Tag Archives: TX-28

Inconsistent GOP Coalition in Texas; Cuellar Indicted; NJ-10 Special ; Indiana Primary Today; Morrisey Back on Top in West Virginia

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, May 7, 2024

House

TX-12: An Inconsistent Coalition — While the Republican Party’s more conservative wing looks to be lining up behind real estate developer John O’Shea in the GOP runoff for the party nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Kay Granger (R-Ft. Worth), state Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Ft. Worth) launched a new ad (above) that purports to prove that O’Shea is not even a consistent Republican voter. The ad contains a video clip of O’Shea saying, “I am not a conservative,” and points out that he did not vote in the 2016, 2018, and 2020 elections. Conversely, Goldman brandishes his endorsements from Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), and the National Rifle Association.

The March 5 primary ended with Goldman capturing first place with 44.4 percent of the vote as compared to O’Shea’s 26.4 percent. The May 28 runoff was forced because none of the four competing Republican candidates reached the majority support mark. The runoff winner will be a lock to win the seat in November.

TX-28: Rep. Cuellar Indicted — On Friday, 10-term Texas US Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) and his wife were indicted on federal bribery charges, but the congressman says he is innocent and will not leave his re-election race. After two consecutive close call renomination campaigns in 2020 and 2022, Rep. Cuellar was unopposed in this year’s Democratic primary. The Republican side ended in a runoff between retired Navy officer Jay Furman and rancher Lazaro Garza, which will be decided on May 28. Neither man was expected to mount a major challenge in the general election, but the congressman’s legal situation could change that.

Texas’ 28th District begins in southeast San Antonio and moves all the way to the Mexican border through nine counties. In addition to part of San Antonio, the district houses the Laredo, Rio Bravo, and Rio Grande City communities. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates TX-28 as D+7. President Joe Biden carried the district by a 52-46 percent margin. After a very tight 2022 Democratic primary and runoff, Rep. Cuellar won a comfortable 57-43 percent general election victory.

NJ-10: Special Election Scheduled — Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has called a special election to replace the late Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) who passed away on April 24. The special primary will be held on July 16th, with the special general on Sept. 18. The winner will take the seat in late September and then be on the ballot for the regular term on Nov. 5.

Because Rep. Payne passed away after the candidate filing deadline, the local Democratic Party organizations will choose a replacement nominee after the July 16 special primary. It is presumed the delegates will choose the special primary winner. Republican Carmen Bucco and Green Party candidate Jon Serrano, along with Congressman Payne, were the only candidates to file at the March 25 filing deadline.

The Democrats will easily retain the Newark-anchored 10th District. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+58, and President Biden scored an 81-19 percent victory here in 2020. Now that Gov. Murphy has scheduled the special election, candidates will soon come forward.

Primary

Indiana: Primary Today — Indiana voters cast their primary ballots today, and while the presidential election nomination process is locked for both parties, several key US House races will be effectively decided. The incumbent facing the most competitive challenge today is Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) who originally announced her retirement only to change her mind before filing time. While eight Republican challengers are opposing the incumbent, the race is really between Rep. Spartz and state Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R-Noblesville). The crowded field likely helps Rep. Spartz, but polling suggests a close finish.

The state features three Republican open seats, and GOP nominees who will be heavy favorites in the general election will be chosen today. Reps. Greg Pence (R-Columbus) and Larry Bucshon (R-Evansville) are retiring, and the Republican winners this evening will be locks to win in November. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City), who is running unopposed for the party nomination in the US Senate race, leaves a field of eight Republican candidates vying to be his successor. The contest is winnowing to three candidates: former Circuit Judge Wendy Davis, former Congressman Marlin Stutzman, and state Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington).

Sen. Mike Braun: Likely to Win GOP Governor’s Primary — Indiana is one of 11 states featuring governors’ campaigns this year, and eight are open seat contests. US Sen. Mike Braun (R) is foregoing a re-election bid to attempt to succeed Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) who is ineligible to seek a third term.

Sen. Braun looks to be well positioned to win a plurality primary victory over Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and businessmen Eric Doden and Brad Chambers. The Republican nominee then becomes a heavy favorite in the general election against consensus Democratic candidate Jennifer McCormick, the former state Superintendent of Public Instruction and an ex-Republican.

Governor

West Virginia: Morrisey Reassumes Polling Lead — Two weeks ago, when a poll for the first time showed former state Delegate Moore Capito (R), son of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), leading Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the open race for governor, we expected a counter poll to soon surface. Such is now the case.

