The Political Report – May 18, 2023

“Republicans seeking to keep Donald Trump from becoming their party’s nominee will have to overcome rules even more favorable to the former president than the ones that helped him clinch the 2016 nomination,” Bloomberg reports.

“In 2024, more states will award delegates through winner-take-all primaries — a system that helped Trump when opponents divided the vote, allowing him to be awarded all or most of the delegates with less than majority support.”

CALIFORNIA 47TH DISTRICT. Former Rep. Harley Rouda on Monday endorsed local Democratic activist Joanna Weiss a month after he dropped out of the top-two primary due to health concerns. Rouda used the announcement to highlight that another Democrat, state Sen. Dave Min, had been arrested for drunk driving weeks ago, with the former congressman arguing, “The stakes are too high to get this choice wrong.”

CALIFORNIA 30TH DISTRICT. Former State Department official Jirair Ratevosian has joined the busy top-two primary to succeed his fellow Democrat, Senate contender Adam Schiff, in this dark blue seat around Los Angeles. Ratevosian previously worked for Bay Area Rep. Barbara Lee, who is one of Schiff’s intra-party rivals in the contest for the upper chamber.

NEW YORK 4TH DISTRICT. Attorney Sarah Hughes, who won a gold medal for figure skating in an upset at the 2002 Olympics, announced Monday that she was joining the Democratic primary to take on Republican Rep. Anthony D’Esposito. Hughes entered the race days after Laura Gillen, who lost to D’Esposito 52-48 last year, launched her rematch campaign. Joe Biden took this Long Island constituency 57-42, which makes it the bluest seat held by a Republican.  

FLORIDA U.S. SENATOR. Brevard County School Board member Jennifer Jenkins confirms she’s considering challenging Republican Sen. Rick Scott in a contest where Democrats don’t yet have a viable contender. “I don’t believe there should be an intense battle for the primary for this seat in order for Democrats to be successful,” she told the Florida Phoenix, adding, “I will support anyone who is willing to take up the fight to ensure that Rick Scott is going to lose his election.”

NEW YORK 18TH DISTRICT. Multiple media outlets report that Alison Esposito, who was the GOP’s 2022 nominee for lieutenant governor, is considering challenging Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan, though she has yet to say anything publicly. Biden carried this Hudson Valley seat 53-45 two years before the ticket of Lee Zeldin and Esposito beat the team of Gov. Kathy Hochul and Antonio Delgado 51-49, according to data calculated by Bloomberg’s Greg Giroux. Ryan, for his part, won his first full term 51-49 after an expensive general election.  

Esposito grew up in this constituency before embarking on a 25-year-career with the NYPD in Brooklyn well to the south. The Republican, who departed the force during the 2022 campaign, would have been the first gay person elected statewide had she and Zeldin prevailed.

WEST VIRGINIA U.S. SENATOR and MANCHIN-COLLINS 2024. “First of all, you can see how divided the country is. … People are upset with both President Biden for not bringing the country together … and also with Donald Trump for being a tremendous divider. When you look at that, people are just naturally saying, is there something else? Is there something better?”— Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), quoted by The Messenger.

NEW YORK 3RD DISTRICT. Rep. George Santos on Thursday confessed to theft in Brazil as part of a deal to avoid prosecution, a move that came one day after the Republican pleaded not guilty in the United States to 13 federal charges. Santos, whom Brazilian prosecutors have accused of using a stolen checkbook to buy shoes and other items in 2008 when he was 19, was ordered to pay $2,000 in fines and another $2,800 to the store owner within 30 days.

The congressman’s attorney said following the agreement, “My client is no longer facing any charges in Brazil.” The victim wasn’t happy with Santos’ punishment, though, saying, “He got off super cheap.”  

Zak Malamed, who co-founded a group called The Next 50 dedicated to electing Democrats who are younger than 50, said Monday he would compete for the seat currently held by Republican Rep. George Santos. Malamed, who himself is 29, told HuffPost he identifies with the policies of the moderate New Democrat Coalition and backs universal healthcare while stopping short of Medicare for All. He joins a nomination contest that includes Nassau County legislator Josh Lafazan and former state Sen. Anna Kaplan, while plenty of others are also eyeing the race.  

MARYLAND U.S. SENATOR. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced Monday that he was supporting Angela Alsobrooks, his counterpart in Prince George’s County, rather than entering the Democratic primary himself.

Olszewski made his move days after Alsobrooks picked up an endorsement from Rep. Kweisi Mfume, whose dark blue 7th Congressional District includes almost all of the city of Baltimore as well as about a quarter of suburban Baltimore County. (The two have been separate jurisdictions since 1851). Alsobrooks and her two intra-party rivals, Rep. David Trone and Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando, all hail from the D.C. suburbs.

RHODE ISLAND 1ST DISTRICT. Former Providence City Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune took her name out of contention for the upcoming Democratic special election primary by taking a new job as executive director of City Year Providence. LaFortune is to start about a week before Rep. David Cicilline officially resigns from the House to lead a different nonprofit, the Rhode Island Foundation.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien confirmed last week that he’s still considering entering the packed special Democratic primary.

UTAH U.S. SENATOR. State House Speaker Brad Wilson tells ABC 4 that he’ll decide whether to run for the Senate sometime in the fall after he’s done playing host to the National Speakers Conference on Sept. 9. (Yes, that’s a thing!) Wilson set up an exploratory committee last month for a potential Republican primary bid against Sen. Mitt Romney, who has yet to announce if he’ll be seeking a second term.

TENNESSEE 5TH DISTRICT. Donald Trump on Thursday endorsed serial fabricator Andy Ogles for a second term in this gerrymandered constituency, though no notable Republicans have shown any obvious interest in challenging him for renomination. Trump’s support for “a fantastic Representative for the incredible people of Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District” came the same day that the Nashville Scene reported that Ogles’ only district office is locked and there’s no indication it’s ever accessible to the public.

WASHINGTON GOVERNOR. Physician Raul Garcia has announced that he’ll run as a Republican in next year’s top-two primary to succeed retiring Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, a move that comes years after his briefly-touted 2020 effort went nowhere.

Garcia, who entered that race just before the filing deadline, earned endorsements from former Gov. Dan Evans, former Sen. Slade Gorton, and former state Attorney General Rob McKenna, prominent Republicans from yesteryear who saw him as a moderate alternative to the hardline GOP field. That show of force wasn’t enough to win over voters, though, and Garcia ended up clocking in at just 5%; Inslee went on to win a third term against Loren Culp, who refused to recognize his 57-43 defeat.

TEXAS 15TH DISTRICT. Businesswoman Michelle Vallejo, who was the Democratic nominee last year against now-Rep. Monica de la Cruz in this 51-48 Trump seat, says she has an “exciting announcement coming up,” and she implies it will happen Tuesday. De la Cruz won this Rio Grande Valley constituency 53-45 after a contest where the two biggest GOP House outside groups deployed $2.3 million while their Democratic counterparts spent almost nothing.

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

2 comments on “The Political Report – May 18, 2023

  1. Rusty Dils

    Articles of impeachment filed against Joe Biden today

  2. John Kowalko

    Charges of treason brought against “RUMP” every day a**hole
    John Kowalko

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