Tag Archives: Vince Fong

Fong’s Fight; Rep. Jamaal Bowman in Primary Battle; Another US House Member to Resign; More Primary Trouble for Rep. Nancy Mace

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024

House

California Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) / Photo by Kevin Sanders for California Globe

CA-20: Candidates Qualify for Special Election — The California Secretary of State has attested that nine candidates have qualified for the March 19 special election to replace resigned former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). Controversy, however, still surrounds the favorite to win the electoral contest, Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield).

Since Fong had already filed for re-election before Rep. McCarthy resigned from the Congress, the Secretary of State ruled that he could not enter the congressional race because such action would violate a California election law that prohibits individuals from simultaneously running for multiple offices. Fong sued over the administrative ruling and won in Superior Court. Therefore, he has been slated as a congressional candidate while not being removed from the state assembly ballot. The state is appealing the court ruling, so even if Fong wins the special election as expected, he could be hampered by a future court decision.

Also qualifying are Tulare County Sheriff Mike Bourdeaux (R), and seven other Republicans, Democrats, and No Party Preference candidates. If no one receives majority support on March 19, the top two finishers, regardless of party affiliation will advance to a special general election on May 21. The regular election cycle primary is scheduled for March 5, featuring most of these candidates. The special election winner will serve the balance of Rep. McCarthy’s final term.

NY-16: Serious Primary Challenge Unfolding — New York US Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers), while receiving good news that the House Ethics Committee is not going to pursue further action against the congressman for pulling a fire alarm in a House office building, is now facing a backlash over social media posts he made after the 9/11 attack. The posts referred to theories that the US government orchestrated the terrorist massacre, and a ring of globalist bankers were actively involved in the conspiracy.

“Well over a decade ago, as I was debating diving into a doctoral degree, I explored a wide range of books, films, and articles across a wide swath of the political spectrum and processed my thoughts in a personal blog that few people ever read. I don’t believe anything that these cranks have said, and my life’s work has proven that.”

While Bowman may survive these controversies in the short term, he faces a very difficult Democratic primary election in June. His principal opponent, Westchester County Executive George Latimer is reporting a dollars raised figure of $1.4 million since his declaration of candidacy in early December. Latimer is a veteran campaigner, having been elected four times to the state Assembly, once to the state Senate, and twice to his current position. Therefore, Rep. Bowman must be considered as a highly vulnerable incumbent as he heads into a serious renomination fight.

NY-26: Rep. Higgins to Resign Friday — New York US Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo), who announced back in November that he would resign the House seat he has held for almost 20 years to take a position in the non-profit sector back in Buffalo, issued a statement saying that he will leave Congress on Friday. Once the seat is officially vacant, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will have 10 days to call a special election for a period no less than 70 and no greater than 80 days from the scheduling announcement.

The local Democratic county chairmen have already chosen state Sen. Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) as the party’s special election nominee. Republicans are not likely to be competitive in the Buffalo anchored district which carries a partisan rating of D+18 according to the FiveThirtyEight data organization. At this point, the local Republican county chairs have not announced a special election nominee.

SC-1: More Trouble for Rep. Mace — Earlier in the week, we reported that South Carolina US Rep. Nancy Mace’s (R-Charleston) former chief of staff, Dan Hanlon, had filed a campaign committee to challenge her in this year’s Republican primary. Now, a former Nikki Haley gubernatorial cabinet official, Catherine Templeton, announced that she, too, will oppose the congresswoman.

Templeton, the former director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control ran for governor in 2018 but finished third in the Republican primary, losing to Gov. Henry McMaster. As lieutenant governor in 2017, McMaster ascended to the governorship when Haley was appointed UN Ambassador.

With the US Supreme Court still deciding whether the lawsuit challenging the 1st District as a racial gerrymander is valid, there is still a possibility that this seat could be redrawn before the candidates appear on the ballot. The South Carolina primary is June 11, with a runoff scheduled for June 29 if no candidate receives majority support. Unless the district is ordered changed, the eventual Republican nominee becomes a prohibitive favorite in the general election.

Trump Nips Biden in New Poll; Close Pennsylvania Senate Race; McCarthy Retirement Talk Rumblings; Hoyer Faces More Opposition

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Oct. 6, 2023

President

Former President Donald Trump / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Pennsylvania: Trumps Nips Biden in New Q-Poll — Quinnipiac University tested the Keystone State electorate (Sept. 28-Oct. 2; 1,725 Pennsylvania adults; 1,470 registered Pennsylvania voters; 759 self-identified Democratic registered voters; 711 self-identified Republican registered voters; live interview) and sees former President Donald Trump moving into a slight lead over President Joe Biden in this critical swing state. The ballot test yields Trump a 47-45 percent edge.

Both candidates have upside-down favorability scores. President Biden registers 39:57 percent favorable to unfavorable. Trump’s index is a similar 40:56 percent. The president’s job approval ratio is 41:55 percent positive to negative. Pennsylvania has 19 electoral votes and is one of the four states (Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin are the others) that will likely decide the presidential campaign’s final outcome.

Senate

Pennsylvania: Q-Poll Shows Close Race — The aforementioned Pennsylvania Quinnipiac Poll (see presidential post above) also tested the state’s budding Senate race between three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) and Republican businessman and 2022 Senate candidate David McCormick (R).

Here, we see a closer than expected early result with Sen. Casey holding only a 50-44 percent lead over McCormick. The surprising data point in this survey is McCormick already carrying the Independent voter segment by a percentage point, 45-44 percent.

Sen. Casey holds a 48-31 percent job approval score. With 57 percent of the people saying they need to know more about McCormick, he records a 25:17 percent favorability index. By contrast, Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) holds a strong 53-27 percent job approval rating, but Sen. John Fetterman (D) finds his ratio in upside-down territory at 41:48 percent favorable to unfavorable.

House

CA-20: McCarthy Could Retire — Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) conceded that he will not again run for his former House speaker position and said he will not resign, but left unanswered whether he will seek another term in Congress. The California candidate filing deadline is Dec. 8 for the March 5, 2024, all-party jungle primary, so the congressman does not have much time to decide. Should he opt for retirement, it is likely that several of the state legislators whose districts overlap his Central Valley CD will enter what would be an open race.

State Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), a former Minority Leader, represents 89 percent of the 20th Congressional District, thus putting her in strong position to be McCarthy’s successor. The state assemblyman with the most overlap is Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), who represents 58 percent of the McCarthy territory.

CA-20 is the safest Republican district in California with a FiveThirtyEight data organization rating of R+31. The Daily Kos Election site ranks CA-20 as the 146th-safest seat of the 222-member Republican Conference.

MD-5: Dem County Chairman to Oppose Rep. Hoyer — Charles County Democratic Party chair Lenny Proctor earlier this week became the fifth member of Rep. Steny Hoyer’s (D-Mechanicsville) party to announce a primary challenge against the former majority leader, a 44-year congressional veteran who appears primed to seek election to yet another term.

The crowded field, also including Prince Georges County Environmental Director Angela Crooms, public affairs specialist Sean McKelvey, two-time congressional candidate McKayla Wilkes, and Democratic activist Joey Thompson, will split the anti-Hoyer vote, thus allowing him to again win easily.

Hoyer will have little trouble winning the Democratic primary, and then the general election in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates at D+28. The Daily Kos Election site ranks MD-5 as the 109th-safest seat of the 213-member Democratic Conference.