Cory Booker makes it official: he’s running for NJ-SEN (special): he announced it today. Here’s the thing, though: so is Rep. Frank Pallone. For that matter, so is Rep. Rush Holt, but Holt’s brand of progressive is probably not envelopes-of-cash-under-the-table enough for the Democratic Senate primary. In other words: this is a two-man show, and Frank Pallone is going to startle a lot of people outside of New Jersey by not folding like a cheap suit. Pallone has been hungry for a Senate seat for the last decade, and absent a sudden resignation by Bob Menendez this is pretty much going to be the man’s best shot. And… well, I do not want to libel the man or anything, given that I used to live in his district; so let us just say that the Congressman may have a somewhat jaundiced view of the mayor of Newark presuming to switch jobs before Newark is fixed. Or even stabilized. (more…)
Do you know what the most terrifying thing is about this Politico article (“Blacks fret free-for-all for Jesse Jackson Jr. seat*”)? It’s the very last paragraph:
“There’s going to be a lot of people running no matter what,” [soon-to-be former Democratic Congresswoman Debbie] Halvorson said. “This is the chance of a lifetime. Open seats don’t come along very often.”
‘Open seats don’t come along very often.’ Tremble for the Republic, my friends. Not because she’s wrong, because she’s not: they don’t. (more…)
But before we start talking about implications, let’s review the situations.
- NY-09. This D+5 seat was vacated by Anthony Weiner after pictures surfaced… and I don’t need to end that sentence: it’s never good for a politician’s career when the phrase ‘pictures surfaced’ is used to describe his or her situation. The race thus is between Republican Bob Turner and Democrat David Weprin… and Democrats are even now going frantic. They’re going frantic because an independent pollster now shows Turner in the lead (which has been consistent with other polling trends); they’re going frantic because Tuner has picked up several key endorsements from prominent New York Democrats (over Weprin’s – really, President Obama’s – Israel policy); and they’re going frantic because the entire Weprin campaign effort seems to be infected with incompetence, starting at the local level* and working all the way up to the DCCC itself. The Democrats have dumped half a million dollars in this race, and are right now grimly contemplating the possibility that this half a million is buying them bupkis.
- NV-02. Meanwhile, this R+5 district is increasingly looking like a retention for the GOP. Dean Heller vacated the seat after being tapped to become Senator John Ensign’s replacement (Ensign, as you probably remember – and you probably were happy to forget – left office under what we shall charitably call ‘under a cloud’); Republican Mark Amodei will be facing Democrat Kate Marshall. The DCCC has essentially written this district off, at this point: their primary strategy, if you’ll pardon the pun, was to get Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller (elections have consequences, people) to sign off on a winner-take-all election (which would have splintered the Republican vote), only to be told no by the courts. Since then, Marshall hasn’t been able to make anything stick – including linking Amodei with Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan – and Amodei is favored to win. Incidentally, the Right has put about 750K into this race, including about $500K from the NRCC.
The RGA has a website (West Virginia Pays) and an ad up to get people… acquainted… with acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D):
To refresh people’s memories: West Virginia – a coal-producing state that is almost stubbornly Democratic on the local level, despite the fact that the national Democratic party elite dreams of dismantling the coal industry – last year saw Democratic governor Joe Manchin transfer over to the US Senate. This made state Senate President Tomblin – a man who has been a professional politician for almost my entire life; heck, he went directly from school to the legislature – acting Governor; there will be a special election in October of this year; his Republican opponent is businessman and engineer Bill Maloney.
Readers of RedState are, of course, aware that several days ago Hamas terrorists used their occupation of the Gaza Strip as a base from which to launch brutal attacks on Israel. This unprovoked and obscene attack was of course condemned by anybody with a lick of moral sense… including, superficially, Kate Marshall, who is the Democratic candidate in the NV-02 special election next month. Alas, I have to say ‘superficially’ because Marshall’s actually making this statement for purely political reasons.
You see, Israel has been in the news lately, and will be even more in the news with Beck’s “Rally to Restore Courage” in Jerusalem. In an R district, it will be useful to express support for Israel and demonstrate some foreign policy prowess while it is a timely topic – especially for people who are likely paying attention to Beck’s event… What was that? That statement finally reveals me to be a cynical partisan hack, once and for all? Well, I am a partisan hack, yes.
Bob is running in the special election called to replace Rep. Weiner after, well, delicacy prohibits me from finishing that sentence in the way that it deserves. Anyway, the election in question is next month, and is already surprisingly close, this early out. Turner’s Democratic opponent David Weprin is only leading 48/42 in the latest Siena poll, which frankly demonstrates a startlingly weak lead in a district that Siena found to be 61% Democratic: couple that with Turner getting both Ed Koch’s and Rudy Giuliani’s endorsement, and we have ourselves a race here. We talked about that a bit:
Bob’s site is here.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
Jazz Shaw, on the upcoming NY-09 election:
Out here in the Empire State, there are a few things which you can always count on. The sun will rise in the east, your taxes are going to go up again, and if we are forced to have a special election for Congress, we’ll find a way to turn it into an absolute debacle.
I admit to a certain morbid curiosity, myself. I know! Let’s have the NY GOP pick somebody’s who’s actually dead!
…That’s a joke. Joke!
PS: Admittedly, it does sort of have its appeal.
The report is that West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin (D) will be pushing for having a 2010 special election for the late Senator Robert Byrd’s seat. In this he’s joined by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R), who shares with Manchin a desire for the job. Which is fine: neither politician is making a secret of it and they’d be the most likely candidates for 2012 anyway.
There does seem to be a general consensus that while a special election is not required, it would be desirable:
Secretary of State Natalie Tenant has already called on state lawmakers to revise the law to allow for a special election.
“For me, there is a distinct line between how I personally feel and what I can legally do,” Tennant said on her website late last week. “I personally believe that the voters of the state should be allowed to elect a successor to Senator Byrd sooner than November of 2012.”
Article I, Section 2, US Constitution:
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
Henrietta, NY — Multiple Democratic sources now confirm that party chairs decided Monday night that Matthew Zeller is their candidate should a special election to replace Rep. Eric Massa take place.
As Jim Geraghty notes, there should be no ‘should’ here; the US Constitution is not ambiguous about the subject. There is a vacancy in NY-2329 [OOPS!]: its citizenry have the Constitutional right to representation with all due speed; complaints may be directed to the former office holder. Subject closed.
I assumed that this report was simply an April Fool’s joke, but surely the governor is not seriously considering ignoring his mandated duty under the law?
Even if he is a Democrat?
PS: Tom Reed is the GOP candidate for this district.
Crossposted to RedState.