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tx-2

Political Roundup for November 10, 2017

Senate:

AL-Sen: As most people have no doubt heard by now, GOP nominee Roy Moore has been accused in a Washington Post story of having a sexual encounter with a 14-year old girl back in 1979 when Moore was a 32-year old assistant DA in Etowah County. Many, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and NRSC Chairman Sen. Cory Gardner (R) have said Moore needs to drop out of the race if the allegations are true(Moore is denying the allegations). However, it is too late to replace Moore on the ballot. Although, some have pointed out that was what we were told when New Jersey Democrats wanted to replace  scandal-plagued Rep. Robert Torricelli (D) on the ballot for US Senate in 2002 with former Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), and the state’s Democratic-dominated judiciary essentially looked the other way. But, barring some similar legal maneuver(and getting Moore to agree to drop out, which may be even tougher), Republicans may be stuck with Moore and hoping that voters believe Moore’s denials or look past something that happened nearly 40 years ago(which, this being deep-red Alabama, wouldn’t be a total surprise).

PA-Sen/PA-LG: Businessman Jeff Bartos has dropped out of the US Senate race, and will instead run for LG, working in tandem with the gubernatorial campaign of state Sen. Scott Wagner (R). Bartos’s exit from the race helps Rep. Lou Barletta (R), as he was the strongest opponent still in the race. Barletta now only faces minor opposition in the GOP primary.

House:

HI-1: State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D) became the 2nd person to join this race on Wednesday. She joins state Rep. Kaniela Ing (D), who announced a bid earlier this week. Party-switching state Rep. Beth Fukumoto (R->D) and AG Doug Chin (D) have indicated an interest in running as well.

NV-3: Michelle Mortensen, a consumer reporter for a Las Vegas TV station, is leaving that job to run in the Republican primary for Congress. She joins state Sen. Scott Hammond (R), former state Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman (R) and former Clark County Republican Party chairman Dave McKeon in the Republican primary. Philanthropist and 2016 NV-4 congressional candidate Susie Lee is currently the only Democrat running.

NH-1: Executive Councilor Chris Pappas (D) has joined the race for this open seat. Pappas was recruited by national Democrats for the seat, and likely starts as the frontrunner. He joins former state AFL-CIO president Mark McKenzie, former Obama Administration Pentagon official Maura Sullivan, former Strafford County District Attorney Lincoln Soldati, and Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke in the Democratic primary. State Rep. Mindi Messmer (D) and Somersworth Mayor Dana Hilliard are also considering. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and former law enforcement official Eddie Edwards are running on the Republican side, with former NH GOP Vice Chairman Matt Mayberry considering. Trump won this district 48-45 last year.

TX-2: State Rep. Kevin Roberts (R) is the first person to jump into the race for this now-open seat. Roberts is in his first term representing a district in northwest Harris County. TX-2 lies wholly within Harris County, snaking around the northeast, north, northwest and west parts of the county.

TX-21: State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) has announced he is running for Congress. Isaac joins retired CIA operations officer Eric Burkhart as the only candidates to announce a run so far. Isaac doesn’t actually live in the district, but part of his state House district overlaps the congressional district.

VA-6: Two Republicans wasted no time in announcing campaigns in the wake of yesterday’s retirement announcement by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R). State Del. Ben Cline (R) and attorney and RNC member Cynthia Dunbar have both jumped in the race. Cline has represented a seat in Rockbridge County since 2002 and was re-elected easily on Tuesday. Other Republicans are expected to get in the race. Two potential Democratic candidates have already taken themselves out of the running. Former TV news anchor Chris Hurst had been recruited by national Democrats to run, but he instead ran for the House of Delegates and defeated an incumbent Republican on Tuesday. Del. Sam Rasoul (D), who took 37% against Goodlatte as the Democratic nominee in 2008, the best showing for a Democrat in the district since Goodlatte’s first election in 1992, had been considered a possible candidate, but will not run.

WV-3: WV Republican Party chairman Conrad Lucas, is running for Congress. Lucas joins a Republican primary that includes state House Majority Whip Carol Miller (R), state Del. Rupie Phillips (R), and physician Ayne Amjad. Democrats have a primary between state Sen. Richard Ojeda (D), Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, and Tri-State Transit Authority CEO Paul Davis.

Governor/state offices:

CO-Gov: Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R) entered the already crowded GOP primary for governor yesterday. She joins 8 other Republicans currently in the race, including Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, investment banker Doug Robinson(nephew of Mitt Romney), and former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R), who just joined the race last week. Brauchler, however is now considering dropping out of the race and running for AG(more on that below).

NY-Gov: Little surprise, but after his loss in the Westchester County Executive race on Tuesday, Rob Astorino has announced he will not run for governor next year. Astorino, who was the 2014 Republican nominee, had been talking about making another run.

CO-AG: Now that the Attorney General position is open, Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, is now considering dropping out of the governor’s race and running for AG instead, seeing his possibilities in the governor’s race fading as the race becomes more crowded. One person who will not be running for AG is Rep. Ken Buck (R), who had said earlier in the year that he might run if Coffman didn’t run for re-election. Buck announced on Wednesday that he will instead run for re-election to Congress. Other Republicans who have expressed interest in running include state Rep. Cole Wist (R) and 2014 CO-2 Republican nominee George Leing.

