Diary

The Battle for the House in 2016: September News

Labor day is a thing of the distant past and the kids are back at school.  September must be in the rear view mirror, so its time to recap some House race developments from the past month.

CA-17: The House Ethics Office released a bad report against Mike Honda which dents him in his upcoming reelection efforts.

CA-21: Seems the Democrats are not too keen on Daniel Parra in a seat they feel they can win.  The DCCC continues to search for someone else, especially after Parra posted dismal fundraising numbers from the last quarter.

CA-52: Republicans would like to knock off Democrat Peters in this San Diego-based district, but the Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce recently endorsed him for reelection.  That organization is led by former GOP San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders.

CO-06: Democrats would like nothing better than to win this seat from the GOP.  They think they have their candidate in Morgan Carroll who received the backing of John Hicklenhooper.  But Carroll may have a primary challenge on her hands against the very rich Perry Haney who is sounding more and more like he will enter the race.

DE-AL: State senator Bryan Townsend is/was the first Democrat to enter the race now that Carney has decided to run for Governor.

FL-06: Rumors are that Navy veteran Brandon Patty will enter this open race on the GOP side.  He’ll be facing some tough opposition against ex-Congressman Sandy Adams and New Smyrna mayor Adam Barringer.  Still, being a political consultant, Patty may have some ties, so stay tuned.

FL-18: The crowded GOP primary field shed a candidate as Todd Mowery has dropped out of the race.

FL-23: [mc_name name=’Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’W000797′ ] may draw a primary challenge from school board member Martin Karp over her support for the Iran deal.  Although a good fundraiser, some Democrats are quietly growing weary of Medusa’s amateurish political moves of late.  She’ll probably win, but Karp’s chances could increase if he avoids looking directly at her.

IL-08: Steven Israel recently endorsed Democratic candidate Krishnamathoori.  Usually an out-of-state member of Congress endorsing anyone means little, but Israel is the former head of the DCCC and holds some weight.  Some are reading this as the Democratic establishment “warning off” a pending EMILY’s List endorsement of Deb Bullwinkel, my personal choice for the job given her name.

IL-11: Tonia Khouri is officially in for the GOP against Democratic incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’F000454′ ].  She is a member of the DuPage County board of supervisors.

IL-12: Republican freshman incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B001295′ ] got some good news when Sheila Simon ruled out a run for the seat on the Democratic side and will instead run for the state senate.

IL-13: David Gill who ran and almost won this seat in 2012 for the Democrats is back again- this time as an independent.

IL-14: Publicity stunt, or real interest?  Former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh is said, depending on the source, to be mulling either a primary bid against [mc_name name=’Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’K000360′ ] in the Senate race or against this district’s GOP incumbent, [mc_name name=’Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’H001059′ ].  Of course, he could be seeking publicity for his radio show, but as they say on the radio…stay tuned after these important messages…

IN-03: Wealthy agri-businessman Kip Tom is running on the GOP side in this open Republican seat.  But fear not: the district is safely Republican.  If he goes on to actually win, he would have the shortest name of any member in Congress.

MI-01: [mc_name name=’Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B001271′ ] is retiring after suffering a relatively close call in 2014.  Rest assured, the Democrats will be coming after this seat.  The good news is the deep GOP bench in this district.

MN-02: GOP incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. John Kline (R-MN)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’K000363′ ] is retiring creating an open seat.  On paper, this is a swing district that the Democrats can capture, but Kline has won handily here.  Based in the suburbs of the Twin Cities, there is a deep Republican bench, but the Democrats will be coming after this seat hard and heavy.  Among those who were considering a run for the GOP were Mary Pawlenty (yes…the wife of the former Governor) and businessman Mike McFadden.  Both have declared themselves out.

MN-08:  It would appear that the GOP Brad Pitt- Stuart Mills- is gearing up for another battle here.  He almost won this seat in 2014 over [mc_name name=’Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’N000127′ ].

