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Political Roundup: April 23, 2024

Updated: May 17


AL-1: First Announcement for 2026  

It appears we have our first announcement of candidacy for the 2026 election cycle.  

Alabama U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) has filed a campaign committee for the 2026 election.

Carl failed in his bid for renomination in March, losing the primary to Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) in a newly created 1st District. The district was created in response to a court-ordered redistricting directive to draw another majority-minority congressional seat. 

It appears we will see a rematch of the contest where Moore, who saw only 41% of his previous territory be included in the new 1st District, defeated Carl by a 51.7 to 48.3% result even though the latter man outspent the winner by a 2:1 margin. 

Should this rematch transpire in two years, it will again be competitive.

CA-16: Early Recount Produces Leader  

A recount is now underway for last month's CA-16 primary, which resulted in a tie between San Mateo County Supervisor Joe Simitian (D) and Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) for the second general election qualifying position.

In Santa Clara County, the larger of the two municipalities that comprise the Silicon Valley 16th Congressional District, a reported 77 of the district’s 199 precincts have been machine recounted. Simitian has so far captured a three-vote lead.

A political action committee with ties to first-place finisher Sam Liccardo (D), the former San Jose Mayor, is reportedly financing the recount, which is likely to cost approximately $300,000.

In almost every situation, a recount changes the election result by at least a few votes. This means we will likely see either Simitian or Low be declared the official second-place finisher once this process concludes. The votes were originally cast on March 5.  

If the two remain tied, both will advance to the general election to create a three-way race with Liccardo. If the latter man is behind the financing of the recount — which neither Simitian nor Low requested — then it is clear that Liccardo believes a two-way race is to his benefit.

MI-13: Thanedar Draws Another Primary Challenger

In Michigan, freshman Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) is facing another budding primary challenge.

In 2022, Thanedar won an open Democratic primary with just 28% of the vote, and the second-place finisher, then-state Sen. Adam Hollier, who secured 21% in a field of nine Democratic candidates, long ago announced his return for a rematch.

Now, former Southfield City Clerk Shakira Hawkins (D), who resigned from office before felony charges were levied against her, has announced her own congressional candidacy.

Also in the Democratic primary race is Detroit City Councilwoman and former state Representative Mary Waters.  

This will again be a competitive contest, but the more crowded the field, the better for Thanedar, who has the financial wherewithal to outspend his opponents.

Candidate filing ends today for the August 6 primary election, so we will soon see the official field form.  

The 13th District, one of two anchored in Detroit, is heavily Democratic. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates it as D+46, so Thanedar’s race for re-election lies in the Democratic primary.


North Carolina: Stein Posts Definitive Lead

A new North Carolina statewide poll that shows Trump with a two-point lead in the presidential contest also sees Attorney General Josh Stein (D) pulling away from Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) in the open governor’s contest.

Meredith College was in the field April 11-17 testing the North Carolina electorate, known for returning close statewide general election results. The online poll of 801 North Carolina registered voters and 711 likely voters found Stein leading the Lt. Governor by a 45-36% count.

Though Stein has been leading in five of the seven polls released since the beginning of March, this result depicts his strongest lead. The result is expected to be close.

Governor Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.

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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