TX-AG: Austin-based attorney Justin Nelson (D) is running for Attorney General. He is the first person to announce a challenge to AG Ken Paxton (R). He is part of a law firm that specializes in high-stakes civil litigation and is also the founder and former president of One Nation One Vote, a nonprofit organization pushing for eliminating the Electoral College and going to a national popular vote.

Political Roundup for November 8th, 2017

Remember, remember, the 7th of November…

Last Night’s Results

Democrats did well on a lot of friendly turf last night. In the marquee race of the evening, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) defeated Ed Gillespie (R) by 9 points in VA-Gov. Democrats also appear close to taking the Virginia House of Delegates, with recounts pending and a possible 50-50 split in that chamber that could play a major role in 2021 redistricting control in Virginia. In other races, Phil Murphy (D) easily won NJ-Gov as expected; Provo Mayor John Curtis won the UT-3 special election; Democrats took control of the Washington State Senate through their victory in WA-SD-45; and Democrats won two State House specials, GA-HD-117 and GA-HD-119, in the Athens area of  Georgia.

National

Populist/Nationalist Uprising…or not: The Economist posits that despite conventional wisdom purporting the opposite, political power follows economic power. The magazine explains that the global upper class has been successfully flexing its muscle. As proof, it notes that Brexit has resulted in a wage squeeze due to the Pound’s decline and that the Donald’s “revolution” has resulted in… a tax cut bill that benefits the wealthy.

Hudson Valley Hasids: Mutual contempt between the Hasidic residents of the Hudson Valley and their neighbors is at an all-time high. The Village of Kiryas Joel’s Haredi residents and their longer-tenured neighbors in the Town of Monroe have, for years, experienced severe tensions. These tensions and KJ’s rapid growth catalyzed a vote yesterday on the question of KJ secession from Monroe.

The Irrational Electorate: Harvard economist Edward Glaeser has published groundbreaking work on “the attribution error, or voters’ tendency to believe that politicians have more control than they really do. Of course, we the people would never elect anyone of importance thinking that they could snap their fingers and quickly enact massive, structural changes…

The Year of the Womyn: According to lyin’ NBC News, there were a record number of female candidates on the ballot in Virginia’s elections yesterday.

Redistricting: While no surprise to RRH readers, the elections yesterday mark the beginning of a three-year course of elections that will determine control of 2020’s decennial redistricting process.

Big City Mayors and Millenials: Big city mayors are finding that pocketbook and infrastructure issues, such as affordable housing and good public transit, top the list of millennials’ concerns. While condescending conventional wisdom says that millennials are attracted by “cultural districts” and the like, this new information flips that narrative on its head.

Congress

NJ-02: Twelve-term Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R) is retiring from his purple South Jersey seat. South Jersey Political Boss Tony Soprano George Norcross has promised State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) his imperative full support in the case of his likely bid.

TX-Sen: What do Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke have in common? No, this isn’t the beginning of a joke: the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the two rivals are both pushing back against those in their respective parties who
oppose NAFTA. Both men wisely cite the tremendous benefits that Texas has reaped from the poorly-understood trade deal.

TX-02: Seven-term Congressman Ted Poe (R) has announced he will not seek re-election to his Houston-area US House district.

The States

CA-Gov: The Los Angeles Times reports that former Congressman Doug Ose (R) is considering a gubernatorial bid.

IL-AG: For AG, the C[r]ook County Democrats have endorsed State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) over, among others, former Governor Pat Quinn (D).

TX HD-46: In her first press appearance since being acquitted, State Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) waxed presidential. Dukes alleged that the media and her colleagues had treated her “very unfairly” during her corruption trial. Sad!

TX-2: Rep. Ted Poe (R) will not Seek Re-election

Another (annoying for me) Election Day House Retirement. Texas Rep. Ted Poe (R) has decided not to seek a ninth term in what is becoming a banner year for turnover in the TX delegation. Poe’s retirement opens up TX-2, an R+11 seat wrapping a thin arc around the second-ring northern suburbs of Houston (with a tail into the west-central part of the city to soak up a few white liberals). This seat trended strongly against Trump like many suburban Texas districts, but he still carried it by 9 points and it is more strongly Republican downballot. So this is unlikely to be a realistic Dem pickup target barring a mammoth wave, though one or more of the little-known D candidates taking on Rep. John Culberson (R) in the bluer TX-7 next door may decide to move here.

For Republicans, not a single State Senator lives in or even particularly near the seat; State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R) represents the bulk of the district but as best I can tell lives well within TX-7; he could carpetbag. State Reps. Kevin Roberts (R), Dan Huberty (R), Valoree Swanson (R), Gary Elkins (R), and Dwayne Bohac (R) live in or near the district. From local office, the big name to watch is probably Harris County commissioner Jack Cagle (R), who represents essentially the entire seat. From countywide office, I believe Harris CE Ed Emmett (R) lives here, though he is a bit old to run at 69. Harris County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez (R) could also be a name to watch, though he lives outside the district near the county’s west edge.

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