Tag Archives: Rep. Nancy Mace

Fong’s Fight; Rep. Jamaal Bowman in Primary Battle; Another US House Member to Resign; More Primary Trouble for Rep. Nancy Mace

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024

House

California Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) / Photo by Kevin Sanders for California Globe

CA-20: Candidates Qualify for Special Election — The California Secretary of State has attested that nine candidates have qualified for the March 19 special election to replace resigned former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). Controversy, however, still surrounds the favorite to win the electoral contest, Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield).

Since Fong had already filed for re-election before Rep. McCarthy resigned from the Congress, the Secretary of State ruled that he could not enter the congressional race because such action would violate a California election law that prohibits individuals from simultaneously running for multiple offices. Fong sued over the administrative ruling and won in Superior Court. Therefore, he has been slated as a congressional candidate while not being removed from the state assembly ballot. The state is appealing the court ruling, so even if Fong wins the special election as expected, he could be hampered by a future court decision.

Also qualifying are Tulare County Sheriff Mike Bourdeaux (R), and seven other Republicans, Democrats, and No Party Preference candidates. If no one receives majority support on March 19, the top two finishers, regardless of party affiliation will advance to a special general election on May 21. The regular election cycle primary is scheduled for March 5, featuring most of these candidates. The special election winner will serve the balance of Rep. McCarthy’s final term.

NY-16: Serious Primary Challenge Unfolding — New York US Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers), while receiving good news that the House Ethics Committee is not going to pursue further action against the congressman for pulling a fire alarm in a House office building, is now facing a backlash over social media posts he made after the 9/11 attack. The posts referred to theories that the US government orchestrated the terrorist massacre, and a ring of globalist bankers were actively involved in the conspiracy.

“Well over a decade ago, as I was debating diving into a doctoral degree, I explored a wide range of books, films, and articles across a wide swath of the political spectrum and processed my thoughts in a personal blog that few people ever read. I don’t believe anything that these cranks have said, and my life’s work has proven that.”

While Bowman may survive these controversies in the short term, he faces a very difficult Democratic primary election in June. His principal opponent, Westchester County Executive George Latimer is reporting a dollars raised figure of $1.4 million since his declaration of candidacy in early December. Latimer is a veteran campaigner, having been elected four times to the state Assembly, once to the state Senate, and twice to his current position. Therefore, Rep. Bowman must be considered as a highly vulnerable incumbent as he heads into a serious renomination fight.

NY-26: Rep. Higgins to Resign Friday — New York US Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo), who announced back in November that he would resign the House seat he has held for almost 20 years to take a position in the non-profit sector back in Buffalo, issued a statement saying that he will leave Congress on Friday. Once the seat is officially vacant, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will have 10 days to call a special election for a period no less than 70 and no greater than 80 days from the scheduling announcement.

The local Democratic county chairmen have already chosen state Sen. Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) as the party’s special election nominee. Republicans are not likely to be competitive in the Buffalo anchored district which carries a partisan rating of D+18 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization. At this point, the local Republican county chairs have not announced a special election nominee.

SC-1: More Trouble for Rep. Mace — Earlier in the week, we reported that South Carolina US Rep. Nancy Mace’s (R-Charleston) former chief of staff, Dan Hanlon, had filed a campaign committee to challenge her in this year’s Republican primary. Now, a former Nikki Haley gubernatorial cabinet official, Catherine Templeton, announced that she, too, will oppose the congresswoman.

Templeton, the former director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control ran for governor in 2018 but finished third in the Republican primary, losing to Gov. Henry McMaster. As lieutenant governor in 2017, McMaster ascended to the governorship when Haley was appointed UN Ambassador.

With the US Supreme Court still deciding whether the lawsuit challenging the 1st District as a racial gerrymander is valid, there is still a possibility that this seat could be redrawn before the candidates appear on the ballot. The South Carolina primary is June 11, with a runoff scheduled for June 29 if no candidate receives majority support. Unless the district is ordered changed, the eventual Republican nominee becomes a prohibitive favorite in the general election.

