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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Morning Digest: A second voter suppression crusader joins race to be Arizona’s high election official

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Ugenti-Rita has additionally made headlines for different unwelcome causes. Final yr, she was accused of sexual harassment by a lobbyist who mentioned Ugenti-Rita’s husband (an advisor to Ducey) propositioned her for a threesome by sending her nude photographs of the senator. The lobbyist mentioned that Ugenti-Rita herself additionally “invited her to remain the evening in her resort room” at a convention and later confronted her in a toilet and referred to as her a liar.

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The Republican-run state Senate declined to investigate the matter, although the scandal did function prominently in a main problem to Ugenti-Rita final yr from lawyer Alex Kolodin. The incumbent nonetheless prevailed 60-40 and simply received re-election within the fall.

Ugenti-Rita will face one other main, nonetheless, in her quest to succeed Hobbs, with state Rep. Mark Finchem already seeking the GOP nomination. Finchem will give Ugenti-Rita a troublesome struggle for the mantle of most fervent voter suppression crusader: He led the push to have the legislature reject Arizona’s fashionable vote and as an alternative appoint a slate of electors who would again Donald Trump (whose marketing campaign paid him $6,000 for “authorized consulting” in December). He additionally attended Trump’s rally on Jan. 6 that spurred the invasion of the Capitol, although he claims he didn’t enter the constructing.

As for Hobbs, she has but to announce her plans, though a recent report from the Arizona Capitol Occasions’ Dillon Rosenblatt mentioned she would quickly kick off a bid for governor. Rosenblatt talked about Home Minority Chief Reginald Bolding and former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes as attainable Democratic candidates if Hobbs doesn’t search re-election.

Senate

AZ-Sen: Retired Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, who stepped down as adjutant common of the Arizona Nationwide Guard final month, has filed paperwork with the FEC forward of a attainable bid in opposition to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, although he has but to publicly verify whether or not he’ll search the Republican nomination.

IA-Sen, IA-Gov: Politico stories that, in accordance with unnamed sources, former Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer is preparing a bid for Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley’s seat, presumably in anticipation that the 87-year-old incumbent will resolve in opposition to searching for an eighth time period. Finkenauer misplaced 51-49 to Republican Ashley Hinson final yr, two years after ousting Republican Rep. Rod Blum 51-46 in 2018’s blue wave. Finkenauer herself hasn’t spoken publicly about her plans.

In the meantime, state Auditor Rob Sand, one among three Democrats who holds statewide workplace in Iowa, says he won’t run for Senate however is contemplating a bid for governor and would announce his plans by Labor Day.

Governors

CT-Gov: This week, former state Home Minority Chief Themis Klarides publicly expressed interest in a possible run in opposition to Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont for the primary time. Klarides additionally filed paperwork that the Hartford Courant says “permit[s] her to make use of her private funds as she travels the state and talks to voters.” To this point, although, the Republican has not arrange a committee that might allow her to lift cash for a possible bid.

If Klarides does run, she might have some opposition for the GOP nod. 2018 nominee Bob Stefanowski, who lost to Lamont 49-46, very a lot didn’t rule out one other marketing campaign when requested by the paper, saying as an alternative, “I have been humbled by the quantity of people that cease me daily and ask me to run once more, and they’re those that matter most to me.”

FL-Gov: St. Pete Polls’ new Democratic main survey for Florida Politics finds Rep. Charlie Crist beating state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried 55-22 in a hypothetical duel. Crist at present is Group Blue’s solely introduced contender, although Fried has an announcement planned for Tuesday.

Different Democrats may additionally get in together with state Sen. Annette Taddeo, who reiterated her interest to Politico. The story says that Taddeo, who was Crist’s chosen running-mate for lieutenant governor in 2014, had been “wavering” about operating, however she turned extra after Rep. Val Demings determined to marketing campaign for Senate as an alternative of governor.

Politico provides that former state Rep. Sean Shaw, who was Group Blue’s 2018 nominee for lawyer common, has additionally been talked about, however whereas he did not outright dismiss the thought, he mentioned he was targeted on statewide poll measures.

