The Political Report – June 23, 2023

A new CBS News poll finds that 50% of Americans say that abortion access in the U.S. has become more restricted over the past year than they expected.

And 57% feel that decision turned out to be a bad thing for the country generally, because they feel an increased threat to women’s health and rights.

A new Gallup poll finds 28% of registered voters say they will only vote for candidates for major offices who share their position on abortion, one percentage point higher than the previous high of 27% recorded in 2022 and 2019.

A record-low 14% now say abortion is not a major issue in their vote.

“A key anti-abortion group is pushing to get Republicans singing from the same songbook a year after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade damaged the party’s national political prospects,” Semafor reports.

“Citing a new round of national polling the group commissioned, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America argues in a new memo, obtained by Semafor, that many Americans are comfortable limiting access to abortions even if they consider themselves broadly ‘pro-choice.’”

PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL. Keir Bradford-Grey, who previously served separate stints as the top public defender in Philadelphia and Montgomery County, announced Wednesday that she would seek the Democratic nomination for this open seat. The Associated Press notes that Bradford-Grey, who would be the first Black person to hold this post, would also be “the first attorney general whose legal experience was primarily as a public defender.”

Bradford-Grey joins a 2024 primary that already includes former state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Joe Kahn, who most recently served as Bucks County solicitor. No notable Republicans are in yet, though York County District Attorney Dave Sunday’s team says he’s thinking about it.

RHODE ISLAND 1ST DISTRICT. EMILY’s List has endorsed Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos ahead of the packed September special Democratic primary.

CALIFORNIA 30TH DISTRICT. Assemblywoman Laura Friedman this week picked up an endorsement from EMILY’s List for the busy top-two primary to succeed her fellow Democrat, Senate candidate Adam Schiff.

CALIFORNIA 12TH DISTRICT. VoteVets has thrown its support behind businessman Tim Sanchez, who served with the Navy in Afghanistan, in the top-two primary for this dark blue East Bay seat.

UTAH 2ND DISTRICT. Outgoing Rep. Chris Stewart on Tuesday endorsed his office’s counsel, Celeste Maloy, days ahead of a Saturday GOP convention that she very much needs to win. That’s because Maloy is one of the eight Republicans who are depending on party delegates to place them on the September primary ballot: Under the state’s special election law only one person can advance out of the event instead of the maximum of two that are normally allowed, so at least seven of them will see their campaigns come to an end over the weekend.

The other five other Republicans are both collecting signatures and competing at the convention in order to make the ballot, though they may still struggle to turn in the requisite 7,000 signatures by July 5 that they’d need to move forward after a convention loss.

NEW YORK 4TH DISTRICT. Newsday reports that state Sen. Kevin Thomas is considering entering the Democratic primary to face freshman GOP Rep. Anthony D’Esposito. Thomas earned his current office in 2018 by unseating Republican incumbent Kemp Hannon 51-49, a win that made the Democrat the first Indian American to serve in the state Senate.

NEW YORK 17TH DISTRICT. Former Bedford Supervisor MaryAnn Carr tells The Examiner News that she’ll join the Democratic primary to take on freshman Republican Rep. Mike Lawler, though her last campaign did not go well. Carr’s colleagues on the Town Board in early 2021 chose her to fill the vacant post as leader of this community of 17,000, but she lost the primary for a full term later that year to Councilwoman Ellen Calves 67-33.

OREGON 5TH DISTRICT. State Rep. Janelle Bynum announced Wednesday that she’d seek the Democratic nomination to take on Republican Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District, a constituency Chavez-DeRemer narrowly flipped two years after it supported Joe Biden 53-44. Bynum, who would be the state’s first Black member of Congress, entered the primary with endorsements from Reps. Suzanne Bonamici and Andrea Salinas, who respectively represent the neighboring 1st and 6th Districts.

This constituency, which is based in Portland’s southern suburbs and central Oregon, will likely be a top Democratic target, but Chavez-DeRemer’s 51-49 victory over Jamie McLeod Skinner in 2022 demonstrated that it’s not reliably blue turf despite the presidential toplines. According to new calculations from Daily Kos Elections, Republican Christine Drazan carried this district even as she was losing last year’s hotly contested race for governor to Democrat Tina Kotek: Drazan outpaced the now-governor 47-43, with another 9% going to conservative Democrat-turned-independent Betsy Johnson.