Rep. Mace Challenged by Ex-Staffer; Support Coalesces for North Dakota Candidate; Nebraska GOP, Trump at Odds; West Virginia Candidates Set

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024

House

Two-term Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) challenged by former staffer Dan Hanlon. (Handout photo)

SC-1: Ex-Staffer Announces Against Rep. Mace — Dan Hanlon, a former chief of staff to two-term South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston), announced that he will challenge his former boss in the upcoming Republican primary. The move had been rumored for several weeks.

A further complicating factor is the lawsuit arguing that this district is a racial gerrymander has been heard at the US Supreme Court, and the state is awaiting a decision. If the high court rules in the plaintiffs’ favor, a 1st District redraw could be ordered. With an April 1 candidate filing deadline for the associated June 11 primary, it may be difficult to reconfigure the district for the 2024 election cycle even if SCOTUS compels the change.

Additionally, former state representative and 2018 congressional nominee Katie Arrington (R) has also not ruled out running. Without changing, the seat should easily remain in Republican hands, but the GOP primary will become interesting.

Governor

North Dakota: Rep. Armstrong Building Consensus — At-Large US Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-Bismarck) continues to solidify himself as the heir apparent to retiring Gov. Doug Burgum (R). Former state Sen. Tom Campbell (R), an announced gubernatorial candidate, has already pulled out of the race. Instead, he will run for Rep. Armstrong’s open US House seat. It already appears that Armstrong is becoming a consensus gubernatorial candidate, and the real race will be the Republican primary to succeed him in the US House.

States

Nebraska: GOP Refuses to Endorse Incumbents — Exacerbating the feud between Cornhusker State incumbents — supported by former President Donald Trump — and establishment Republicans, the Nebraska Republican Party’s State Central Committee issued endorsements to all of the GOP primary congressional challengers.

In the Senate race, the party has endorsed retired Air Force officer John Glen Weaver over appointed senator and former Gov. Pete Ricketts. In US House District 2, the committee is officially supporting financial services executive and former congressional candidate Don Frei over Rep. Don Bacon (R-Papillion/Omaha), and in District 3, the party delegates issued an endorsement for businessman John Walz against nine-term Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Gering).

In the contests where the Republican incumbents are running unopposed for the party nomination, Sen. Deb Fischer, and Rep. Mike Flood (R-Norfolk), the committee members issued no endorsement. It is also worth noting that none of the incumbents sought the party endorsement.

West Virginia: Candidate Filing Closes — The West Virginia primary races are now set, as candidates will begin officially campaigning for the May 14th plurality primary. The races for governor and US senator will capture the most attention, while crowded primaries are underway for the open attorney general, secretary of state, and state auditor’s offices. The only statewide incumbent seeking re-election is Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt (R).

Despite all the other statewide races being hotly contested, an oddity occurred in the open state treasurer’s race in that only one candidate filed. Former state Delegate Larry Pack (R) is unopposed both in the Republican primary and the general election.

The Republican gubernatorial primary features four top candidates, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey; Secretary of State Mac Warner; former state Delegate Moore Capito, the son of US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R); and businessman Chris Miller, son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington). Huntington Mayor Steve Williams is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

The Senate Republican primary is considered a match between two-term Gov. Jim Justice and US Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town), though four other candidates filed. The Democratic side features Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott and former CEO and convicted felon Don Blankenship (a frequent candidate), along with former congressional aide Zack Shrewsbury. Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is retiring.

In the House races, 1st District Rep. Carol Miller faces only minor opposition in the Republican primary and general elections. In the open 2nd District, state Treasurer Riley Moore leads a Republican field of five candidates. His most serious opponent appears to be retired Air Force General Chris Walker. For the Democrats, retired Navy Cmdr. Steve Wendelin is unopposed for the party nomination.

Rep. Rice Loses in SC;
Flores Converts Seat for GOP in TX

By Jim Ellis — June 16, 2022

Primary Results

South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice (R-Myrtle Beach)

South Carolina: Rep. Tom Rice Loses Re-Nomination — The first of six Republican House members who are seeking re-election and voted to impeach former President Trump went down to defeat Tuesday night. South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice (R-Myrtle Beach) lost outright to Trump’s endorsed candidate, state Rep. Russell Fry (R-Murrell’s Inlet). Fry defeated Rep. Rice, 51-24 percent, with the remaining 25 percent being split among the other five candidates.

