Tag Archives: VA-5

Garcia Trails in Early Poll; Fong Ballot Status Dropped; Washington Senate Finalist Announces for House; Louisiana Redistricting; Good Well Behind in New Primary Poll

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, May 9, 2024

House

California Republican Mike Garcia

CA-27: Rep. Garcia Trails in Early Poll — Impact Research, polling for the George Whitesides campaign, released the results of their mid-April poll (April 12-18; 650 CA-27 registered voters; 100 over-sample of Hispanic voters), which shows their client leading three-term California US Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) by a 47-44 percent count. In the jungle primary, however, Rep. Garcia topped Whitesides, a former NASA chief of staff and ex-CEO for Virgin Atlantic Airlines, 55-33 percent, from a turnout of 135,161 primary voters.

This will clearly be one of the top national congressional campaigns. Rep. Garcia represents one of four California Republican held districts that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as a Democratic seat. In this instance, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission made the northern Los Angeles County district even more Democratic, stretching the seat to a D+8 rating. President Biden carried this district configuration with a 55-43 percent victory margin, so Rep. Garcia has his work cut out for him to win here again in November.

CA-20: Appeal to Fong Ballot Status Dropped — California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) announced that she is dropping her office’s appeal of the ruling that allows Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) to run for the open 20th District congressional seat while still on the ballot for state Assembly. Weber contended that a candidate cannot seek two offices simultaneously. Two court rulings, however, allowed Fong to continue his regular election campaign for the seat from which former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) resigned even after qualifying for the state Assembly ballot. Weber’s action means that Fong’s congressional candidacy is finally unimpeded.

Assemblyman Fong did appear on the ballot for both offices on the March 5 jungle primary. He placed first in the congressional race and was unopposed for re-election to his current office. He is also on the ballot for the May 21 special congressional election to fill McCarthy’s unexpired term. In both the special election and in November, Fong will face Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux in a double-Republican format.

Should Fong win the special election, and he is favored to do so, he will resign from the Assembly before taking the congressional oath. At that point, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will call a special election to fill the balance of the unexpired Assembly term and another for the regular election.

WA-4: Senate Finalist Announces for House — There has been growing speculation that Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Sunnyside), one of two remaining Republican House members to vote for the Trump impeachment, would announce his retirement before the state’s May 24 candidate filing deadline and the latest development here will increase such talk.
Tiffany Smiley (R), who was a credible opponent to Sen. Patty Murray (D) in the 2022 statewide election, yesterday announced that she will enter the 4th District House race. The move is unusual since it seems unlikely that she would challenge the incumbent especially when former President Donald Trump has already endorsed former race car driver Jerrod Sessler (R). Her candidacy does make sense, however, if Rep. Newhouse has decided not to seek re-election and has quietly told her such. This is a developing situation worth watching.

Louisiana: Judges Order New Cong Map by June 3 — The three judge federal panel that invalidated the new Louisiana congressional map is now sending the plan back to the state legislature with a deadline of June 3 to redraw the map. This time, there is no judicial requirement to specifically add a new majority minority district.

In response, Secretary of State Nancy Landry (R) is filing an appeal of the original ruling with the US Supreme Court and criticized the panel for not adhering to her May 15 deadline for producing a 2024 map. She said the state needs such a time frame to adequately administer the election.

While the Louisiana redistricting situation will soon come to a head, it is difficult to see exactly how the map’s final version will develop.

VA-5: Rep. Good Well Behind in New Primary Poll — A just-released Battleground Connect poll (April 30-May 2; 504 likely VA-5 voters; live interview) finds two-term Virginia US Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg) falling well behind his Republican primary challenger, state Sen. John McGuire (R-Manakin-Sabot). According to the survey data, Sen. McGuire would lead Congressman Good by a double digit margin, 45-31 percent, as the two battle for position in anticipation of the June 18 Old Dominion primary.

The McGuire effort, which has been principally hitting Rep. Good over his lack of support for former President Donald Trump, is being supplemented by heavy outside spending much of which is coming from organizations affiliated with former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who Rep. Good was instrumental in deposing. Additionally, this is the first time Rep. Good has faced a primary election. Previously, he was nominated through a district convention, which is the way he denied former Rep. Denver Riggleman renomination in 2020.

New Hampshire Presidential Primary Remains 1st; NJ First Lady Announces; Arkansas Candidate Filing Closes; VA-5 Candidate Emerges

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Nov. 17, 2023

President

New Hampshire: Presidential Primary Finally Scheduled — New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan announced that the state’s “first-in-the-nation” presidential primary will be scheduled for Jan. 23, 2024. There is little surprise associated with this date. To remain as the first primary state and comply with New Hampshire election law — Iowa still votes earlier (Jan. 15), but they feature caucus voting — Jan. 23 became the state’s only choice.

The Nevada primary is Feb. 6, and New Hampshire law, which gives the Secretary of State sole authority to schedule and move the election to prevent another domain from jumping to the front, requires the primary to be at least one week before any other state. Thus, Jan. 23, in holding with their Tuesday voting tradition, was the secretary’s only viable option.