Bynum herself has experience defeating her would-be opponent, though on a smaller scale. The Democrat won her spot in the state House in 2016 by beating none other than Chavez-DeRemer 51-49 in an open-seat race, a victory that took place as Hillary Clinton was carrying the same district 51-42. The defeated Republican came back for a rematch two years later, but Bynum fended her off 54-46 during that blue wave year. More recently, Bynum pulled off a convincing 55-45 victory over GOP challenger Kori Haynes following an expensive campaign in 2022.

Bynum has a competitive nomination fight ahead of her before she can focus on what would be her third general election battle with Chavez-DeRemer. Oregon Metro Council President Lynn Peterson launched her own campaign earlier this month, while McLeod Skinner, who would be the state’s first LGBTQ+ member of Congress, has also expressed interest in trying again.

NORTH CAROLINA. State House Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican who reportedly plans to draw a new congressional district for himself, is now embroiled in a lawsuit by a former Apex Town Council member named Scott Riley Lassiter alleging that the speaker helped destroy his marriage. Moore acknowledged this week that he had an “on-again, off-again, very casual, nothing-consistent type of relationship” from 2019 until last year with the plaintiff’s estranged wife, state government employee Jamie Liles Lassiter, but he tells the News & Observer that he “fully understood that she was separated.”

Both Moore and Liles Lassiter, however, denied the allegations in the lawsuit insinuating that the speaker traded political influence for sexual favors. She also said that “the only person who has ever abused me or threatened my career was my soon to be ex-husband.”

ILLINOIS 12TH DISTRICT. 2022 gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey this week confirmed he was considering waging a GOP primary bid against incumbent Mike Bost almost two months after Politico first reported his interest, telling the conservative site The Center Square, “If we decide to run, we’ll probably make an official announcement pretty soon.” The former state senator, though, wouldn’t say whether or not he’d be using his July 4 event at his farm to make such a declaration.

COLORADO 8TH DISTRICT. Former state GOP chair Dick Wadhams writes in his column for Colorado Politics that Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine is thinking about making a second bid for the competitive seat now held by freshman Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo, though there’s no word from Saine about her plans. National Democrats last year ran ads aimed at boosting the far-right Saine in her primary against state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer, but Saine ended up finishing in third place with only 21% of the vote. Kirkmeyer, who went on to lose to Caraveo 48.4-47.7, recently told The Colorado Sun she’d decide by July 4 if she’d seek a rematch.

CALIFORNIA 47TH DISTRICT. Democratic state Sen. Dave Min has publicized an internal from Public Policy Polling showing him trailing 2022 GOP nominee Scott Baugh 39-37 in a hypothetical general election, though the memo says that Min pulls ahead after respondents hear about each of their biographies. (The initial horserace numbers were provided to us by Min’s team.)

The release also declares that, when the sample is asked about the state senator’s recent DUI, “Only 19% of likely voters found this to be a very convincing line of attack, while 47% found this not at all convincing.” The memo does not mention Democratic activist Joanna Weiss or any of the other candidates competing in the top-two primary.

TEXAS 32ND DISTRICT. State Rep. Julie Johnson on Tuesday announced that she’d enter the Democratic primary to succeed her fellow Democrat, Senate candidate Colin Allred, in a diverse northern Dallas seat that Joe Biden took 66-33. Johnson, whose 2018 win over Republican incumbent Matt Rinaldi made her the first Texas legislator with a same-sex spouse, would again make history as the first openly gay person to represent the state in Congress. (It was only after she died in 1996 that news accounts identified legendary Rep. Barbara Jordan as a lesbian; she never discussed her sexuality during her lifetime.)

Johnson, who kicked off her campaign with an endorsement from the state branch of the American Federation of Teachers, told the Dallas Morning News of her ideology, “There’s aspects of my voting record that are very moderate. And I’m very issue-based.” She added, “I don’t categorize myself as either progressive or moderate. I’m a Democrat and I fight for democratic values.” Johnson joins a primary that includes trauma surgeon Brian H. Williams and civil rights attorney Justin Moore, and it could attract more names. Reporter Gromer Jeffers writes that unnamed operatives are hoping to recruit Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia, though there’s no word on his interest.

MARYLAND 6TH DISTRICT. Former Republican Del. Brenda Thiam has filed FEC paperwork for a potential bid to succeed Democratic Senate candidate David Trone in this 54-44 Biden constituency. Thiam became the first Black Republican woman to ever serve in the legislature after she was appointed to a vacant seat in 2020, but Democrat Brooke Grossman unseated her 54-46 two years later.

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

0 comments on “The Political Report – June 23, 2023

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: