,871 individuals.

As you know, Memphis sits in the far southwestern corner of Tennessee. Therefore, the Cohen district is bordered by Arkansas to the west and Mississippi to the south. Thus, the people needed to fill the 9th can only come from the north and east. To further complicate matters, the TN-9 is a Voting Rights majority minority district and must remain with relatively constant minority population numbers.

Additionally, the 8th District of Rep. David Kustoff (R-Georgetown), that stretches from Kentucky to Mississippi and the only place from where the 9th District can annex the people it needs, is also under-populated. To meet its own population requirements, the 8th CD must gain 51,524 inhabitants, hence having to stretch closer to the Nashville area districts, which is how Cooper’s Nashville seat factors into Memphis’ population swing problem. Combined, these issues making drawing western Tennessee difficult.

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Sen. Alexander to Retire

By Jim Ellis

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander (R)

Dec. 19, 2018 — Last week, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R) campaign released an internal survey that tested the three-term incumbent’s favorability ratings, which showed excellent results. Accompanying the release was the senator’s promise to announce his 2020 re-election decision before the end of the year.

He kept the announcement promise, but his decision, which he announced Monday, proved surprising. Spending the money to conduct a poll and releasing the strong results is usually a prelude to announcing for re-election, but not in this case; Sen. Alexander made public his decision to retire in 2020.

Tennessee voters will now elect another new senator for the second time in a two-year cycle. Sen. Bob Corker’s (R) retirement this year opened the door for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) to win the open 2018 campaign, but now potential Senate candidates will immediately get another chance.

Tennessee’s vote history suggests that the eventual Republican nominee will begin the 2020 general election cycle in the favorite’s position. This year, Democrats fielded arguably their best possible candidate, former two-term Gov. Phil Bredesen, who left office with very favorable ratings and a strong record. But, even after matching Blackburn in spending, the former governor fell 55-44 percent in the general election. The result will likely dampen Democratic prospects for 2020.

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