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Political Roundup — June 26, 2024


Colorado Special Election: GOP Holds District 4 

The Republican special election nominee, who agreed to serve only as a caretaker until the general election picks a permanent member, easily won last night's vote to serve the remainder of resigned Rep. Ken Buck's (R) final term. 

Former local mayor Greg Lopez — without spending much money — recorded a strong 58-34% victory over Democratic speechwriter Trisha Calvarese, securing the seat for the GOP in a vote that is projected to total more than 172,000 cast ballots. Representative-Elect Lopez will become the 220th member of the Republican conference.  

The House will now be down to two vacancies, one from each party. The Wisconsin seat of resigned Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) and the New Jersey seat of deceased Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) are the remaining districts without member representation.

Colorado Regular Primary: Republicans in Strong General Election Position 

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt), moving into the Centennial State's 4th Congressional District from her western slope 3rd District, easily captured the GOP nomination — which is usually tantamount to winning in November. 

Congresswoman Boebert came out on top with 43.2% of the vote — well ahead of second-place finisher, Jerry Sonnenberg, a local county commissioner, who received just 14.5%. The third-, fourth-, and fifth-place finishers all scored between 13.8% and 10.6% of the vote.  

Elsewhere, despite Democratic attempts to propel Republican former state Rep. Ron Hanks to the top in the state's 3rd District, attorney Jeff Hurd won the party primary, edging out five GOP opponents with 41.5% of the vote. 

Hurd will face off in the general election against Democratic nominee Adam Frisch, who in 2022 lost his 3rd District bid to Rep. Boebert by just 546 votes — that cycle's closest US House race.

In retiring Rep. Doug Lamborn's (R-Colorado Springs) open 5th District, radio talk show host and three-time congressional candidate Jeff Crank easily defeated Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave Williams, with a whopping 67-33% margin. Mr. Crank will now assume the seat in the next Congress.

New York: Rep. Bowman Loses Renomination 

The big story of the Empire State's political evening is Westchester County Executive George Latimer's easy defeat of US Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers). Garnering more than 58% of the vote, Mr. Latimer convincingly denied the Congressman renomination.

The Latimer-Bowman contest was the most expensive congressional primary in US history. Altogether, the two candidates' expenditures, plus outside money, totaled approximately $30 million.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee's affiliated Super PAC looks to have spent over $17 million toward defeating Bowman — a "Squad" member and one of the most ardent anti-Israel members of the House. 

In the state's Syracuse-based 22nd District, as expected, state Senator John Mannion claimed the Democratic nomination with a 62-38% victory over local town councilwoman Sarah Klee Hood.

Sen. Mannion now advances into a toss-up general election, where he'll face off against freshman Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Syracuse) in a race that could prove pivotal in determining which party controls the House after Nov. 5.

Utah: Rep. Curtis Secures Senate Nomination

In the Beehive State, US Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo) carried the night, besting Riverton Mayor Tret Staggs, who had enjoyed the backing of both Donald Trump and the Utah Republican Party.

Carrying 28 out of Utah's 29 counties, Rep. Curtis recorded an impressive 51-29-13-6% victory over Mr. Staggs, former state House Speaker Brad Wilson, and businessman Jason Walton, respectively.

Curtis is expected to handily defeat Democrat Caroline Gleich in November's general election; he will then succeed retiring Sen. Mitt Romney (R).  

The going was much tougher for freshman Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City), who eked out what will likely be a 51-49% win over businessman Colby Jenkins, who had enjoyed strong support from Sen. Mike Lee (R). Representative Maloy will now advance into the general election, where she will secure her first full congressional term.

In Rep. Curtis' open District 3, state Sen. Mike Kennedy, who was endorsed by Trump and the Utah Republican Party, scoring a crowded primary victory with 36% of the vote over four Republican opponents. State Auditor John "Frugal" Dougall — who ran as the anti-MAGA candidate, calling himself "mainstream" — fell to a last place finish, with just 8% of the vote. In a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+26, Sen. Kennedy will have little trouble securing the seat in November.

South Carolina Runoff: Close Finish in District 3 

The lone South Carolina congressional runoff occurred in the state's western open 3rd District, from which Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-Laurens) is retiring. In a very close finish, Gov. Henry McMaster's (R) endorsed candidate, Air National Guard Lt. Col. Sheri Biggs, defeated Trump-backed pastor Mark Burns, 51-49%. With the 3rd District safely Republican — FiveThirtyEight rates it as R+44 — Ms. Biggs is now a lock to claim the seat in the general election.

Jim Ellis is a 35-year veteran of politics at the state and national levels. He has served ss executive director for two national political action committees, as well as a consultant to the three national Republican Party organizations in DC, the National Federation of Independent Business, and various national conservative groups.

Born and raised in Sacramento, California, he earned a B. A. in Political Science from the University of California at Davis in 1979. Jim raised his daughter, Jacqueline, alone after his wife died following a tragic car accident. He helped establish the Joan Ellis Victims Assistance Network in Rochester, NH. Jim also is a member of the Northern Virginia Football Officials Association, which officiates high school games throughout the region.

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