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Posts in "Governors"
August 10, 2014
The Democratic primary between Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa was too close to call early Sunday morning, and the race may not be decided for days.
Voting in two precincts on the Big Island, which was hit hardest by Hurricane Iselle, was postponed because of storm damage, KITV reported. Those Democrats will vote absentee and essentially decide the contest, though Hanabusa has some ground to make up.
Both campaigns told Civil Beat they will be heading to the Big Island before the crucial final ballots are cast.
With all but those two precincts reporting, Schatz led Hanabusa 49.4 percent to 48.6 percent — separated by just less than 1,800 votes out of some 214,000 cast. After Schatz was appointed to the seat in December 2012 following the death of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, the winner will likely prevail in November and serve out the remaining two years of Inouye’s term, and then undoubtedly run for a full term in 2016.
The race kicked off amid an inescapable feeling of bitterness among Inouye and Hanabusa allies, perturbed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s selection of Schatz to serve in the Senate instead of Inouye’s preferred successor, Hanabusa. It had nearly as rocky a finish, as the islands avoided a one-two punch of hurricanes that threatened to disrupt the election to a greater degree than it did.
May 23, 2014
A controversial Republican gubernatorial candidate in California could cause the GOP headaches in down-ballot House races in a state crucial to the party’s hopes of increasing its House majority.
State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly led Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official and the establishment-preferred candidate, by 5 points in a poll this month from the Public Policy Institute of California. That has top Republican operatives in California and Washington, D.C., concerned that Donnelly’s controversial comments and ties to the California Minutemen, a group that fights illegal immigration on the border, could mobilize Hispanic and other Democratic-base voters who otherwise might fall off in this midterm year.
Their fear is that the increased turnout to oppose Donnelly could boost the re-election hopes of vulnerable House Democrats and perhaps even improve the party’s chances to add to its ranks in the already Democrat-heavy delegation. A consultant with ties to Kashkari is among the Republicans sounding the alarm. Full story
January 21, 2014
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., announced Tuesday that he will run for governor next year, confirming the biggest open secret in Bayou State politics and on Capitol Hill.
“After much thought, prayer and discussion with Wendy and our children, I’ve decided to run for governor of Louisiana in 2015,” the second-term Republican says in a video on his redesigned campaign website. Full story
January 9, 2014
Lawmakers issued reviews ranging from nondescript to positive of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s Thursday news conference, largely reserving judgment on the bridge scandal that’s embroiled the potential presidential candidate’s administration.
That could spell trouble for Christie in the weeks ahead.
The GOP governor asserted at the news conference that he had no involvement in the scandal involving unannounced lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. His comments could come under fire as Congress awaits answers to outstanding questions and plans to press authorities further.
In December, Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., sent multiple letters — both to the New Jersey Port Authority and to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx — demanding explanations for the traffic jam and oversight over the Port Authority itself. His original request asked the Port Authority for answers by Jan. 15.
Rockefeller said Thursday he does not yet plan to hold hearings, but said he is continuing to monitor the situation closely. If the requested response from New Jersey officials does not come back complete, or at all, either Rockefeller or other senators on the committee, such as freshman New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, could take further action.
“I’ve spent all day watching MSNBC,” he told reporters.
“I don’t know, I’m never satisfied,” he teased, when asked if Christie’s answers allayed his previous concerns.
Booker said in an afternoon statement that he also demanded answers Thursday from the Department of Transportation. In the Capitol, Booker repeatedly rebuffed attempts for comment on Christie, noting only by the evening that he had heard part of the governor’s remarks.
Any congressional investigations would test Christie’s greater political viability for 2016, and his national ambitions would likely only amplify the debate, at least compared to other typical state scandals. And the longer unanswered questions linger, the more likely it is that senators and representatives will want to get involved or call hearings.
January 1, 2014
The House isn’t very popular these days, so why would anyone want to return there after a 20-year hiatus? The answer — if there is one — is just one reason why the crowded primary for this suburban Philadelphia, strong Democratic district is so fascinating.
Former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, D-Pa., is waging a comeback bid for the 13th District nearly tw0 decades after she supported President Bill Clinton’s budget and famously lost re-election in 1994. The 71-year-old is back with a vengeance and strong political connections: Her son is married to Chelsea Clinton. Full story
August 21, 2013
Democratic operative Mark Bergman is leaving Mission Control, a top Democratic direct mail firm, to become the communications director for Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz’s 2014 gubernatorial bid in Pennsylvania. Full story
June 27, 2013
Embattled Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage said Thursday he will not run for Congress in the 2nd District, according to local reports.
Earlier this month, Democratic Rep. Michael H. Michaud launched an exploratory committee to challenge LePage for governor in in 2014. If Michaud officially enters the governor’s race, the 2nd District would be open in 2014.
LePage, a Republican, told reporters last week that he was considering running for Michaud’s seat, after a difficult week in the state capital.
June 3, 2013
Updated 6:45 p.m. | The Monday morning death of Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., who had already been planning to retire, shifted the race to replace him into overdrive — with an imminent appointment of an interim senator looming and the potential for a special election this November.
Yet significant confusion remained over the state’s election law statute to replace him: Either a special election would be held sometime this year, possibly in November, or in November 2014, when Lautenberg’s seat was up anyway.
Party strategists are anxiously awaiting a decision from GOP Gov. Chris Christie, whose office was considering its options within the law for whether to hold a special this year — and, if so, when — and whom to appoint as a placeholder. Immediate speculation about an appointment centered on former GOP Gov. Tom Kean, along with a handful of other potential picks. Full story
February 9, 2013
Updated: 3:57 p.m. | Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-Pa., is increasingly close to jumping into the gubernatorial race.
“She’s 80 percent of the way in,” Marcel Groen, the longtime Montgomery County Democratic Party chairman, told PoliticsPA late Friday night.
Schwartz had previously indicated some interest in challenging GOP Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014. She would enter the race as a top contender, although other well-known state Democrats are also openly considering a bid.
Her chief of staff, Rachel Magnuson, confirmed the congresswoman’s interest in the race to CQ Roll Call.
January 14, 2013
After a hard-fought and highly charged presidential battle in 2012 — not to mention Congressional races and redistricting — one might hope that 2013 would provide a respite from campaign politics. No such luck.
The transition from the first Obama administration to the second is expected to produce at least one high-profile Senate special election (in Massachusetts). More specials could be around the corner if the president looks to Congress to fill other Cabinet vacancies.
There are House specials under way as well due to resignations, giving no rest for the weary political class — and a continued revenue stream for a small handful of campaign consultants.
The 2013 specials are in addition to the two off-year gubernatorial races on tap this year in Virginia and New Jersey: two states worth watching for very different reasons. Virginia, especially, will be fascinating to watch, and the battle in the commonwealth ranks No. 1 on our list.