GA-Gov, GA-LG: Republican state Sen. Bert Jones seems to have set his sights on operating for lieutenant governor reasonably than waging a main problem in opposition to GOP Gov. Brian Kemp. The Atlanta Journal-Structure reported on Thursday that he’s anticipated to run for the quantity two place and that Jones has mentioned he’ll attain a choice about whether or not to run in mid-to-late June. Jones additionally directed some criticism in opposition to would-be main rival and fellow state Sen. Butch Miller, who kicked off his campaign for lieutenant governor on Tuesday, by bashing Miller for suggesting Trump would not have as a lot affect over the race as a result of he lives in Florida.

MD-Gov: Prince George’s County Govt Angela Alsobrooks has confirmed that she will indeed stay out of subsequent yr’s Democratic main for governor and can search re-election as an alternative. Alsobrooks had already been elevating cash for a possible bid for governor and had reportedly been urged to run by some high state Democrats. Nonetheless, she had previously signaled she was unlikely to make the leap and now says she is staying put this cycle within the curiosity of her teenage daughter and to proceed her efforts of serving to her constituents get better from the coronavirus pandemic.

MI-Gov: After lengthy evading the query, former state Home Speaker Lee Chatfield has finally said he will not search the Republican nod for governor subsequent yr. He did supply reward for retiring Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who’s contemplating a bid, and Chatfield could also be angling to run with him for the spot of lieutenant governor, in accordance with Fox 2 Detroit’s Tim Skubick.

NH-Gov, NH-01: With many Democrats ready to see what Rep. Chris Pappas does earlier than deciding whether or not to run for governor, native ABC affiliate WMUR mentioned several other Democrats who might run if Pappas does not. That record contains state Senate Minority Chief Donna Soucy, state Sen. Tom Sherman, former state Sens. Shannon Chandley and Melanie Levesque, and former Govt Councilor Andru Volinsky, who unsuccessfully ran within the 2020 main.

On the Republican aspect, state Senate President Chuck Morse and former state Commissioner of Well being and Human Companies John Stephen have been each reported to be contemplating bids for both Pappas’ Home seat or the Republican nomination if incumbent Gov. Chris Sununu decides to run for Senate.

Stephen has run for both offices he is been talked about for: He unsuccessfully ran for the first District in 2002 and 2008 and was Group Pink’s nominee for governor within the 2010 election, which he misplaced 53-45 to Democratic incumbent John Lynch. Morse’s hometown of Salem just isn’t at present positioned within the 1st District, however WMUR says he is fascinated about operating if it is moved there within the subsequent spherical of redistricting.

For his half, Pappas recently said he was “actually dedicated to continu[ing] to serve right here one other time period” within the Home however wasn’t ruling out a run for governor, particularly if Republicans attempt to gerrymander him out of his seat subsequent yr.

PA-Gov: Butler County GOP Chairman Al Lindsay, in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, mentioned Republican strategist Charlie Gerow as a potential candidate for governor by noting that he was one of many would-be contenders who not too long ago did a swing by means of western Pennsylvania. Gerow, a well known advisor in Pennsylvania politics, has tried to make the leap from operative to candidate twice earlier than when he unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House in 1998 and 2000.  

There isn’t any phrase from Gerow himself on his plans, however this point out provides him to an already expansive record of attainable Republican candidates for this seat.

Mayors

Buffalo, NY Mayor: Incumbent Byron Brown is searching for an unprecedented fifth time period this yr on this closely blue metropolis, however he first must get previous nurse India Walton within the June 22 Democratic main. Brown very a lot appears to be like like the favourite over Walton, a primary time contender who’s campaigning to the mayor’s left, in what the Buffalo Information characterized this week as “the to date quiet Democratic main,” however there are some indications he could possibly be weak.

Brown himself won 51% of the vote within the 2017 main in opposition to two sitting elected officers, which wasn’t a robust exhibiting for a longtime incumbent. Federal officers since then have reportedly been investigating Brown’s administration over city contracts, although there have been no latest public developments.