President Joe Biden will not participate in the New Hampshire primary because the state would not agree to the new Democratic National Committee schedule. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) will be on the Democratic ballot, however, and most of the party’s state leadership is organizing a write-in campaign to support President Biden.

Senate

New Jersey: State’s First Lady Announces for Senate — Tammy Murphy (D), wife of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), officially declared her candidacy to oppose indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D) in next year’s Democratic primary. Though most believe Sen. Menendez will not seek re-election, there has been no such confirmation from the Menendez camp.

Ms. Murphy should be regarded as a long shot to win the party nomination. Immediately upon Sen. Menendez’s indictment becoming public, US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) announced his challenge to Menendez, and he has already established a large lead in polling and fundraising. Conversely, Ms. Murphy is a first-time political candidate.

House

Arkansas: 2024 Candidate Filing Closes — The Arkansas ballot is now set. With the candidate filing deadline now past, we’ll look forward to seeing one contested congressional primary election on Super Tuesday, March 5. The presidential primary will be held that day, and with no Senate seat on the Arkansas ballot this year, the four congressional seats become the state’s only other federal elections.

In three districts, the general election candidates are now set. In the eastern 1st District, veteran Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Jonesboro) will run for an eighth term against Iraq War veteran Randy Govens (D). Five-term Rep. French Hill (R-Little Rock) will face retired Army Col. Marcus Jones (D) in the Little Rock-anchored 2nd CD. Fourth District incumbent Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) will be tasked with defending his seat against Democratic attorney Risie Howard.

The only primary contest among the congressional districts comes in the state’s western 3rd District where state Sen. Clint Penzo (R-Tontitown) will oppose seven-term Rep. Steve Womack (R-Rogers). It remains to be seen if this race develops into a major challenge. Republicans will be favored to again retain all four of the Natural State’s congressional districts.

VA-5: Rep. Good Challenged for Renomination — Two-term Virginia Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg), one of the outspoken Freedom Caucus members who was a leader in the move to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy, will have a renomination challenge next year.

John McGuire III, a state Delegate first elected in 2017 who then won a state Senate seat last week in unopposed fashion, filed a congressional campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. McGuire, a retired Navy SEAL, ran for Congress once before, losing in the former 7th District’s 2020 Republican nominating convention. State Delegate Nick Freitas, who defeated McGuire that year, would then lose a close battle to Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Ellen) in the general election.

Rep. Good was first elected to the Campbell County Board of Supervisors in 2015. He defeated then-US Rep. Denver Riggleman (R) in a district convention that his key supporters controlled. Assuming Rep. Good is as strong with the local Republican Party as he was during his first election campaign, it would be very difficult for McGuire to upset him within such a favorable venue.

Rep. Garrett Reverses Course

By Jim Ellis

May 30, 2018 — Late last week, with rumors swirling that Virginia freshman Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Scottsville/Charlottesville) would not seek a second term, the congressman called a news conference to announce that he would run even though the day’s opening comments seemed to point in an opposite direction. On Memorial Day, however, not only did he reverse course by announcing that he was changing his mind about continuing his political career and actually would not run, but he also publicly admitted that he was an alcoholic and was seeking treatment for it.

virginia-congressional-districts

With that announcement, District VA-5 becomes the 62nd House open seat and the 42nd that the Republicans must defend; but this latest development may actually help the GOP hold the central Virginia CD. With the scenario of a weakened Rep. Garrett heading into a general election against a well-funded Democrat, it is now probable that with a fresh candidate replacing Garrett, GOP retention chances would be improved.

Both Rep. Garrett and Democrat Leslie Cockburn, an award winning “60 Minutes” producer for CBS News, are unopposed in the June 12 primary. Once Rep. Garrett becomes the official nominee and withdraws, the local congressional district Republican Party will then meet in a special convention to choose a replacement standard bearer.

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A False Alarm in Virginia

By Jim Ellis

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Scottsville/Charlottesville)

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Scottsville/Charlottesville)

May 29, 2018 — The news media was filled with stories last week that freshman Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Scottsville/Charlottesville) was about to announce his retirement. And Late last week, Rep. Garrett fueled such talk in telling the media that he would hold a news conference to address his status. But the speculation proved overblown when Garrett clarified, in what was described as a long and rambling news availability, that he will seek a second term in the fall.

Rep. Garrett, who parted ways with his chief of staff last week and who is not known for being an aggressive fundraiser, partially fed into the idea that he would not seek re-election. Through April 8, Garrett had only $133,275 in his campaign account. Observers invariably drew a comparison with his Democratic opponent, journalist Leslie Cockburn. She has raised more than $715,000 but only has $271,113 remaining. Cockburn does have the wherewithal to self-fund her campaign to a significant degree, however.

Before the Garrett retirement flap, Democrats were looking at this race as a second-tier potential target. Garrett won the 2016 election with 58 percent of the vote against Albemarle County Supervisor Jane Dittmar, another Democratic candidate who was originally believed to be competitive and did, in fact, spend over $1.3 million on her campaign.

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