Things are far more unsettled in the six-way primary for lieutenant governor, a job that carries with it the important tie-breaking vote in the state Senate. Gov. Ralph Northam is supporting Del. Hala Ayala, while fellow Del. Sam Rasoul has enjoyed a big fundraising edge over the rest of the field. The contest also includes Norfolk City Council member Andria McClellan; Del. Mark Levine; Fairfax County NAACP President Sean Perryman; and businessman Xavier Warren.
The race for attorney general pits Mark Herring, who is the only statewide incumbent seeking re-election, against Del. Jay Jones. Jones, who has Northam’s endorsement, has spent a comparable amount of money on ads as Herring and his allies at the Democratic Attorneys General Association. However, a recent survey from Roanoke College found Herring with a huge 50-20 lead.
Over in New Jersey, Republicans are the ones holding a primary for the right to take on Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, who lost the nomination four years ago, has the backing of the state’s powerful county party leaders, and it would be a surprise if he fell short this time. However, a late May survey from Public Policy Polling for the Democratic Governors Association found the ostensible frontrunner leading perennial candidate Hirsh Singh just 29-23. The winner will begin the general election as the clear underdog in this blue state.
● AL-Sen: Business Council of Alabama head Katie Boyd Britt, who’s been considering running in the Republican primary for next year’s open-seat Senate race, has filed paperwork to create a campaign committee with the FEC.
● NC-Sen: Donald Trump endorsed Rep. Ted Budd for North Carolina’s open Senate seat at the state GOP’s convention on Saturday, shortly after his daughter-in-law Lara Trump (who is married to his son Eric) said she would not join the race.
● CA-Gov: The likely recall election of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom could take place much earlier than expected, reports the Mercury News‘ Emily DeRuy, if officials take less than the allotted 60 days to review cost estimates after the clock to do so starts ticking on Tuesday. Earlier forecasts that had incorporated this full two-month review period into hypothetical election calendars generally predicted a recall in October or November, but it’s possible it could go forward as soon as August.
Political calculations are sure to play a role in the timing, as DeRuy discusses, though the variables are complex and cut both ways. An earlier recall could, for instance, allow Newsom to face voters before a potentially dangerous wildfire season, but a summertime vote could see turnout favor Republicans more than a more typical fall election might.
● MD-Gov: Nonprofit head Wes Moore, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, announced Monday that he was joining the crowded Democratic primary for this open seat. The new candidate, who would be the state’s first Black governor, recently stepped down as head of the Robin Hood Foundation, a nonprofit focused on fighting poverty in New York City that Maryland Matters says “distributed $600 million during Moore’s tenure.”
Moore is also a nonfiction author whose work includes The Other Wes Moore, which contrasts his life with another Baltimore City resident with the same name who would go on to be sentenced to life in prison (a film version is currently under development), and Five Days, a 2020 book about the 2015 “uprising that overtook Baltimore after the police killing of Freddie Gray.” Moore himself has not run for office before, though his wife served as a top aide to then-Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
● ME-Gov: The Bangor Daily News‘ Michael Shepherd reports that former Gov. Paul LePage’s campaign kickoff against his successor, Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, “is widely expected this summer.” Last year, before Mills was even sworn in, LePage said he would “unequivocally” seek a third term, telling a radio host, “If I’m breathing, I’m running.” In April, however, a LePage spokesperson said there was no “impending or planned announcement” about a campaign.
● NE-Gov: Former Republican Gov. Dave Heineman, who’s been very cagey about a possible comeback bid, has finally confirmed he’s thinking about next year’s open gubernatorial race, though he says he’s “in no rush to make a decision.” Heineman did however just announce his resignation as a director of the Conklin Company, an agriculture manufacturing firm that just happens to be owned by businessman Charles Herbster, who announced his own bid for the GOP nod in April.
Meanwhile, the Lincoln Journal Star‘s Don Walton also reports that Republican state Sen. Brett Lindstrom, who’s been publicly considering a campaign, is “expected” to join the contest, though there’s no word on when.
● MO-04: Show Me State politicos widely expect that Rep. Vicky Hartzler will enter the Senate race on Thursday, especially since her “Special Campaign Announcement” will take place outside her 4th District, and several fellow Republicans are already talking about running to succeed her. This west-central Missouri constituency supported Donald Trump last year by a wide 66-32 margin, and there’s no question it will remain safely red after redistricting.
The Missouri Independent’s Rudi Keller recently spoke to a number of potential GOP candidates, and several acknowledged they were considering campaigning here:
- State Sen. Rick Brattin
- Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks
- State Sen. Sandy Crawford
- State Sen. Denny Hoskins
- Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden
- State Rep. Sara Walsh
The only person who said anything about a timeline to decide was Hoskins, who also serves on the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting. The state senator said, “I have not made any concrete, firm decisions, but I am definitely interested in this race and we will see what plays out in these next few months.” Burks, meanwhile, said he was a “likely candidate” to replace Hartzler.
