Monday, February 13, 2017

April Is Going To Be A Busy Month For House Special Elections


Governors are setting the dates for special congressional elections to replace congressmen who have been drafted for other jobs. Most of them are to replace Members who are joining Team Trump but the first contest-- April 4-- is in L.A., where one of the deepest blue districts in the whole country (Trump only got 10.7% of the vote there) will select a replacement for Xavier Becerra, who was tapped by Gov. Jerry Brown as California's new Attorney General. Saturday, at the opening of Jimmy Gomez's campaign headquarters, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti told the overflow crowd that "We can't afford for anybody to learn on the job" because Trump & his admin are "coming after us as a state as a city, as Latinos." He made the point that Gomez isn't just the candidate endorsed by the California Democratic Party and by progressives in Congress like Ted Lieu, Ruben Gallego, Ro Khanna, Judy Chu and Grace Napolitano but that he's the most progressive candidate of the two dozen running. And that includes 4 or 5 whose claim is that they were Bernie Sanders volunteers. There are also two charter school shills in the race, as close as a district like this would ever come to electing a Republican.

If Gomez doesn't win 50% + 1 on April 4, there will be a runoff June 6. With over 20 candidates in the primary, it doesn't look possible. Blue America has also endorsed Gomez and you can contribute to his campaign here. It would be fantastic-- for America, not for Trump and Ryan-- if he could fly to Washington on April 5 and get sworn in.

The other 4 House districts that will see spring-time special elections are all pretty red-- but not necessarily out of reach, not if Trump's and Ryan's approval rating's keep sinking at the breathtaking rate that they are today. A week after Jimmy Gomez's April 4 contest in L.A., Wichita will be the focus as KS-04 replaces Trump's CIA director, Koch brothers-owned Mike Pompeo. Gov. Brownback picked April 11 for the special and Republican delegates shit-canned the Trump candidate, Alan Cobb, on Thursday and picked duck a garden variety rubber stamp Republican hack, Ron Estes. Saturday, Democrats picked civil rights attorney James Thompson who told party delegates that ""The eyes of the country are upon us. Have no doubt about that this is going to be a referendum on Trump policies."
Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward told the crowd he thinks Democrats can win that fight, even though Trump easily won Kansas in the November election.

"There’s a lot of people in the 4th District who voted for Donald Trump," he said. "(But) even if they’re good hard Republicans, they’re nervous about that. That man scares them, just like he scares us and they’re not sure if they made the right decision."

Electing a Democrat to represent a majority-Republican district would send a message to Trump to "stay in his own lane," Ward said.
In November, the 4th district voted for Trump 60.2% to 33.0% and Pompeo was reelected against Democrat Dan Giroux 61.0-29.4%, Pompeo spending $1,447,958 to Giroux's $262,986. The DCCC did nothing to help or encourage Giroux, of course. Will them be more supportive of Thompson?

The DCCC is signaling that they do plan to be active in the contest that's set for a week later (April 18) in the northern suburbs of Atlanta (GA-6-- parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties), where Trump struggled to keep up with Clinton and underperformed Romney-2012, 60.8% to 48.3%. This upscale, professional district is not Trump territory and people there aren't happy with the direction he's taking the country. The party's have yet to select their candidates to replace Tom Price but the Democrats seem to be solidifying around Jon Ossoff, the savvy progressive guy with the best chance of winning against whichever knee-jerk Republican, probably state Senator Judson Hill, the party puts up.

Hill could be kept out of the race by raging psychopath Karen Handel, an anti-Choice fanatic and all-around bigot, exactly the kind of crackpot extremist GA-06 voters are sick of. Price's wife, Betty, is also running and Trump has a lunatic he's pushing as well-- Bruce LeVell, a sleazy businessman very much like Trump. If no one wins on April 18, when all candidates compete on one ballot, the runoff will be on June 20. The candidates have until Wednesday, Feb. 15, to declare and cough up the $5,220 to qualify. All eyes are on Karen Handel, former state Sen. Dan Moody, and LeVell, since any of them would turn the intra-Republican fight into a bloody free-for-all and pretty much guarantee Ossoff would make it into the runoff.

