Morning Digest: After three competitive house races, Conor Lamb starts the Senate run in Pennsylvania
However, Lamb turned out to be a very strong candidate for a seat that stretched from the suburbs of Pittsburgh to the rural west of the state. The former federal attorney and marine veteran had close ties in western Pennsylvania (his uncle Michael Lamb is the city controller for Pittsburgh) and he led a vigorous campaign that made big bucks. The same couldn't be said of his GOP opponent, State Representative Rick Saccone, who drew scorn from his own party for everything from his basic campaigning skills to his "porn stache".
Outside Republican groups eventually pocketed over $ 10 million to prop up their unfortunate candidate, and Team Red even sent Trump themselves – twice! However, none of this worked against Lamb, who was campaigning as a moderate campaign. The Democrat ended up defeating Saccone 49.8-49.5, a surprise that gave the Republicans their strongest signal but how much the political climate had turned against them.
The new congressman had to quickly prepare for another competition in the fall, but this time he didn't have to run on that red turf. The state Supreme Court dismissed the GOP's Gerrymander congressional card and drew a new one earlier this year after Democratic Governor Tom Wolf threatened to veto attempts by the Republican legislature to pass a new Gerrymander. Lamb ended up in what is now a 17th district.
Lamb, who worked hard to maintain the moderate image he had cultivated in the special elections, ran against three-term representative Keith Rothfus, a Republican who had been an ardent ally of Trump. While national observers initially anticipated a very competitive race between incumbent and incumbent, national Republicans saw Rothfus as a weak candidate and left him to his own devices in late September. Lamb defeated Rothfus 56-44 in a year that saw the Democrats exceptional in suburbs like this did well, and it looked safe for 2020.
However, this year turned out to be unexpectedly challenging for Lamb. Donald Trump promoted Army veteran Sean Parnell early, and he raised a large amount of money late in the campaign. The Congressional Leadership Fund started airing ads in the last few days of the race to help Parnell, and that investment has almost paid off: Lamb defended Parnell 51-49 when Joe Biden won that spot with a slightly larger margin of 51- 48 took.
A number of Republicans, including Parnell, are running to get GOP Senator Pat Toomey resigned, but Lamb has to go through his own primaries before he can focus on any of them. The Democratic field already includes two well-funded candidates: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, also from western Pennsylvania, and the chairman of the Montgomery County Commission, Val Arkoosh, who heads a populous community in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Several other Democrats are also there, including Malcolm Kenyatta, a Philadelphia State representative who would become the nation's first black gay senator.
Lamb's centrist reputation could prove to be an obstacle in the primary as well. The congressman said that in particular New York Times shortly after the 2020 elections, "I am giving you an honest account of what I am hearing from my own voters that they are extremely frustrated with the message to exonerate the police and ban fracking," a message he gave argued: both unrealistic and politically harmful. Lamb's most prominent supporter, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, played up the Congressman's moderate views on Friday, calling him "Not too far left, not too far right. Moderate."
However, Lamb started his nationwide run by arguing that he was a mainstream Democrat "somewhere in the middle where we are as a party". He said he represented “economically progressive positions” such as support for trade unions and campaign finance reform; He added, "We can achieve very, very progressive results when we are open to the people we want to vote for and we have a teamwork attitude." Lamb also campaigned against the Republicans as the party that "denies reality and worships Trump".
● GA Sen: Democratic firm Public Policy Polling released its first ever Senate contest in Georgia next year, and the poll shows Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock is a modest lead over three potential Republican challengers. Warnock is 48:46 ahead of former NFL player Herschel Walker, 47:44 in a rematch against former Senator Kelly Loeffler, and a larger 46:38 ahead of State Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, who is much less is known as a walker or spoonbill.
Black is the only one of the three Republicans to officially join the race so far, but Donald Trump has strongly encouraged Walker to take part. Loeffler has also considered running another campaign against the man who defeated her in January's special election.
Meanwhile, Politico reports that former GOP Senator David Perdue is "contending with the candidacy" after his defeat in January for Georgia's other Senate seat, although there is no direct quote from Perdue himself. The former senator had said he would not run earlier this year, but CNN recently reported that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell is concerned that Walker might be a weak candidate and "suggested the allies" that he should Perdue wants to change his mind about the candidacy.
● BISE Sen: Darrell Williams, who served as administrator of Wisconsin Emergency Management following his appointment by Democratic Governor Tony Evers in 2019, is the newest candidate for next year's Democratic Senate primary. As a WEM administrator, Williams helps coordinate state relief efforts in the event of disasters, and he previously served in the U.S. Army for nearly three decades, though he has apparently never run for office.
Williams joins a crowded area code that Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Alex Lasry, Milwaukee Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
● FL-Gov: Republican Governor Ron DeSantis's allies in the Florida Chamber of Commerce released a poll by Cherry Communications showing the governor defeated his two leading Democratic challengers, with DeSantis a 51-43 lead over Rep. Charlie Crist and a like 50-42 advantage over the State Commissioner for Agriculture Nikki Fried. The publication of this poll directly follows a recent poll by St. Pete Polls for Florida Politics which found a much closer competition where Crist was actually 45-44 over DeSantis and Fried behind the incumbent just 45-42.