Walton, who has called for defunding the police, has additionally faulted the mayor for his dealing with of police brutality. The challenger has the backing of Martin Gugino, who spent a month within the hospital final yr after he was shoved to the bottom by native officers throughout a protest in opposition to the homicide of George Floyd: The incident attracted nationwide consideration, however not one of the officers concerned have been charged.

Walton has the support of the Working Families Party, which had endorsed Brown in every of his prior campaigns, and whereas the incumbent maintains a big monetary benefit, she might have sufficient to get her message out. Brown outraised Walton $173,000 to $84,000 from mid-January to mid-Could, and he went into the ultimate weeks with a $207,000 to $53,000 cash-on-hand lead.

Los Angeles, CA Mayor: A number of media retailers report that Joe Biden will nominate Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to grow to be ambassador to India, a improvement that might shake up subsequent yr’s open seat race to succeed Garcetti as chief of America’s second-most populous metropolis.

The Related Press’ Erika Martin writes that if the mayor is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, much of what would happen next could be as much as the Los Angeles Metropolis Council. The 15-member physique’s chief, Council President Nury Martinez, would mechanically grow to be performing mayor upon Garcetti’s resignation, which might make her the first woman to lead the city. She might not be there lengthy, nonetheless, because the Council can vote to pick her or a unique individual to function interim mayor.

Certainly, Martinez has expressed interest in running in her own right, so a number of of her colleagues could also be reluctant to pick her as interim mayor and provides their potential rival the advantages of incumbency. Metropolis Councilman Joe Buscaino is already within the race, whereas a number of different Council members, together with Paul Krekorian, Kevin de León, and Mark Ridley-Thomas, could also get in. The Metropolis Council additionally has the choice to carry a particular election for the rest of Garcetti’s time period, although the bills concerned might hold this from occurring.

It doesn’t matter what, although, the regularly-scheduled nonpartisan main will go ahead in June of subsequent yr on this closely Democratic metropolis. The one notable declared contender apart from Buscaino is City Attorney Mike Feuer, however others are contemplating. Along with the aforementioned Metropolis Council members, Central Metropolis Affiliation head Jessica Lall and mall developer Rick Caruso are every reportedly fascinated about getting in, and extra could possibly be it doesn’t matter what occurs with Garcetti.

P.S. If Garcetti does resign, he could be the primary L.A. mayor to go away workplace early since 1916, when town was a far smaller place. That yr, Charles Sebastian give up after a newspaper revealed his love letters to his longtime mistress, which included the revelation that Sebastian demeaned his wife as “the Old Haybag.” The scandal that ended his profession got here simply after he’d received election following an assassination try; Sebastian was initially charged with faking an try on his life, however the fees have been dismissed.

New York Metropolis, NY Mayor: If we are able to cross on only one factor to you on this version of the Digest, pricey reader, it is this: Do not look ahead to a winner for the June 22 instant-runoff Democratic main. Whereas votes will be tabulated that night for ballots forged in-person through the early vote interval and on Election Day, mail-in votes will not be counted until the week of July 12.

The New York Metropolis Board of Elections mentioned this week that this delay is because of state legislation that permits absentee votes to be acquired for as much as two weeks after Election Day, and for voters to repair any minor errors. Ranked alternative tabulations is not going to happen on election evening, however the BoE mentioned that the primary tallies will begin every week after the election. We virtually actually will not know who received the Democratic main, although, till all of the votes are tabulated in mid-July.

St. Petersburg, FL Mayor: Republicans received their first notable candidate for this yr’s open seat race on Wednesday when Metropolis Council member Robert Blackmon announced he would run. Blackmon received elected workplace for the first time in 2019 on the age of 30, an accomplishment he says made him the youngest individual to ever serve on the physique.

Throughout his quick time on the Metropolis Council, the Republican has additionally made a reputation for himself as a loud opponent of termed-out Democratic Mayor Rick Kriseman. Final week, Blackmon was twice gaveled down by a colleague after his questioning of a Kriseman administration official, within the phrases of the Tampa Bay Occasions, “devolved into accusations of unprofessionalism and ended with different Council members lamenting the erosion of decorum and pleading for composure.”

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