By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 10, 2023
PresidentGov. Chris Sununu: Files Super PAC as Prelude to Potential Candidacy — Previously indicating that he is interested in exploring a presidential bid, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) has formed a Super PAC entitled the “Live Free or Die PAC,” which will allow funds to be raised in order to test the political waters.
Gov. Sununu is not a fan of former President Donald Trump, yet ironically, he and other less known candidates who enter the race increase the chances that the former president will be able to build a plurality coalition large enough to win the Republican nomination — a la what occurred in 2016.
Nebraska: New Sen. Ricketts Drawing Potential GOP Challenger — Before Cornhusker State Sen. Pete Ricketts (R) was appointed to replace resigned Sen. Ben Sasse (R) on Jan. 12, former gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster indicated he would consider launching a primary against the eventual appointed incumbent. Now, he appears to be doubling down on that comment, again saying he is seriously considering developing a 2024 Senate campaign.
Herbster lost the 2022 Republican primary to now-Gov. Jim Pillen largely with then-Gov. Ricketts’ substantial help. Former President Trump supported Herbster in the primary, but the endorsement came before several women came forth to accuse the agri-businessman of sexual harassment. Though Trump did not rescind the endorsement, his support was not enough to overcome the Pillen-Ricketts team.
CO-3: New Rep. Boebert Challenger Comes Forward — Veterinarian Debby Burnett (D), who filed to run against Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) in 2022 but was disqualified from the ballot, is again filing to run in 2024. Though Burnett no doubt will qualify for the Democratic primary in the coming election, she is likely to fall well behind 2022 nominee Adam Frisch, who came within 546 votes of unseating Rep. Boebert. Frisch is indicating that he is likely to run again and will almost certainly have the local Democratic Party’s support.
IN-5: Potential Candidates Begin to Stir — Since two-term central Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz’s (R-Noblesville) retirement announcement at the end of her current term caught virtually everyone by surprise, potential candidates are now beginning to stir. The first to indicate she is interested in making the open seat race is former congressional aide Megan Savage (R), a former chief of staff to retired 5th District Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R).
Other potential candidates include state Sen. Scott Baldwin (R-Noblesville), former state Sen. John Ruckelshaus, and former state Treasurer Kelly Mitchell (R). A crowded Republican field is expected to emerge in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+22.
West Virginia: Ag Commissioner to Stay Put — As more individuals begin to become candidates for the open West Virginia governor’s race in 2024, one prospective contender who will remain in his current position is Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt (R) as his statement Wednesday made clear.
In the GOP gubernatorial race are Secretary of State Mac Warner, state Delegate Moore Capito (R-Charleston) — son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) — businessman Chris Miller — son of Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington) — farmer Terri Bradshaw, and preschool owner Rashida Yost. No Democrats have yet announced. Gov. Jim Justice (R) is ineligible to seek a third term but may run for US Senate.