Elsewhere, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston) defeated Republican primary challenger and 2018 congressional nominee Katie Arrington by a close 53-45 percent, which proved to be a defeat for a Trump endorsed candidate. Fourth District Rep. William Timmons (R-Greenville), in a race that Trump did not affect, was also renominated but only by a 52.7 percent vote share opposite three challengers.

Statewide, both Republican incumbents, Sen. Tim Scott and Gov. Henry McMaster, were easily re-nominated. Gov. McMaster will now face former Congressman Joe Cunningham (D), who won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination outright with 56.5 percent of the vote, while the Democratic Senate candidates fell into a tight three-way finish. Two of the contenders will advance to a runoff election on June 28, presumably author Catherine Bruce and state Rep. Krystle Matthews (D-Ladson).

TX-34: Mayra Flores Converts Seat for GOP — Republican Mayra Flores, a health care professional, won the open special election last night in a 51-43 percent spread over former Cameron County Commissioner Dan Sanchez (D) and two others. The district was left vacant when then-Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) resigned from the House to accept a position with a legislative advocacy firm.

Flores’ win will boost the Republican count to 214 in the House, just four away from creating a new majority — but winning a full term in November is a more difficult challenge for her in the regular election. The new 34th is rated 12 points more Democratic than the seat she won last night and will face 15th District Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) in the impending general election.

Gonzalez chose to seek re-election in the new South Texas 34th when Vela announced his retirement, and thus won the party primary in March. We can expect the Republican national political apparatus to pull out all of the stops in an attempt to re-elect Flores in the fall, thus making the 34th CD a political battleground.

Senate

Georgia: Sen. Warnock, Herschel Walker Tied — East Carolina University tested the Georgia electorate (June 6-9; 868 registered Georgia voters) and find Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker tied at 47 percent apiece. The Georgia race will be one of the key battleground contests in the 2022 general election cycle.

Governor

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Leads Stacey Abrams — The aforementioned East Carolina University poll (see Georgia Senate above) finds Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leading ex-state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D), 50-45 percent, in another race that is expected to go down to the wire. The two fought to a 50.2 – 48.8 percent finish in 2018.

Texas: Abbot Up in Landslide — A new Democratic Blueprint Polling survey of the Texas electorate (June 8-10; 603 likely Texas general election voters) finds Gov. Greg Abbott (R) re-establishing a huge polling lead. In this survey, the ballot test breaks 56-37 percent over former US Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso). Gov. Abbott is seeking a third four-year term.

Ohio Senate, Maine Gubernatorial Races Tight

By Jim Ellis — June 3, 2022

Senate

Ohio: First Post Primary Poll Tight — The Ohio primary was May 3, and now we see the first public general election poll testing US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) and Republican best-selling author J.D. Vance. Suffolk University surveyed the Ohio electorate (May 22-24; 500 likely Ohio general election voters; live interview) and finds Vance jumping out to a slight three-point lead, 42-39 percent. The poll’s tight results is not unusual for an Ohio race, which typically are rated as toss-ups until the final two weeks.

In other questions, 42.6 percent of the respondents answered that either the economy or inflation was their most important issue, with abortion registering third at 11.6 percent. Even though he was leading the race, Vance’s favorability index was surprisingly upside down at 35:38 percent positive to negative. Rep. Ryan held a 40:23 percent positive ratio. President Biden fell to 39:56 percent. A total of 49 percent said they want to change the direction in which President Biden is leading the nation, while 24 percent said they want to support the President’s leadership.

Governor

Maine: Gov. Mills Holds Tepid Edge — Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D), who has seen her approval ratings drop from strong heights of late, still tops former Gov. Paul LePage (R) in a combined new statewide survey from Fabrizio Lee & Associates (R) and Impact Research (D) for AARP (May 10-13; 1,050 likely Maine voters with a representative sample of 500 likely voters; live interview & text), but the respondents have a sour outlook regarding the future. While Gov. Mills holds a 51-46 percent edge on the ballot test against ex-Gov. LePage, her lead drops to just one point, 44-43 percent, among those who say they are definitely committed to one of the candidates.