NV-03: Democrats are having a tough time finding a viable candidate here, but think they may have one in Heather Murren whose husband has mucho bucks.  One Eye Reid is also very keen on her.  She co-founded the Nevada Cancer Institute which folded in bankruptcy after only eight years.

NV-04: One Eye Reid has openly endorsed Ruben Kihuen and his machine is formidable in Nevada which may scare away some of the other three candidates here.  In fact, some were said to be considering a run in the neighboring, open 3rd District, including Nevada’s edition of an Abortion Barbie- Lucy Flores- the Latina version.  However, no sooner did Reid endorse Kihuen did the others say they were going nowhere.  The reason?  They likely no longer fear the Reid machine given his lame duck status.

NJ-02: Surprise, surprise! GOP incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’L000554′ ] is back for another run.  He regularly wins despite this being a blue district.  The reason?  PORK!!!  Democrats are seriously recruiting state assemblyman Jeff Van Drew, but he is up for reelection this November and any decision will await the results of that outcome.

NJ-05: The GOP incumbent Garrett’s likely Democratic opponent, some old Clinton hack, is reaping the dollars since Wall Street has soured on Garrett.  Reports are that AT&T and JP Morgan are donating to the Democrat this time out.  The alleged reason is Garrett’s refusal to assist the NRCC if they support gay candidates.

NY-19: New York and GOP do not exactly go together, but a battle to keep this open Republican seat is gearing up on the GOP side as at least three more people are considering entering the primary.  Along with a few other districts, if the Democrats ever hope to win back the House, they have to start in a district like this one (NV-3 also comes to mind).  Keep a close eye on this bellweather race in 2016.

NC-03: Former state transportation secretary Anthony Tata created some buzz when he resigned leading to speculation he would challenge incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’J000255′ ].  But, he ruled himself out in September.  Instead, Jones will face 2014 challenger and establishment favorite Taylor Griffin in the GOP primary.

NC-11: It is no secret that [mc_name name=’Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001187′ ] was an important force behind the move to go after Boehner.  Rumor has it that another GOP Congressman from a neighboring district- [mc_name name=’Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001156′ ]- is actively recruiting a candidate to retaliate against Meadows in a primary next year.  Although McHenry denies it, as do others in the GOP Congressional leadership ranks (Foxx and Walden).  Where there is smoke, there is usually some fire and it is not outside the realm of reasonableness to assume that some retaliation against Meadows is afoot.

OH-08: Boehner’s resignation creates an interesting dynamic in this safely Republican district.  As Erick Erickson noted in his Boehner obituary, the Great Pumpkin upset a lot of people in his caucus and some from Ohio and this district.  That could be the impetus to get them into a race for this seat.  One interesting name mentioned is former Rep. Steve Austria.  State senate president Keith Faber is allegedly the inside favorite at this point and it is possible the GOP establishment will rally around him.  As for Austria, redistricting with some help from Boehner caused Austria to lose his seat and he may still hold a grudge here.  In fact, about 20% of Boehner’s district was carved out of Austria’s old district.  In order to help the remainder of the Ohio delegation, Austria’s seat was sacrificed.  Still, there is no shortage of possible Republicans in this district.  This could set up an interesting intra-party rivalry, but whoever emerges will win a general election.

PA-09: Art Halovorson is back for another run for the Democrats in this safely red district.  He did not impress in 2014 and the DCCC is not really too keen on his entry into the race.

TX-19: GOP incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’N000182′ ] is vacating this seat for the friendly confines of retirement.  This is a safely red panhandle based seat with no shortage of GOP possibilities.  Expect Lubbock mayor Glenn Robertson to succeed him if Robertson wants the job.  Someone has to emerge fairly quick; Texas has a December 14th filing deadline.

VA-05: The Democrats have found a sacrificial lamb in the name of Ablemarle County supervisor Jane Dittmar.