Diary

Battle for the House in 2016, Part 1- June Happenings

We had several congressional primaries in June so let’s take a look at some outcomes and see who will be facing whom come November.

California

Jim Reed won the Democratic primary in California’s 1st District and will face Republican incumbent Doug LaMalfa in the fall.  In the 7th, Democratic incumbent Ami Bera who earned the wrath of California organized labor for his votes on the TPP faces a tough Republican opponent in Scott Jones.

Tony Amador surprised Kathryn Nance in the GOP primary in the 9th District and will face Jerry McNerney (the incumbent Democrat) in November.  This could be a sleeper race for the GOP and one that bears some watching going forward.  Likewise in the 10th, but in the opposite direction in favor of the Democrats.  There, Republican incumbent Jeff Denham will face Mike Eggman who was endorsed by the DCCC.  If this is a Democratic wave year with Trump the GOP presidential nominee, this seat could be in danger.

Johnny Tacherra placed second in the primary losing by only nine points to Democratic incumbent Jim Costa in the 16th District.  Republican incumbent David Valadeo in the 21st will be a target of the Democrats, but Valadeo pulled greater than 50% in the top-two finishers-to-advance primary with a close race between 2 and 3, both Democrats.  Put another way, Valadeo’s chances improved a little.

The 24th is an open Democratic seat currently held by Lois Capps.  The GOP got their man in Justin Fareed and the Democrats got their man in Luis Carbajal.  But Carbajal hauled only 32% of the total vote with the next two finishers Republicans for a combined 38%.  If they can unite behind Fareed, this could be a good race in November.  In the 31st, Pete Aguilar, the Democratic incumbent, will face Paul Chabot who emerged for the GOP at #2 in the primary.  Apparently the RCCC is not to keen on Chabot, or so the story goes.

Democratic incumbent Mark Takano in the 41st saw his chances improve as he will face Doug Shepard who had to hold off a fellow Republican to take second place.  Dana Rohrabacher, the GOP incumbent in the 48th had a closer than expected primary win over Democrat Susan Savary.  And Scott Peters, the Democratic incumbent who always seems targeted by the GOP, will face Denise Gitsham who beat out fellow Republican and favored Jacqui Atkinson for the right to challenge Peters in the general election.

Florida

With Marco Rubio back in for reelection to the Senate, Dave Jolly decided before the announcement that he will instead seek reelection in the 13th District against the great tanned one, Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist.  In reality, Jolly has the best chance to retain this seat although it was altered by redistricting.

More surprisingly, Ron DeSantis also dropped out and will seek reelection in the 6th District although no primary challengers dropped out as a result.

In the 26th, the DCCC favors Annette Taddeo to take on Carlos Curbelo, the GOP incumbent, in the fall.  But, her own internal polls show her trailing by double digits against primary opponent Joe Garcia (not a favorite of the DCCC).  Taddeo responded by replacing some top staffers on her campaign.

Florida’s primary is at the end of August.

Iowa

In the 1st District, the Democrats got their woman in Monica Vernon to face freshman GOP incumbent Rod Blum in November.  If any Iowa seat is going to flip, it will be this one.  And in the 3rd, the Democrats will field Jim Mowrer against Republican incumbent David Young.  This is also a possible seat that can flip.  And the Democrats immediately upgraded this race from “emerging” to “targeted” after the Mowrer victory in the Democratic primary.

Maine

In a race that went back and forth all night, Ande Smith emerged the winner of the GOP primary over Mark Holbrook and will likely lose to Democratic incumbent Chellie Pingree in Maine’s 1st District in the fall.

MN-02:  With GOP incumbent John Kline retiring, things are a little messy on the Republican side while Democrats have rallied behind Angie Craig.  The state convention endorsed controversial radio show host Jason Lewis who faces some opposition in the GOP primary.  A Lewis candidacy comes with some baggage so some Republicans are thanking the fact that Trump state volunteer coordinator Matt Erickson launched a last minute campaign in the hopes it will eat into Lewis’ vote count.

NH-02: Former state rep. Jim Lawrence officially entered the GOP primary after mulling a bid since April.  He’ll face former state house majority leader Jack Flanagan (who has raised a whopping $5,000 thus far) to take on Democratic incumbent Ann Kuster in November.

To be continued tomorrow with updated race rating chart.