During the April 20-22 period, NMB Research released survey results revealing a Capito GOP primary lead of 31-29 percent over AG Morrisey with businessman Chris Miller, son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington), and Secretary of State Mac Warner trailing with 14 and 13 percent, respectively.

The counter poll was released late last week. Research America (April 24-May 1; 407 likely West Virginia Republican primary voters; live interview & online) sees Morrisey returning to the lead with 32 percent, while Miller and Moore follow with 25 and 24 percent, respectively. Secretary of State Warner drops back with 10 percent support.

Since polling for this race was first published in February of 2023, 10 surveys have been released. Morrisey has led in nine. The West Virginia primary is scheduled for May 14. The Republican nominee will almost certainly succeed term-limited Gov. Jim Justice (R).

Rep. Lee in Trouble in California; Potential AL-7 Challenger; Prominent Dems Decline to Run in NJ; Rep. Cuellar Challenged by Former Staffers

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Sept. 29, 2023

Senate

California Rep. Barbara Lee (D), “seriously falling off the pace.”

California: 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.

House

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.

Challenger Emerges in Texas;
Top Dem Declines to Run in Louisiana;
SCOTUS Redistricting Action in NC; Rep. Jackson Lee to Run for Mayor?

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023

House

Army veteran Kyle Sinclair (R)

TX-28: New Rep. Cuellar (D) Challenger Emerges — Army veteran Kyle Sinclair (R), who lost 68-32 percent against Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) in Texas’ 20th District last November, announced he is moving to the 28th District to challenge veteran Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo). The congressman’s most serious vulnerability is in the Democratic primary; however, as illustrated in his 2022 victorious race for renomination decided in a May runoff by just 311 votes. We can expect to see more political action next year in this CD that stretches from San Antonio to the Mexican border.

Governor

Louisiana: Dem Chair Won’t Run — Though candidate filing for the Louisiana governor’s race doesn’t close until Aug. 10, the open-race field is already winnowing. At the end of last week, Louisiana Democratic Party chair Kate Bernhardt announced that she will not become a gubernatorial candidate after considering the possibility of entering. The top candidates appear to be Attorney General Jeff Landry (R), state Treasurer John Schroder (R), and state Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D). Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. The state’s jungle primary is Oct. 14, 2023, with a runoff on Nov. 18 if no contender receives majority support in the first election.

States

North Carolina: State Supremes Schedule Action — The North Carolina state Supreme Court is sending clear signals to the US Supreme Court over the state’s election and redistricting law challenges. Before departing at the end of their term in January, the former NC Supreme Court panel, with a 4D-3R majority, declared the state Senate map a partisan gerrymander and overturned the NC voter identification law. On Friday, the new 5R-2D court announced it will hear arguments to overturn those rulings in the middle of March.

The move is significant since SCOTUS is considering the North Carolina political gerrymandering case and will rule before July 1. The state court, however, potentially taking action on similar cases before the US Supreme Court ultimately decides, could allow the latter panel simply to yield to the state’s decisions. At the end of the process and regardless of which court sets the final parameters, it is probable that we will see a complete redistricting of the North Carolina political boundaries before the 2024 election.

Cities

Houston: Rep. Jackson Lee Considering Mayor’s Race — Reports are emanating from Houston that veteran US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) is conducting citywide polling to determine her chances in the open mayor’s race scheduled for November of this year. Incumbent Sylvester Turner (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.

At this point the leading contender appears to be state Sen. John Whitmire (D), who was first elected to the legislature in 1972. He served 10 years in the state House of Representatives before moving to the state Senate in 1982. He is Texas’ longest-serving state senator.

If no candidate receives majority support on Nov. 7, a runoff between the top two finishers will be scheduled. The mayor’s race is non-partisan in that candidates’ party affiliations are not listed on the ballot. Other major candidates are City Councilman Robert Gallegos, former city councilwoman and 2020 US Senate candidate Amanda Edwards, and Houston Metro Board Member Chris Hollins.

Alaska Candidates Settle to Three; Conflicting Polls in IL-15; Economy Polls as Highest Concern in MN

By Jim Ellis — June 24, 2022

House

Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, now running for US House Representative

AK-AL: Now Top Three — Officials from the Alaska Division of Elections, grappling with the new top-four qualifying system, have changed their initial ruling after finalist Al Gross (I/D), announced earlier this week that he was ending his campaign. Division officials initially were leaning toward placing the fifth-place finisher, Republican Tara Sweeney, into the group of four finalists, but they have since reversed themselves.

