Tag Archives: Ryan Quarles

Schiff Announces After Losing House Intel Committee Spot; Kentucky Gov. Beshear in Strong Shape; Watson Says No to Mississippi Gov. Run

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

Senate

California Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)

California: Now, Rep. Schiff Announces — As the California US Senate race continues to ripen even though incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) says she will not decide about her own political plans “for a couple of months,” another Democratic candidate late last week announced for the statewide position.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), a day after being stripped of his House Intelligence Committee position, officially entered the 2024 US Senate contest that will first begin with a March primary jungle primary election. Fellow southern California Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) was the first to officially enter, doing so in the early part of this month. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) is reportedly telling supporters that she, too, will enter the Senate race. Her fellow San Francisco Bay Area colleague, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Fremont), says he will assess the political situation after Rep. Lee makes a decision.

Rep. Schiff says he talks to Sen. Feinstein frequently and “has her blessing” to run, though he did confirm that such a statement does not mean that she is endorsing his candidacy. It is presumed that two Democrats will advance to the general election, but such did not happen in the 2022 governor’s race. Therefore, the March 5, 2024 Super Tuesday California primary will feature much more intrigue than just what happens in the presidential contest.

Governor

Kentucky: Gov. Beshear (D) in Strong Polling Shape — Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy just released a survey of the impending Kentucky governor’s race (Jan. 18-23; 625 registered Kentucky voters; 404 likely Kentucky Republican primary voters; live interview) and the data finds Gov. Andy Beshear (D) with high approval ratings and recording sizable leads against all potential Republican opponents. M-D projects the governor’s job approval ratio at 61:29 percent favorable to unfavorable, certainly in the top tier when compared with other state chief executives.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron has developed a big lead in the Republican primary according to the poll, topping former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft, state Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, and state Auditor Mike Harmon by a 39-13-8-5 percent count.

Gov. Beshear enjoys lead of at least 19 points over the latter three Republicans, but at a much closer 49-40 percent divide against AG Cameron. It is likely this race will draw closer before election day, but the incumbent governor is clearly beginning his re-election drive in the favorite’s position.

Mississippi: Sec of State Watson Says No — It appears what could have been a major 2023 Republican primary challenge for Gov. Tate Reeves later this year probably won’t materialize. Secretary of State Michael Watson (R), who was publicly contemplating a gubernatorial run, said late last week that he will not challenge the incumbent. With the candidate filing deadline scheduled for Feb. 1, it is unlikely now that a major GOP player will come forward.

Dr. John Witcher, who is an anti-Covid vaccination physician, formally declared his candidacy earlier this week but is not expected to become a strong challenger. Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. (R), who ran against Reeves four years ago, is still a potential candidate, however.

Gallego, Kaine Announce for Senate; Cameron Leads in Kentucky; Lightfoot’s Downward Trend Continues

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023

Senate

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) Announces for Senate.

Arizona: Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) Announces for Senate — Taking quick advantage of Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix) not pursuing a US Senate run next year, fellow Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix), a long-presumed 2024 Senate candidate, officially declared his candidacy yesterday. At this point, he must be considered the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination and his moving so quickly after Rep. Stanton’s announcement is intended to lock down the nomination way in advance of the candidate filing deadline.

The general election will be tough in that Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is likely to be in the field and certainly whittles away some Democratic support. While her prospects of winning a Democratic primary against Rep. Gallego or anyone else appear poor, her victory path is more reasonable in a three-way general election. As has been the case in the past three elections, the Arizona Senate race will again become a key national campaign.

Five-term Rep. Gallego says he is not opposing incumbent Sen. Sinema because “she abandoned the Democratic Party — it’s that she abandoned Arizona.” Rep. Gallego, who was long expected to be a Democratic Senate candidate long before Sen. Sinema switched her partisan allegiance in December, at this point sees no major intra-party opposition. US Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Phoenix), who would have been a top contender, but on Friday said he would not enter the statewide contest.

The Arizona nomination system is long, and we are still more than a year away from the April 2024 candidate filing deadline, so much will happen in this Senate contest before the political dust settles. Should Sen. Sinema seek re-election, a legitimate three-way race among she, presumably Rep. Gallego on the Democratic line, and a Republican nominee would yield a race in which any of those three contenders, under the right circumstances, could win the general election.

Virginia: Sen. Tim Kaine (D) Announces for Re-Election — Though some speculation was beginning to percolate that Democratic senator and 2016 vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine would retire, on Friday he announced that he will seek a third term. At this point, he becomes a prohibitive favorite to win the 2024 general election in a state that is moving into the reliably Democratic category even after the Republican success in the 2021 odd-year elections.

The budding Republican candidate field is not impressive so far, but retired Navy Capt. Hung Cao, who scored 47 pecent against Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg) in a 10th District that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+8 and Dave’s Redistricting App calculates the partisan lean at 55.2D-42.99R, is apparently considering a Senate challenge. Cao would provide Republicans with a credible and interesting candidate, but with the state continuing to move toward the Democrats, which is accentuated in a presidential year, Sen. Kaine is in a strong political position as he begins his quest for a third term.

Governor

Kentucky: AG Cameron Opens with Lead — A Meeting Street Kentucky statewide poll (Jan. 9-11; 500 likely Kentucky Republican primary voters; live interview & text) gives Attorney General Daniel Cameron a strong opening advantage for the party nomination in the May primary election. In a field of a dozen candidates vying for the opportunity of challenging Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in November, AG Cameron is staked to an early 39-8-8 percent lead over state Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft.

Cameron is clearly the most well known and positively viewed of the GOP candidates. His favorable recognition and positive image among the Republican voter sample was 62 percent as compared to Quarles’ 28 percent and Craft’s 22 percent. In 2019, Cameron was elected attorney general with a 58-42 percent victory margin.

Cities

Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot’s Downward Re-Election Trends Continue — Two new polls continue to show Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) in an underdog position for re-election in likely the nation’s most important 2023 mayoral election.

The surveys, from M3 Strategies (Dec. 11-13; 440 likely Chicago voters; SMS text to web) and a more recent study from Lester & Associates for the Sophie King campaign (Jan. 9-14; 600 likely Chicago voters; live interview), find Mayor Lightfoot trailing in the Feb. 28 non-partisan primary election. There is also a fair chance that she will fail to even qualify for the April 4 runoff, a secondary election that appears inevitable since no one is close to obtaining majority support.

Both polls find US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago) claiming first place. The M3 poll showed Lightfoot dropping to third position behind former Chicago budget director Paul Vallas, while Lester & Associates sees the incumbent mayor holding the second slot. The M3 poll found Lightfoot saddled with a terrible 25:74 percent favorable to unfavorable ratio. This latter statistic might be most indicative in suggesting that she will fail to win re-election.