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Posts by Bridget Bowman
August 22, 2014
A state judge upheld the Florida legislature’s newly revised congressional map Friday, ruling the redrawn House districts should apply to the 2016 elections.
“The 2014 elections will have to be held under the map as enacted in 2012,” Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis wrote in his ruling, siding with Florida lawmakers who argued that applying new district lines to this election cycle would create chaos.
The ruling allows the Aug. 26 primaries to continue as scheduled. Even so, the new map makes minor changes to the state’s House districts and will likely have a minimal effect in 2016 on the congressional delegation, where House Republicans currently outnumber Democrats 17 to 10.
After a week and a half of uncertainty, the Republican nominee to represent Wisconsin’s 6th District will be state Sen. Glenn Grothman.
After the 11 counties in the district verified their vote counts Wednesday, Grothman maintained his lead by 219 votes, or 0.47 percent, but it was unclear whether the second place finisher, state Sen. Joe Leibham, would call for a recount. Full story
Former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, a Democrat, hopes her community ties and political experience will boost her to victory in Tuesday’s primary in Arizona’s 7th District.
In an interview with CQ Roll Call in Washington, D.C., Wilcox laid out what she believes will be a winning strategy for the primary.
“We’re targeting, we’re making sure that we’re getting the voters out,” said Wilcox in late July. “I know my community. My community has shared with me many of their concerns, and so the message is one that is resonating. And that’s how we win.” Full story
August 15, 2014
Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst told TIME Friday that she was sexually harassed in the military. Separating herself from many of her fellow Republicans, Ernst also said she would support taking sexual assault cases out of the military chain of command.
Ernst, a 20-year veteran, said in the interview with TIME that there are situations when soldiers may be hesitant to report sexual harassment.
“I had comments, passes, things like that,” Ernst said. “These were some things where I was able to say stop and it simply stopped but there are other circumstances both for women and for men where they don’t stop and they may be afraid to report it.”
After reports of high levels of sexual assault in the military, lawmakers worked to address the issue last spring. A main point of contention was whether such cases should be handled by military officers. Full story
The Florida Secretary of State submitted an alternative election schedule Friday to a state judge who is considering whether or not a redrawn congressional map should apply to the midterms.
According to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, should the new map apply to this cycle, the earliest possible primary date for the seven districts affected by the new map would take place on March 17, 2015. The general election would follow on May 26, 2015. Full story
August 14, 2014
Updated: 8:18 p.m. | A state judge denied Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s request to postpone voting in Hawaii’s Democratic Senate primary, where voters in a couple precincts are scheduled to cast ballots Friday.
Hanabusa filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking that special extended voting hours in two precincts on the Big Island be pushed back further. The make-up date was scheduled by the state Office of Elections after a hurricane shut down the precincts’ polling places Aug. 9, when the rest of the state voted.
Currently the primary race is too close to call, with Hanabusa trailing Sen. Brian Schatz by 1,635 votes. The remaining precincts will decide the outcome.
August 13, 2014
With the Democratic Senate primary in Hawaii too close to call and several thousand votes on the line, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, has sued the state’s Office of Elections to postpone Friday’s special election date.
Hanabusa currently trails Sen. Brian Schatz, also a Democrat, by 1,635 votes.
Hanabusa filed the lawsuit with the third circuit court Wednesday, roughly 36 hours before the Friday special election. The two precincts include an estimated 8,000 voters. Full story
The Associated Press has rescinded its call in Wisconsin’s 6th District GOP primary after announcing that state Sen. Glenn Grothman won the GOP race last night.
The race is now too close to call, with Grothman garnering 36.2% of the votes and State Sen. Joe Leibham with 35.8% of the votes. Just 214 votes separate the contenders.
After the AP called the race for Grothman a few hours after the polls closed last night, observers noted that the votes were still not counted in Leibham’s base of Sheboygan. Full story
Updated 6:40 a.m. | State Sen. Glenn Grothman has won the GOP primary by a slim margin in the only open House district in Wisconsin.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the 6th district primary race for Grothman, who garnered 36.2 percent of the vote in the four-way contest to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Tom Petri.
