Politico: “Wildly unpopular in Massachusetts, Trump served as a foil for Charlie Baker, who was able to establish his own political independence — and win over Democratic constituents — by frequently criticizing his fellow Republican.”
“Baker isn’t the only blue-state Republican governor who’s seen his popularity dented by coronavirus fatigue and Trump’s absence from the news cycle. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott — two other Trump critics who have long rated among the most popular governors in the nation — have also seen their numbers dip in the post-Trump era.”
ALABAMA U.S. SENATOR — Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) announced she would not run for the U.S. Senate seat Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is leaving after 2022, the Alabama Media Group reports.
“Sewell, who has represented Alabama’s 7th District for a decade and is the only Democrat in the state’s Congressional delegation, had previously said she would ‘look very closely’ at running for the open seat.”
CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR RECALL — Politico: “Tom Steyer is polling the California recall. And the billionaire environmental activist and erstwhile presidential hopeful has included his own name among the list of possible contenders to succeed Gov. Gavin Newsom.”
PENNSYLVANIA 7TH CD — Technology consulting company owner Kevin Dellicker, who is a veteran of Army and Air national guards, told The Morning Call that he was thinking about seeking the Republican nod to face Democratic Rep. Susan Wild. 2020 nominee Lisa Scheller, who lost to Wild 52-48 as Biden was prevailing by a similar 52-47, also said in January she was eyeing another congressional run.
A new YouGov survey finds nearly 50% of Americans now say the stock market is “rigged against individual investors” and surprisingly 56% of those investing in the stock market believe the market is rigged as well.
New York Times: “Of the 68 bills pertaining to voting, at least 23 had similar language or were firmly rooted in the principles laid out in the Heritage group’s letter and in an extensive report it published two days later.”
GEORGIA GOVERNOR — Former state Rep. Vernon Jones, an ardent Trump fan who left the Democratic Party in January, tweeted Monday that he was “looking closely” at a GOP primary bid against Gov. Brian Kemp.
Jones, unsurprisingly, echoed his patron’s lies about election fraud by insisting, “If it weren’t for Brian Kemp, Donald Trump would still be President of these United States.” Joe Biden, of course, would still have earned an electoral college majority even if Trump had carried Georgia, but that’s hardly stopped Trump from targeting his one-time ally Kemp.
Jones had a long career in Democratic politics, though he’d struggled to win higher office under his old party. After a stint in the state House in the 1990s, Jones became the first African American to lead DeKalb County following his 2000 victory for CEO of this large Atlanta-area community. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that during his tenure, Jones “drew intense scrutiny for angry outbursts and an accusation of rape that he said was a consensual act between three partners.” Jones, however, was never charged.
Jones tried to use his high-profile post as a springboard to statewide office, but he lost the 2008 primary runoff for Senate 60-40 to Jim Martin, who went on to lose to Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss. Jones then challenged Rep. Hank Johnson in the 2010 primary for the 4th Congressional District and lost 55-26.
In 2013, a grand jury probing Jones’ time as DeKalb County CEO recommended he be investigated for what the AJC calls allegations of “bid-rigging and theft.” The following year, his campaign for DeKalb County sheriff ended in a landslide 76-24 primary defeat.
Jones, though, resurrected his political career when he won the 2016 primary to return to the state House in a safely blue seat. Months later, DeKalb District Attorney Robert James announced that he wouldn’t be charging a number of figures, including Jones, for lack of evidence.
Jones spent the next few years often voting with Republicans and tweeting favorably of Trump, but he only burned his last bridges with his party in 2020 when he endorsed Trump’s re-election campaign. Jones, who was already facing a competitive primary, ultimately retired from the legislature (albeit after initially saying he’d be resigning), and he spent the rest of the campaign as a prominent Trump surrogate.
Jones finally switched parties in January, and he’s been eyeing another statewide bid over the last few months. Jones has been mentioned as a prospective Senate candidate, and he reportedly eyed a primary campaign for secretary of state against Brad Raffensperger as recently as last week. Trump, though, has touted former NFL running back Herschel Walker as a prospective Senate candidate and endorsed Rep. Jody Hice’s bid against Raffensperger on Monday (see our GA-SoS item), which may be why Jones is now talking about taking on Kemp instead.
MISSOURI GOVERNOR / LT. GOVERNOR / U.S. SENATOR — Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe announced Monday that he would compete in the 2024 race to succeed Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who will be termed-out, rather than run in next year’s open seat race for the Senate.