Since neither Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) nor Ryan Zinke (R-MT) has been confirmed yet, special election dates haven't been set for the at-large Montana seat or the north-central South Carolina seat, the latter which we covered in some depth here. State House Speaker Tommy Pope (R) was planning to run for governor but just jumped into the race to take Mulvaney's seat, joining state Rep. Ralph Norman, ex-state party chair Chad Connelly, Sheri Few, an anti-Common Core fanatic, and a local attorney, Kris Wampler.

Democrats seem to be coalescing around Fran Person, who ran against Mulvaney in 2016, although there is a lot of establishment enthusiasm for state Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell. Trump won the district with 57.3%, one of those districts where he actually did better than Romney had! This is a tough one because voters may not have come to the same conclusions about Trump yet that so much of the country has.

Montana's at-large House seat is another one where Trump slightly out-performed Romney (56.5-55.4%) but Montana voters already seem to be suffering more buyers' remorse than SC-05 voters are. Zinc did slightly better than Trump in November (and medical marijuana did better than either of them). Interestingly, while current conventional wisdom loudly insists that split ticket voting has done the way on the dodo, Democratic Governor Steve Bullock soundly defeated crackpot GOP billionaire extremist Greg Gianoforte 250,846 (50.2%) to 232,080 (46.4%). In other words, over 28,000 Trump voters and over 30,000 Zinke voters decided to not vote for Gianforte. And guess who the favored candidate is for the Republican nomination for the House seat.

Gianoforte tried buying the gubernatorial race with $5.8 million of his own money and spent around $9 million. Bullock spent just one third of that-- around $3.5 million. The Republican Governors Association threw in another $1.4 million for Gianoforte and and the Democratic Governors Association countered with $425,000 for Bullock. Party leaders will select between Gianforte, state Senator Ed Buttrey, state Senate president Scott Sales and businessman Eugene Graf. On the Democratic side, a Bozeman Daily Chronicle straw poll of Democratic County Central Committees, the party’s executive board, and chartered partner organizations, shows most supporting political musician (and Brian Schweitzer-endorsed Berniecrat) Rob Quist, with state Rep. Amanda Curtis trailing narrowly. State Rep. Kelly McCarthy is also hoping for the nomination.
A textual analysis of their explanations shows the Democrats holding high regard for candidates with name recognition-- 12 respondents said Quist’s name would make him a strong candidate, and five said it worked in Curtis’ favor.

Quist, 69, a long-time Montana musician, has toured the state with his band since the 1970s. Curtis, 37, won the party’s U.S. Senate nomination at a special convention in 2014.

One Curtis supporter highlighted that experience. She has the “proven capacity to raise money quickly,” and “has dealt with the scrutiny of a statewide election.”

Weighing their personal politics against electability, this will be the Democrats first chance to test any backlash against President Donald Trump.

“My wife and I are both delegates and our politics align best with Amanda. We are aware that Rob may have a better chance to attract the rural right,” said a Curtis supporter.

“Mr. Quist is a competent candidate and has the capability of garnering the support of not only Democratic voters, but independent and conservative voters too,” said another.

Some of the answers pointed out that Curtis’ age would allow her to hold the seat for decades; others said her gender and progressive politics are right for the times.

“She is an experienced candidate with good name recognition. She is the most ‘Bernie’-like of the bunch. She has legislative experience. She is a she,” another Curtis supporter wrote in the poll.

But that might not be just right for the state that elected President Trump and most other Republicans by a wide margin last November.

“While I would love to see the women candidates, I think we need a candidate that can pull in eastern Montana,” a Quist supporter said.
Goal Thermometer

Labels: , , , , , , ,


At 3:58 PM, Anonymous wjbill said...

The picture up top makes me think of the "slogan" the south will rise again. So does that mean "the south" would be a separate country? And god will be on their side, right?


Post a Comment

<< Home