By Jim Ellis — Friday, Sept. 29, 2023
SenateCalifornia: Reps. Schiff & Porter Favored to Advance — The Public Policy Institute of California conducted another of their statewide polls (Aug. 28-Sept. 5; 1,671 California adults; 1,414 California registered voters; online) and sees Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) seriously falling off the pace in the crowded open US Senate field. Though only one candidate even reaches the 20 percent support mark, there is a clear break between the top two poll finishers and the rest of the candidates.
The PPIC survey finds Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) leading fellow Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) by a 20-15 percent count. Rep. Lee trails with just eight percent support. All other candidates are in low single digits. California features an all-party top two jungle primary format. The pair of top finishers in the March 5 primary regardless of party affiliation and percentage attained will advance into the November general election. This poll suggests we will see an eight month Double-Democrat bruising campaign between Reps. Schiff and Porter.
AL-7: Legislative Leader Exploring Cong Run Against Rep. Sewell — State Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), who represents a western Alabama legislative district, announced he is forming a congressional exploratory committee to launch a Democratic primary challenge against seven-term Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham). Since his district lies in the heart of Rep. Sewell’s seat, the state Senate’s top Democrat said, “I’m not running in the new district. I’m running in Congresswoman Sewell’s … I want the big fish.” The new district will likely be drawn with Montgomery County as the population anchor, which will encompass much of the southeastern side of the state.
Sen. Singleton won’t have much time to weigh his chances. The candidate filing deadline is Nov. 10 for the March 5, 2024, Alabama primary. The new redistricting map will likely be completed late this week or early next.
NJ-7: Prominent Democrats Won’t Run — Democratic leaders are still trying to find the top candidate they believe can unseat freshman Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield), but two of their prospects have both declined to run. Former state senator, ex-assemblyman, and previous gubernatorial candidate Ray Lesniak said he will not enter the 7th CD race, as did Dr. Tina Shah, a veteran of both the Obama and Biden Administrations. In the race are Roselle Park Mayor Joe Signorello, who left the Senate race to run here, former State Department official Jason Blazakis, and political organizer Sue Altman.
The FiveThirtyEight organization rates NJ-7 as R+3. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 16th most vulnerable seat in the 222 member House Republican Conference.
TX-28: Ex-Staffer to Challenge Rep. Cuellar — For the second time, a former staff member of Texas US Rep. Henry Cuellar’s (D-Laredo) is challenging him for re-election. Jose Sanz, who left Rep. Cuellar’s staff as his district director earlier in the year, is returning as a Republican candidate to hopefully challenge his ex-boss in the 2024 general election.
Previously, a former office intern has twice opposed the congressman in the Democratic primary. Jessica Cisneros ran two close primary campaigns to Cuellar. In 2022, she forced him into a runoff before losing by just under 300 votes in the secondary election.
Cisneros says she is contemplating a third run. Rep. Cuellar is favored for re-election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates TX-28 as D+7. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the district as the 53rd most vulnerable seat in the 213 member House Democratic Conference.