Kehoe’s kickoff is extremely early, but while it’s not unheard of for prominent gubernatorial candidates to enter the race well over three years before Election Day, that preparation doesn’t always pay off. Then-California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom notably launched his successful 2018 gubernatorial campaign in February of 2015, while Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin announced his 2022 bid in August of 2019 only to drop down to attorney general last month after Donald Trump backed a rival Republican primary candidate.
GEORGIA U.S. SENATOR — Banking executive Latham Saddler confirmed this week that he is considering seeking the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. Saddler is a Navy SEAL veteran who went on to serve as a Trump White House fellow, and he does not appear to have run for office before.
Meanwhile, Politico has obtained a survey from the GOP firm OnMessage that tests several other prospective candidates in a hypothetical primary.
In a four-way match-up, OnMessage gives former Rep. Doug Collins a 35-27 lead over former NFL running back Herschel Walker. Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler takes third with 22%, while QAnon ally and freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is at 7%. In a two-way contest, Collins bests Loeffler 55-36.
PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR / U.S. SENATOR — Several more Republicans, including a few familiar names, have made their interest in running to succeed termed-out Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf known in recent days.
On Monday, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain formed a fundraising committee for a potential bid. That step came days after Rep. Mike Kelly said he was thinking about running either for governor or for the Senate.
Republican Rep. Dan Meuser acknowledged Monday that he was thinking about entering next year’s open seat race for governor. Meuser, who represents a safely red seat located in the formerly coal-heavy region between Wilkes-Barre and Harrisburg, said, “I plan on taking the next few months to have discussions with my fellow Pennsylvanians about ways I believe we can move our state forward towards a more prosperous future.” Last month, PennLive also listed Meuser as one of the Republicans “widely believed to be looking at” running for Senate, but he didn’t mention that contest this week.
Former Rep. Lou Barletta, who badly lost the 2018 Senate general election, also acknowledged his interest in the gubernatorial race and pledged to decide over the next few weeks. Additionally, state Sen. Dan Laughlin said over the weekend that he was thinking about campaigning to replace Wolf. The Erie Times-News writes that Laughlin is one of the more moderate Republicans in the legislature, which could be helpful in a general but toxic in a primary.
VIRGINIA GOVERNOR — Wealthy businessman Pete Snyder has earned an endorsement from Rep. Bob Good ahead of the May 8 Republican nominating convention. Good himself won the GOP nomination last year through this system when he unseated incumbent Denver Riggleman.
NEW YORK 23RD CD — Chemung County Executive Chris Moss said Monday that he was interested in running to succeed Rep. Tom Reed, a fellow Republican who on Sunday apologized for sexually harassing a woman in 2017 as he announced he would not run for office in 2022. But Moss, who was the party’s 2014 nominee for lieutenant governor, said that he would first run for re-election to his current office this year and would not decide on anything until he sees the new congressional map.
Moss has good reason to be wary, as no one knows what this 55-42 Trump seat, which currently includes Ithaca and southwestern New York, will look like next year. New York is very likely to lose at least one House seat, and Reed’s departure could make it easier for mapmakers to eliminate this upstate New York seat.
TEXAS 6TH CD — 2020 state House candidate Lydia Bean has released a poll from the Democratic firm Global Strategy Group that shows her in contention to advance past the May 1 all-party primary:
- GOP activist Susan Wright (R): 18
- 2018 nominee Jana Lynne Sanchez (D): 9
- State Rep. Jake Ellzey (R): 8
- 2020 state House candidate Lydia Bean (D): 6
- Former Trump administration official Brian Harrison (R): 6
- Education activist Shawn Lassiter (D): 4
- Former Homeland Security official Patrick Moses (D): 2
- 2020 Nevada congressional candidate Dan Rodimer (R): 1
The only other poll we’ve seen was a Victoria Research survey for Sanchez released last week that showed Wright leading her 21-17, with Ellzey and Bean at 8% and 5%, respectively.
OHIO 16TH CD — The radical anti-tax Club for Growth has followed Donald Trump’s lead and endorsed former Trump administration official Max Miller’s Republican primary bid against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who voted to impeach the party’s leader in January. The Club has also released a poll from WPA Intelligence that shows Miller beating Gonzalez 39-30, though no one knows what this district will look like after redistricting.