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October 24, 2014

Posts in "Governors"

October 7, 2014

6 Gubernatorial Races With Potential Congressional Consequences

6 Gubernatorial Races With Potential Congressional Consequences

Barber is running as a Democrat in Arizona, where there is a competitive gubernatorial race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The lines separating gubernatorial and congressional candidates on the ballot could blur in several states this cycle, as the top of the ticket proves to be a driving force downballot in a half-dozen states.

Typically, competitive gubernatorial races impact one key factor for victory: turnout. As a result, state parties ramp up their efforts to turn out their base, which could also boost candidates all over the ballot, including congressional races.

Gubernatorial races have less of an impact on Senate contests, where candidates are similarly well known by voters. But they often can make a difference in a close House race.

In alphabetical order, here are six states where the impact of a gubernatorial race could drip down the ballot:  Full story

August 10, 2014

Hawaii Primary Results: Hurricane Iselle Delays Force Brian Schatz, Colleen Hanabusa to Wait

Hawaii Primary Results: Hurricane Iselle Delays Force Brian Schatz, Colleen Hanabusa to Wait

Hanabusa challenged Schatz in the primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Full story

May 23, 2014

How the California Governor’s Race May Be a Boon for House Democrats

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

David Vitter Announces Run for Governor

David Vitter Announces Run for Governor

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

Christie Could Face Heat on the Hill in Weeks Ahead

Christie Could Face Heat on the Hill in Weeks Ahead

Christie leaves a government building in Fort Lee, N.J., on Thursday, where he met with and apologized to the mayor. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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.

Full story

By Meredith Shiner Posted at 6:31 p.m.
Governors, RGA

January 1, 2014

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Pennsylvania’s 13th District

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Pennsylvanias 13th District

Schwartz is running for governor, leaving an open race for her House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

Schwartz Hires New Spokesman for Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Campaign

Schwartz Hires New Spokesman for Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Campaign

Schwartz has a new spokesman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

LePage Won’t Run for Congress #ME02

LePage Wont Run for Congress #ME02

Michaud is exploring a run for governor. (Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Full story

June 3, 2013

Christie Holds Keys to Lautenberg Succession (Updated) #NJSEN

Christie Holds Keys to Lautenberg Succession (Updated) #NJSEN

Christie faces a big decision in deciding whom to appoint to Lautenberg's seat. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

Pennsylvania: Schwartz Closer to Gubernatorial Bid

Pennsylvania: Schwartz Closer to Gubernatorial Bid

Schwartz has been climbing the rungs of Democratic leadership and had indicated interest in challenging Gov. Corbett. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Full story

January 14, 2013

Five Races to Watch in 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.
Full story

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