By a whopping margin of 18:82 percent, however, the respondents believe the country is on the wrong track. The state of Maine is also viewed negatively in a 43:56 percent ratio. President Biden’s job approval is upside-down at 45:54 percent. Gov. Mills’ job approval ratio barely remains in positive territory at 49:47 percent favorable to unfavorable.

House

MI-3: Rep. Meijer Trails in New Survey — Michigan freshman Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) fared poorly in redistricting, taking his Grand Rapids-anchored district from a R+9 rating according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization to a D+3 with 50 percent new territory. A new Public Policy Polling survey (May 25-26; 676 registered MI-3 voters; interactive voice response system) shows Rep. Meijer falling behind Democrat Hillary Scholten, his 2020 general election opponent, by a 39-37 percent clip. The change in district lines and the new partisan complexion certainly makes this result believable. The 2022 MI-3 race will be rated a toss-up with no clear favorite.

SC-1: GOP Primary Tightening — A new Trafalgar Group survey (May 26-29; 556 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters; multiple data collection sources) sees the Republican primary challenge of former state representative and 2018 congressional nominee Katie Arrington coming within potential upset range of freshman Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Charleston). The Trafalgar organization sees the race closing to 46-41 percent, which is much different than a Basswood Research poll taken around the same period (May 21-22; 400 likely SC-1 Republican primary voters). The latter poll found the congresswoman taking a commanding 44-24 percent lead. The South Carolina primary is scheduled for June 14.

House Incumbent Primaries, Part I: Republicans

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 18, 2022 — As the states complete their individual redistricting processes and candidate filing deadlines appear on the political horizon, some incumbents find themselves facing serious primary challenges. Today, we look at Republican nomination situations in states where redistricting is complete, and Monday next week, we’ll look at the Democrats.


CA-5: Rep. Tom McClintock

Primary: June 7 (Jungle)

• McClintock Cash-on-Hand (Dec. 31, 2021): $372,569
FiveThirtyEight Statistical Rating: R+17
Dave’s Redistricting App Historical Voting: 56.6% R

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission made significant changes to the Golden State congressional map. As a result, veteran northern California Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) had his choice of two districts, one less Republican that contained more of his home area, and the other more strongly favoring the GOP but stretched from the Sacramento suburbs all the way to the Fresno area. McClintock chose the latter.

The congressman’s most serious opponent is Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig (R). California imposes a jungle primary system meaning that the top two finishers in the June qualifying election advance to the general election. Considering the Republican trends in this district, it is wholly possible that both Rep. McClintock and Supervisor Magsig will advance into the general election, especially with three Democratic candidates dividing the liberal base.


IL-15: GOP Pairing

Primary: June 28

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville)
Rep. Mary Miller (R-Oakland)
• Davis Cash-on-Hand (Dec. 31, 2021): $1,234,171
• Miller Cash-on-Hand (Dec. 31, 2021): $414,795
FiveThirtyEight Statistical Rating: R+42
Dave’s Redistricting App Historical Voting: 64.6% R

The Illinois Democratic gerrymander created a new uber-safe Republican 15th District that attracted both Reps. Rodney Davis and Mary Miller. Therefore, the new member here will be chosen in the June 28 Republican primary.

The race is shaping up as a clear GOP establishment versus movement conservative contest. Virtually all of the state and national Republican leaders, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have endorsed Davis. All of the movement right-of-center groups such as the Club for Growth and Freedom Works, along with former President Donald Trump, have endorsed Rep. Miller.

Davis also has a major fundraising advantage. Miller, on the other hand, sees 31 percent of her constituents carrying over to the new 15th, versus 28 percent for Davis. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) has the largest contingent of current constituents in the new IL-15 (36 percent) but he is running for re-election in the new 16th CD.


