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Political Roundup — May 14, 2024

Updated: May 21



Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: Qualifying in 13 States


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I) announced that he is finalizing the ballot qualification process for the general election in 13 states. Included in the list are the key swing domains of Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina.


New Hampshire and Utah, states that lie within the sphere of potential competitiveness, are also on the list. The remaining states are California, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and Oklahoma.


Kennedy also stated he will meet the qualifications for national debate participation. If debates are held, and Kennedy does in fact break the requirement threshold, he will be the first non-Democrat or Republican to earn a debate podium since the Reform Party's Ross Perot in 1992.



Voting Today:  Maryland, Nebraska & West Virginia


Voters in three states will complete their nomination processes today, as general election candidates will be chosen in Maryland, Nebraska and West Virginia.


The Maryland Democratic Senate primary is of great national interest. Rep. David Trone (D-Potomac) has reportedly now spent more money on his primary campaign in 2024 than even the Biden-for-President campaign has expended nationally. 


Trone's opponent is Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. The outcome is expected to be close, despite the spending differential — approximately 10:1 in Trone's favor. 


Three open Democratic House seats will see new nominees this evening. The party is expected to hold all three seats in the general election.


Only minor primary opposition adorns the key races in the Cornhusker State of Nebraska.


Republicans hold the two US Senate seats and all three of the state's House seats, but only one race appears highly competitive in the general election. Sen. Deb Fischer is unencumbered toward winning a third term in November. She has only minor Republican opponents today, and no Democratic opposition in November.


Appointed Sen. Pete Ricketts, the former two-term Governor, must win nomination tonight, and the election in November, to serve the balance of the current term.


Last year, Sen. Ben Sasse (R) resigned his seat to become President of the University of Florida. Should Ricketts be successful this year, as expected, he has already committed to run for a full term in 2026.


Rep. Don Bacon (R-Papillion/Omaha) will again have another difficult general election challenge in his swing 2nd District. This time, as was the case in 2022, state Sen. Tony Vargas (D-Omaha) will be his general election opponent. In that election, Bacon was re-elected with a 53-47% victory margin.


The West Virginia primary also features a key Senate race. Gov. Jim Justice (R) is the prohibitive favorite to defeat Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town) this evening. He will then likely face Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott, who is favored for the Democratic nomination. Converting the West Virginia seat will be the lynchpin to Republicans potentially capturing the Senate majority.


In Rep. Mooney's open 2nd District, state Treasurer Riley Moore, nephew of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), is the favorite for the Republican nomination. In WV-2, winning the GOP primary is tantamount to claiming the seat in November.


The open Governor's race may be the most interesting race of all. Polling has been erratic in this race, but Attorney General Patrick Morrisey looks to be the favorite.  Former state Delegate Moore Capito, Sen. Capito's son, is a formidable contender as is Chris Miller, son of US Rep. Carol Miller (R-Huntington.) Secretary of State Mac Warner is also competitive, but he has never exceeded fourth place in any polling since the beginning of the year.


Vermont:  Gov. Scott Announces


Incumbent Gov. Phil Scott — the one Republican who has found the key to winning statewide elections in Vermont — formally announced that he will run for a fifth consecutive term this year. Vermont and New Hampshire are the only states to limit their Governors to two-year terms.


While Scott has a high favorability index, and already appears headed for re-election, he is likely to face a comeback challenge from former Governor and 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean. The latter man last won the Governor's office in 2002, but held the position for seven consecutive two-year terms.

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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