By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, May 3, 2023
PresidentGov. Glenn Youngkin: Officially Says No — Verifying stories that had surfaced last week, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) at an appearance in California Monday confirmed that he will not be running for president in 2024. Clearly, the governor, serving his only four-year term allowable under Virginia law, was testing the national political waters but obviously does not perceive himself to have a viable victory path. (A Virginia governor can serve two terms, but not consecutively; only two governors in the history of the state served two non-consecutive terms.)
With former President Donald Trump dominating recent GOP nomination polling and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a definable second, there is little room for a second-tier candidate to move to the top. Thus, the chance of this race evolving into a Trump vs. DeSantis national primary campaign continues to grow.
Maryland: Sen. Ben Cardin to Retire — Veteran Maryland officeholder Ben Cardin (D) announced that he will not seek a fourth US Senate term next year, retiring after serving what will be a storied 58 consecutive years in elective office when combining his time in the state legislature, the US House of Representatives, and Senate. He made the announcement Monday.
We can expect to see a spirited battle forming to succeed Sen. Cardin in the Democratic primary. With Republicans having little chance to win a Maryland statewide Senate race in a presidential election year, especially with their best potential candidate, former two-term Gov. Larry Hogan, already saying he will not run, the real battle will be in next year’s Democratic nomination process.
US Reps. John Sarbanes (D-Baltimore), son of former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, David Trone (D-Potomac), and Jamie Raskin (D-Takoma Park), along with Prince Georges County Executive Angela Alsobrooks are all potential Senate candidates. Cardin is the third senator to announce retirement plans. He follows Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who earlier made their intentions public.
Texas: Rep. Allred Moving Toward Senate Announcement — Democratic leaders have been making a play to recruit three-term US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas), a former NFL football player, to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz (R) next year. It appears their efforts will be successful. Though gaining a safe Democratic seat in 2021 redistricting, Rep. Allred appears poised to enter the Senate race as early as this week.
While Rep. Allred is likely the strongest potential candidate among the Texas Democratic possibilities, Sen. Cruz would remain favored to win a third term, particularly in a presidential year where Texas again would be expected to support the Republican nominee. Still, the Allred candidacy will make this Senate contest much more competitive, and Texas would become the Democrats’ top national conversion target.
New Hampshire: Democrat Files Gubernatorial Exploratory Committee — Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig (D), who has already announced that she will not be seeking re-election next year, announced the filing of a gubernatorial exploratory committee on Monday.
Gov. Chris Sununu (R), only the second Granite State chief executive to serve four consecutive terms in office could run for a fifth two-year term. Most believe that he will retire, however, and could well enter the presidential campaign as a favorite son from the first-in-the-nation primary state. It had been speculated upon for several months that Mayor Craig would make the jump into the 2024 gubernatorial campaign.
Washington: Gov. Jay Inslee to Retire — Evergreen State Gov. Jay Inslee (D), a former congressman and presidential candidate, announced yesterday that he will not seek a fourth term in office saying that “it is time to pass the torch.”
Lt. Gov. Denny Heck, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and state Land Commissioner Hilary Franz are all potential Democratic candidates. Former US Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is the Republican attracting the most attention as a potential GOP contender. Democrats will be favored to maintain the office, but a Republican advancing from the all-party jungle primary is also a likelihood.