MI-4: GOP Pairing

Primary: Aug. 2

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland)
Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph)
• Huizenga Cash-on-Hand (Dec. 31, 2021): $1,141,056
• Upton Cash-on-Hand (Dec. 31, 2021): $1,467,055
FiveThirtyEight Statistical Rating: R+9
Dave’s Redistricting App Historical Voting: 51.6% R

With Michigan losing a seat in reapportionment, two of the state’s western members were destined to be paired. The new 4th District features a potential contest between Reps. Huizenga and Upton, though the latter man has not yet decided whether to seek re-election. A third candidate, state Rep. Steve Carra (R-Kalamazoo), who carries former President Trump’s endorsement, is also in the race.

Carra is not likely to be a major factor because he represents very little of the new 4th Congressional District constituency in the state legislature. This race will come down to Rep. Upton’s decision whether to seek a 19th term in the House or retire. If he runs, this will be a major summer primary contest. Should he retire, Rep. Huizenga becomes the prohibitive favorite in the primary, with the inside track for the general election, though the new 4th is more competitive than his current 2nd CD.


MS-4: Rep. Steven Palazzo

Primary: June 7 | Runoff: June 28

• Palazzo Cash-on-Hand (Dec. 31, 2021): $ 385,211
FiveThirtyEight Statistical Rating: R+42
Dave’s Redistricting App Historical Voting: 66.5% R

A congressional ethics investigation into Rep. Steven Palazzo’s (R-Biloxi) use of campaign funds is an obvious negative as he strives to win re-nomination for a seventh term.

The investigation prompted state Sen. Brice Wiggins (R-Ocean Springs) and Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell to launch a primary challenge against the congressman, in addition to four others. Local business owner Carl Boyanton has thrown $550,000 of his own money into his campaign, making him a factor, too. This field could grow or retract as the March 1 candidate filing deadline looms on the political horizon.

It remains to be seen whether the investigation hinders Rep. Palazzo to the point of forcing him into a runoff — he has survived other tough primary challenges with larger than expected percentages — but the possibility of going to a secondary vote is certainly real. Should Palazzo be forced into a runoff, his re-nomination could be in serious jeopardy.
Continue reading

House Vulnerables – Part II

By Jim Ellis

July 13, 2021 — On Monday, we began a two-part series on what are arguably the most vulnerable dozen US House seats based upon the individual district’s political performance over the past two elections.

Below is the priority order update covering the second half of the top 12 most vulnerable CDs. As you will continue to see below, all of the seats except one are Republican held.

To refresh, the first six covered were:

• IA-2 (Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Ottumwa)
• IA-1 (Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion/Cedar Rapids)
• IA-3 (Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Des Moines)
• FL-27 (Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Miami)
• CA-48 (Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Orange County)
• NY-22 (Rep. Cynthia Tenney, R-New Hartford)

Here’s our look at the next six:

UT-4: Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Salt Lake City) – Ave R vote: 48.8%
• Former NFL football star and businessman Burgess Owens defeated freshman Rep. Ben McAdams (D) by one percentage point in 2020, and we can expect another competitive race here again within this mostly suburban Salt Lake City congressional district located in the metropolitan area’s southern sector.

Republicans, who are in full control of the Utah redistricting process, will attempt to improve the district for Owens, which is possible since the 4th CD is the fastest growing district in the fastest growing state over the past decade. The best estimates suggest that the 4th District must shed approximately 50,000 people to other CDs. This should allow map drawers to subtract a substantial number of Democratic voters from the district, thus yielding Burgess a slightly more favorable political domain.

At this point, McAdams, who was the Salt Lake County mayor prior to his election to Congress, has not indicated whether he will return for a re-match.

MN-1: Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-Rochester) – Ave R vote: 49.3%
• Two-term Rep. Hagedorn just announced that his cancer has returned, meaning an immediate treatment regimen. How this will affect his re-election campaign is yet to be determined. Hagedorn has won two close elections, as has his Democratic colleague in the adjacent district, Rep. Angie Craig (D-Eagan).

Minnesota is the only state in the nation that sees a split control legislature, meaning each party controls one house. Since the state did not lose a congressional district in apportionment as originally projected, it would not be surprising to see a legislative deal made where Democrats and Republicans are flipped between the two adjoining districts. The changes would result in Hagedorn gaining Republicans and Craig adding Democrats. Redistricting will perhaps be the most critical factor in determining the outcome of both districts come 2022 and beyond.

Continue reading