State Sen. Joe Leibham trails Grothman with 35.8 percent — or by 215 votes.
August 11, 2014
The Florida Legislature approved a new congressional map Monday evening and sent it to the governor’s desk, although it’s still unclear whether the new House district boundaries will past muster or take effect for the 2014 elections.
The newly passed map only makes minor changes to the congressional districts and is not expected to alter Florida’s congressional delegation, where House Republicans currently outnumber Democrats, 17 to 10.
There are a number of ways the redistricting chaos could end, but the clock is ticking down to the Aug. 26 primary. Next week, a judge will rule whether the new lines are acceptable, and when voters will head to the polls.
Lawmakers returned to Tallahassee last week under a judge’s order to redraw the Sunshine state’s congressional districts. In July, Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled two districts violated the state constitution, which prohibits drawing districts to favor a political party or incumbent.
Liberal allies are rallying around Sen. Brian Schatz after damage from a hurricane extended voting for the deadlocked Democratic primary in Hawaii.
MoveOn.org sent a fundraising email late Sunday night with the subject line, “We’re going into overtime in Hawaii.” The email urged supporters to donate so the group could “finish the job in Hawaii” and ensure Schatz’s victory.
Schatz led his challenger, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, by just 1,635 votes as of Sunday evening. As many as 8,000 more votes could be cast in two precincts on the Big Island, where election officials postponed voting because of the storm damage.
Four candidates are vying for the GOP nomination in Wisconsin’s only open House district, with no clear front-runner in the Tuesday primary.
In the race to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Tom Petri, three top Republican candidates have tried to brand themselves as the most conservative contender in the 6th District: state Sen. Joe Leibham, state Sen. Glenn Grothman and state Rep. Duey Stroebel.
“I think it’s going to be a tight race,” said Scott Becher, a Wisconsin GOP consultant with Red Shoes PR.
Public and private polling on the race has been scare. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as a Safe Republican contest, and whoever wins the primary on Tuesday will likely head to Congress next year. Full story
August 6, 2014
It’s back to the drawing board for Florida lawmakers, who must return to Tallahassee this week for a rushed redraw of the state’s congressional map.
On Friday, Circuit Judge Terry Lewis issued an order setting an Aug. 15 deadline for the legislature to redraw the map and for state officials to develop a revised election schedule. A trial on the proposed map and schedule will take place on Aug. 20, with a ruling expected the following day.
The special legislative session, scheduled to start Thursday, comes nearly a month after a state judge ruled two congressional districts violated the state constitution, which prohibits drawing districts to favor a political party or incumbent.
The Florida primary is scheduled for Aug. 26, so it’s still unclear whether the new congressional map would take effect for the 2014 election cycle. Full story
July 10, 2014
A state judge ruled Thursday two Florida House districts violated the state’s constitution, following a dramatic trial questioning the state’s recently redrawn boundaries following the 2010 U.S. Census.
It is still unclear whether the ruling will affect the 2014 elections.
Judge Terry Lewis ruled the 5th and 10th Districts, held by Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown and Republican Rep. Daniel Webster, respectively, violated the state constitution’s Fair District Amendments. He said the districts violated the 2010 amendments because they are not compact and were drawn to favor the Republican Party. The judge had some strong words for the Republican operatives and consultants that he ruled influenced the redistricting process.
June 4, 2014
A congressional redistricting trial in Florida was scheduled to conclude Wednesday afternoon, the results of which could force the legislature to redraw the district boundaries before November, throwing current congressional campaigns into chaos.
“I don’t think there’s any congressional campaign here that’s discounting that possibility,” said one Florida Democratic insider, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the ongoing case.
The issue in the trial, known locally as Florida’s “Game of Thrones,” is whether the GOP-led Legislature violated the state’s new Fair Districts Amendment during redistricting following the 2010 U.S. Census. A verdict is expected by the end of the month.