The final ruling does not add a replacement for Dr. Gross, meaning that only former Gov. Sarah Palin, businessman Nick Begich III (R), and former state Rep. Mary Peltola (D) will advance into the special general election scheduled for Aug. 16. Sweeney followed up with an announcement that she will not challenge the Elections Division’s ruling.

IL-15: Conflicting Polls — The next in a series of paired incumbent elections is scheduled in Illinois when two sets of paired incumbents will square off in the June 28 primary election. In the downstate Republican primary, Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) and Mary Miller (R-Oakland) are battling for the new gerrymandered 15th District, one of only three Land of Lincoln seats that will likely send a Republican to the House. This week, we see two polls released with conflicting conclusions.

The Victory Geek firm, polling for the Illinoize political blog (June 15-19; 515 IL-15 respondents; interactive voice response system), finds Rep. Davis leading Rep. Miller, 38-35 percent. When forcing the undecideds to make a choice, the full universe breaks for Davis, 51-49 percent. The bad news for him is when voters are informed that former President Trump has endorsed Miller, the preference factor switches to 47-39 percent in Miller’s favor.

The Miller campaign also released their internal Cygnal firm survey conducted during the same time period (June 18-19; 420 likely IL-15 Republican primary voters; peer-to-peer text) that gave the congresswoman a 45-40 percent edge over Davis. The other paired incumbent election features a Chicago suburban Democratic pairing between Reps. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) and Marie Newman (D-La Grange).

MN-1 Special: Virtual Tie — An Expedition Strategies survey of the MN-1 special election (June 6-9; 400 likely MN-1 special election voters; live interview) scheduled for Aug. 9 finds the two party nominees, former Republican state Rep. Brad Finstad and ex-Hormel corporation CEO Jeff Ettinger (D) falling into a virtual tie. The ballot test gives Finstad a 48-47 percent edge in a district that is no stranger to close elections. The winning percentage in the past three congressional elections was 48.6 percent, 50.1 percent, and 50.3 percent in 2020, 2018, and 2016. The seat is in special election because incumbent Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) passed away in February.

In terms of what the survey respondents perceive as the most important issue, the “economy and cost of living” registered 27 percent, “guns” was second with a 12 percent mention, and “election integrity” was third with 10 percent. Interestingly, the healthcare issue, which now includes COVID, registered as the most important issue from only six percent of the respondents. Ettinger scored a 53-40 percent advantage on preferring a candidate with experience running a business as compared to Finstad’s career in government and rural policy making.

NY-19 Special: Republican Molinaro Launched to Big Led — A Triton Polling & Research survey conducted for the Freedom Council USA (June 16-20; 505 current NY-19 registered voters; interactive voice response system) finds Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R) leading Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan (D) by a large 52-38 percent clip in the special election race to replace resigned US Rep. Antonio Delgado (D). The congressman left the House to accept his appointment as lieutenant governor.

A Molinaro victory would mean another special election GOP conversion of a Democratic seat as we saw in Texas on June 14 when Republican Mayra Flores defeated Democrat Dan Sanchez and two minor candidates to win the seat from which Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) resigned. If the GOP is successful in NY-19, and holds their other 2022 special elections in AK-AL, MN-1, NE-1, and NY-23, the conference will increase to 215 members, just three away from majority status.

TX-28: Rep. Cuellar Officially Wins — The tight Democratic primary and runoff campaign featuring veteran Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) and attorney and 2020 congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros has finally come to an official end. The Texas Secretary of State has reported the final results of the runoff recount. Counting the ballots again actually increased Cuellar’s lead by eight votes. The final counts shows a 22,901 to 22,612 margin in favor of Rep. Cuellar, a spread of 289 votes, or 50.3 percent of the runoff electorate.

Rep. Cuellar now advances into a general election against former Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) staff member Cassy Garcia. This could become a competitive general election in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+7. Though Garcia will have the ability to run a credible campaign, Rep. Cuellar is now viewed as the favorite to win a 10th term.

Governor

Florida: Crist Rebounds With Substantial Lead — A surprising poll released earlier in June (Global Strategy Group; June 8-13; 600 likely Florida Democratic primary voters; live interview) found state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried pulling to within a 38-34 percent margin against US representative and former Gov. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg). Now, a new St. Pete Polls survey (June 16-17; 1,007 likely Florida Democratic primary voters; interactive voice response system) posts Crist back to a more substantial lead, 49-24 percent. The Florida primary is scheduled for Aug. 23. The Democratic winner will then challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).