The Political Report – January 10, 2021

Fifty-seven percent of Americans want Republican President Trump to be immediately removed from office after he encouraged a protest this week that escalated into a deadly riot inside the U.S. Capitol, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

A day after calling for healing and peace as a country, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is alleging “communists” have infiltrated the United States Senate, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports.

In an op-ed in The Federalist, Noem accused Senator-elects Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of being communists, calling one a “33-year-old with no accomplishments” and the other a “smooth-talking preacher.”

Wrote Noem: “The idea that Georgia, of all places, could elect two communists to the United States Senate was ridiculous.”

“In a secure room where stunned senators were hiding from an angry mob on Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley stood in a corner, mostly alone,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Said one person in the room: “It was extremely striking. For most of the time, he was in a corner of the room by himself with no one talking to him or acknowledging him.”

“The Missouri Republican’s Senate colleagues were furious with him, according to GOP aides. Minutes before, pro-Trump rioters had overrun the U.S. Capitol, forcing senators to halt the ratification of Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory and flee their chamber in terror, some running, some while holding hands.”

ARIZONA SENATOR AND GOVERNOR–GOP Rep. David Schweikert is mentioned as a possibility to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly and lists Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton as a potential candidate for governor.

NORTH CAROLINA SENATOR–Democratic state Sen. Sam Searcy, who had expressed interest in a U.S. Senate bid in late November, announced last month that he’d be resigning from the legislature. Searcy said in a statement, “Recently an unexpected opportunity to serve NC in a new role presented itself & I look forward to sharing more about that in the future,” but he did not address any future electoral plans.

NEW JERSEY 7TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT–State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. said last month that he’d mull his political future over the holidays, and Politico reported Monday that the Republican is “expected to soon announce” if he’ll run for re-election this year. It is assumed that Kean would seek a rematch against Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski in 2022, but that he might first have to win a competitive re-election battle for his seat in the state Senate—unless he bails on the legislature entirely.

NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR–Corey Lewandowski, who served as Donald Trump’s first 2016 campaign manager and remains in Trump’s orbit as one of his senior advisors, told WMUR that he was considering seeking the Republican nomination for governor. Lewandowski added that he’d be willing to run in a primary against Gov. Chris Sununu or former Sen. Kelly Ayotte: Sununu is the GOP’s top pick to run for the Senate, and Ayotte has been mentioned as a potential candidate to succeed him in the governor’s office.

Lewandowski spent months in 2019 talking about challenging Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, an idea that Trump very much encouraged. Plenty of state and national Republicans, though, feared that Lewandowski would be a weak candidate; Sununu himself even reportedly warned party leaders that Lewandowski could harm the entire state ticket, including his own re-election campaign. Lewandowski ultimately stayed out of the race, and while eventual nominee Corky Messner badly lost to Shaheen, he didn’t prevent Sununu from easily winning his own race.

COLORADO SENATOR–CNN reported Tuesday evening that Republican Rep. Ken Buck was considering a bid against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet after receiving a call from NRSC chair Rick Scott, though there’s no word yet from Buck’s camp about his interest.

OHIO SENATOR AND GOVERNOR–Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley announced Wednesday that she wouldn’t seek re-election this year, a move that only intensified speculation that the Democrat will run for higher office in 2022.

Last year, Whaley didn’t rule out a bid for Senate and for governor, and the Dayton Daily News notes that she hasn’t said no to a potential campaign against Republican Rep. Mike Turner either. When asked about her future plans on Wednesday, Whaley responded, “I don’t know. Hopefully we can make these decisions quickly in the coming months.”

KANSAS THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT–Republican Amanda Adkins lost last year to Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids by a 54-44 margin, but we may not have heard the last from her. The Kansas City Star notes that Adkins has continued to raise money following her defeat and has refused to discuss her future political goals. This suburban Kansas City seat has moved hard to the left during the Trump era, but Davids could be in danger if the Republican legislature uses its supermajority to gerrymander the new congressional map.

RHODE ISLAND GOVERNOR–Democratic Lt. Gov. Dan McKee would become the new governor if Gov. Gina Raimondo, who was to be termed-out of office this cycle, is confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be Commerce Secretary.

McKee had said last month that he planned to run in 2022 to succeed Raimondo, so there’s little question that he’d seek a full term next year. McKee, though, could still be in for a difficult primary even with the power of incumbency on his side. Indeed, back in 2018, McKee won renomination only 51-49 against state Rep. Aaron Regunberg, a progressive who accused the incumbent of accepting “dark money” from PACs. Regunberg himself is preparing to run for lieutenant governor again, but McKee may need to worry about other Democrats who had intended to compete in what was expected to be an open seat race to succeed Raimondo.

McKee and Raimondo also have a notoriously distant relationship, so much so that, as the Providence Journal’s Katherine Gregg wrote last month, he’s been reduced to delivering letters to his nominal boss—which go unanswered. Things may get a whole lot less awkward in state government if Raimondo goes to Washington, but the governor’s allies at home may not be keen to help McKee win the nomination.

Rhode Island, while a solidly blue state in federal elections, has been willing to sending Republicans to the governor’s office, and a bruising Democratic primary could give Team Red a larger opening. Outgoing Cranston Mayor Allan Fung reportedly has been mulling a third bid for office: Raimondo beat Fung only 41-36 in the 2014 open seat race, though she prevailed by a decisive 53-37 in their 2018 rematch.

BOSTON MAYOR–Politico reported Thursday that Joe Biden had selected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as his secretary of labor. If Walsh is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, City Council President Kim Janey would take over as acting mayor. Janey, who is Black, would be the first woman or person of color to lead Boston. Both Walsh and Janey, just like every notable elected official in Boston, are Democrats.

Janey’s ascension could also dramatically shake up this year’s mayoral race. Two fellow city councilors, Andrea Campbell and Michelle Wu, had each announced last year that they’d challenge Walsh, whom politicos widely expected to seek a third term. It remains to be seen, though, what they’d do if Janey became mayor and decided to run in her own right.

It’s very possible that Walsh’s absence in the race would entice others to get in. Indeed, Politico’s Stephanie Murray reports that another member of the 13-person City Council, Annissa Essaibi George, is considering a bid. The Boston Globe’s Matt Stout reports that state Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, is also thinking about running.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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