Keller also mentioned a few other Republicans who could run: Cass County Associate Commissioner Ryan Johnson; former state Rep. Caleb Jones; and Daniel Hartman, who serves as Sen. Josh Hawley’s state director.
P.S. If Hartzler seeks a promotion, this would be the first open seat race in much of this area since 1976, when west-central Missouri was a very different place politically. That year Ike Skelton, who had the support of former first lady Bess Truman, decisively won the race to succeed a fellow Democrat in an earlier incarnation of the 4th District. Skelton remained a popular figure at home even as his constituency became more and more Republican over the decades, but he ultimately lost to Hartzler during the 2010 GOP wave.
● Special Elections: There’s one special in New Hampshire on tap for Tuesday:
NH-HD-Merrimack-23: One of the three seats in this multi-member district just south of Concord became vacant when former Democratic Rep. Samantha Fox resigned in January. Retired elementary school teacher Muriel Hall is the Democratic candidate taking on Republican Christopher Lins, a sales executive.
Democrats also control the other two seats in this district, which has been steadily moving leftward in recent years. Mitt Romney narrowly won this district 49.6-49.5 in 2012, and Hillary Clinton then narrowly carried it 48-47 in 2016, but Joe Biden was able to decisively win here 55-44 last year.
Republicans control this chamber 213-186 with just this seat vacant.
● Arlington, TX Mayor: Conservative Jim Ross defeated Michael Glaspie 54-46 to become the next mayor. In the May 1 first round of voting, Ross led Glaspie 47-21: Though he was unable to win the race, Glaspie was endorsed by five of his opponents from the first round of voting, and consolidated a significant portion of their combined 31% from that round.
● Fort Worth, TX Mayor: Mattie Parker, a former chief of staff to outgoing Mayor Betsy Price, defeated Tarrant County Democratic party chair Deborah Peoples 53-47. Parker, who is 37, will become the youngest mayor of a major American city, and her win also ensures Fort Worth will remain the largest city in the country with a Republican mayor.
Despite her loss, Peoples’ performance represents a leftward shift for the city compared to past mayoral races: Peoples ran against outgoing Price in 2019, losing that race 56-42. Another bright spot for Team Blue was their performance in City Council races here on Saturday: Democrats flipped two seats on the body, giving them five of the nine seats and a majority on a council that has long been dominated by conservatives.
● New York City, NY Mayor: Attorney Maya Wiley secured endorsements over the weekend from Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman as she seeks to consolidate progressive support ahead of the June 22 Democratic primary. The Working Families Party also announced that it was designating Wiley as its sole candidate for the instant-runoff race. The WFP had encouraged its supporters to choose both Wiley and nonprofit founder Dianne Morales last month, but it said Friday it had “suspended” its endorsement for Morales as long as she was “at an impasse with her campaign workers and their union.”
AOC was one of the most prominent New York City politicians who had not yet committed to a candidate, while both Bowman and the WFP had supported Scott Stringer until about a month ago, when a woman named Jean Kim accused the city comptroller of sexually assaulting her in 2001.
On Friday, a second woman, Teresa Logan, said that Stringer had sexually harassed her when she worked as a waitress at a Manhattan bar he co-owned called Uptown Local in 1992. Stringer responded with a statement saying he had “no memory” of Logan, though he said, “If, in fact, I met Ms. Logan, and ever did anything to make her uncomfortable, I am sorry.” He also added, “Uptown Local was a long-ago chapter in my life from the early 1990s and it was all a bit of a mess.”
● John Patterson, former Alabama Governor: Patterson, who won his only term in 1958 after defeating George Wallace in the Democratic primary, died Friday at the age of 99. We take a look at Patterson’s long career in public office, which began with him targeting the NAACP during the Montgomery bus boycotts as attorney general and ended with him leading the panel that upheld Roy Moore’s first removal as chief justice of the state supreme court, in our obituary.
Patterson may be best-known, though, for dealing Wallace his first and only defeat in an Alabama election. In the 1958 fight for the Democratic nomination, which was the only contest that mattered at the time, Wallace was widely viewed by white voters as a moderate for the times. While that perception might seem astonishing now, Wallace even earned the endorsement of the NAACP; the Ku Klux Klan, meanwhile, openly supported Patterson, who pledged that “there will be no mixing of the races while I am in office.”
Patterson won, but Wallace adopted his old rival’s virulent racism four years later and quickly eclipsed him at home. Patterson would later express regret for his actions, though as the Montgomery Advertiser‘s Brian Lyman puts it, the former governor still “often acted as if he was a spectator to the events he participated in.” Check out our obituary for a detailed look at the man who was America’s oldest surviving governor.