The poll for this race was sporadic, but the few polls we've seen so far have typically shown DeSantis with a bigger lead, closer to what Cherry Communications just found.
● NV-Gov: Employees of former Republican Sen. Dean Heller have suggested that Heller is likely to enter next year's gubernatorial contest with a "very early September announcement," while state policy experts suggest that Heller has a longstanding interest in serving as governor . Heller lost re-election to Democratic Senator Jackie Rosen in the 2018 midterm election wave, and if he chooses to challenge Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak next year, a reversal of the 2018 ticket could take place in 2022, with Heller for governor and candidate for governor of 2018, Adam, Laxalt is running for the Senate instead against Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto.
Laxalt has not yet joined the Senate race, however, and Heller would first have to overcome a peloton for the governor that includes Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee.
● WI-Gov: Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, who last year expressed an interest in potentially joining the Republican primary as governor, is currently running for chairman of the state's Republican Party, which is a sign he is unlikely to turn back and campaign against the Democratic Governor Tony Evers next year.
● MA-04: The Boston Globe reported Friday that former Brookline selectwoman Jesse Mermell is considering another run in the Democratic primary for this sure-blue district. Mermell ran for last year's open seat competition as a staunch progressive, but lost with a tight 22:21 against moderate representative Jake Auchincloss in a crowded field in which the progressives shared the votes and helped Auchincloss prevail.
While there is no direct quote from Mermell on her interest, this cycle could make it easier for her to consolidate progressive voters without numerous rivals running. Auchincloss may be harder to beat, however, as he's now the incumbent and pushing his left to fend off a main challenger.
● Mayor of Boston, MA: Acting Mayoress Kim Janey made unflattering headlines Tuesday when she compared New York City vaccination requirements to slavery and childbirth. When asked if she would consider requiring Boston establishments such as restaurants and gyms to also require customers to show that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Janey replied that she was trying to make it easier for people to vaccinate, "In this country has a long history of people having to show their papers. "
Janey continued, "During slavery, after slavery, as new as you know what the immigrant population is going through here. We heard Trump about the birth certificate nonsense." The incumbent said, "Here we want to make sure that we don't do anything that further impedes Boston residents or disproportionately affects the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and Colored) communities."
Janey, whose ascent made her the first African American leader in Boston earlier this year, said the next day, “I wish I hadn't used these analogies because it addresses the important issue of ensuring that our vaccination and health policies are fair and fair . "The mayor added that while she was" working towards vaccinating city workers, "she was against the idea of" vaccine passports ".
Janey's rivals in the September 14th pre-party primary were quick to criticize their handling of the pandemic, with the vocal criticism coming from Councilor Andrea Campbell, who is also black. "There is already too much misinformation aimed at our residents about this pandemic, especially for black and brown residents," said the challenger, who also spoke out in favor of proof of compulsory vaccination.
Janey also got mixed news when the fundraising numbers in July revealed that while she was again making more money than any of her rivals last month, she had the second-smallest war chest:
Acting Mayor Kim Janey: $ 239,000 raised, $ 625,000 in cash
Councilor Michelle Wu: $ 194,000 raised, $ 1.1 million in cash
Councilor Annissa Essaibi George: $ 173,000 raised, $ 669,000 cash
Councilor Andrea Campbell: $ 135,000 raised, $ 1 million in cash
Former City Cabinet Official John Barros: $ 49,000 raised, $ 195,000 in cash
Campbell, meanwhile, is spending $ 200,000 to broadcast the first TV commercial in their campaign. (A group called Better Boston, partially funded by charter school supporters, has been running pro-Campbell ads for a while.) Campbell tells the audience how she and her twin brother both grew up in public housing. "The system worked for me," says the candidate, "but my brother Andre failed. He died in prison." She goes on by speaking about her work to improve schools and public housing and her focus on police reform.
● Minneapolis, Mayor of MN: Campaign funding reports are in for the first seven months of the year, and Mayor Jacob Frey keeps a big financial head start over the immediate runoff in November. Frey surpassed his closest opponent, former State Representative Kate Knuth, by $ 384,000 to $ 137,000 and ended July with a cash-on-hand lead of $ 434,000 to $ 20,000. Another contender, community organizer Sheila Nezhad, raised $ 119,000 and had $ 45,000 in the bank.
We haven't seen a poll to indicate whether Frey is vulnerable in a contest that will be held the year after the assassination of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Also on the ballot is a referendum to create a public safety department to replace the police with a "comprehensive public health approach" to public safety. Knuth and Nezhad both support the proposal, while Frey argued that passing it would "represent a major setback for accountability and good governance".
Frey has the support of Governor Tim Walz, but local democratic activists don't like the incumbent that much. In June, Nezhad Frey overtook 53-40 delegates in the final round of voting for the local party's approval, which was slightly below the 60% threshold it required. The result means that the party that has been since R.T. Rybak won his third term in 2009 and will remain officially neutral this fall.
● St. Petersburg, FL Mayor: The latest August 24 bipartisan St. Pete Polls poll again shows Democrat Ken Welch and Republican Robert Blackmon advancing to the November general election. Welch, a former Pinellas County Commissioner, ranks first with 31%, while Blackmon Darden Rice, his Democratic colleague on the city council, ranks second with 25-16. The poll also shows that Welch beat Blackmon 44:28 in a hypothetical general election.