Ambitious Democrats Mull Delaware Options: Ballots & Boundaries

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Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said “surprisingly few” fellow Democrats have reached out to him expressing interest in rare open races in their state’s three-seat congressional delegation.

In addition to US Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D), who says she’s interested in seeking retirement-bound Sen. Tom Carper’s (D) seat, other names are circulating as well:

  • State Treasurer Colleen Davis (D) in a phone interview didn’t rule out a bid for Senate, House, or to replace term-limited Gov. John Carney (D). “If an opportunity arises that can provide me with the ability to extend and continue my service to the people of Delaware, and for which I feel that I’m qualified, I will seriously consider them,” she said.
  • Democrat Eugene Young, who runs the state’s housing authority, is also looking at the House race, according to a campaign adviser.
  • State Sen. Sarah McBride (D) is assembling plans to pursue a congressional race in case Blunt Rochester vacates. She has the support of Delaware leaders and national political groups, according to one person close to the campaign.
  • Delaware sources told us the state insurance commissioner, Trinidad Navarro (D), could look at the House race as well.

Watch for decisions to be made quickly, as candidates try to be first to lock down commitments from key donors. — Zach C. Cohen and Kellie Lunney

See also:
Carper Exit Could Pave Way for First Transgender Congress Member
Delaware Sen. Tom arper Won’t Seek 2024 Re-Election

Ever wonder how many US senators are truly senior statesmen? BGOV’s Greg Giroux has answered the senior part of that question. He ran the numbers for the last 20 years and showed that the average Senate retirement age is 71. READ MORE: Boomer Senate Snubs Retirement

UTAH: ‘Woke & State’
We’re still waiting to hear from Sen. Mitt Romney about his re-election or retirement plans. Meanwhile, a fellow Utah Republican has entered the race.

The Senate campaign website of Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs lists as a key issue the need to “build a wall of separation between woke and state.” (h/t Salt Lake Tribune)

(Sure, you could read the next edition of Ballots & Boundaries after someone forwards it to you. But why wait? It’s free. SUBSCRIBE HERE )

PENNSYLVANIA: McCormick’s Math
A year after getting nosed out by Mehmet Oz in a Republican primary, Dave McCormick, the former chief executive of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, is touring Pennsylvania and getting closer to a decision about running against Sen. Bob Casey (D). He caught a bit of a break last night when potential GOP rival Doug Mastriano said he won’t be running.

McCormick’s Second Senate Try Hinges on Fitting a Changed GOP

CALIFORNIA: Swing-Seat Matchup
Democrat Allyson Damikolas kicked off a 2024 campaign to unseat two-term Rep. Young Kim in southern California.

President Joe Biden carried the district 50%-48% in 2020, though it shifted to the Republicans in 2022, when Kim was re-elected 57%-43% and the Republican nominees for governor and senator also comfortably carried Kim’s 40th District.

Kim had the biggest victory margin of the 18 House Republicans elected or re-elected last year from districts Biden won.

Damikolas is an elected school board trustee in Tustin, a city of about 80,000 in the 40th District spanning parts of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. — Greg Giroux

NORTH DAKOTA: Adapting to Term Limits
Gov. Doug Burgum supported term limits when the issue was on the North Dakota ballot last fall. Though the new two-term max for governors isn’t retroactive, it sounds like the Republican would rather have a political change anyway.

He’s planning a June 7 Fargo event ahead of a likely campaign for president, two sources familiar with plans tell BGOV. The former Microsoft executive probably can self-fund an effort to introduce himself to key constituencies. — Zach C. Cohen

OHIO: Litigation Times 2
Opponents of a measure that could make it harder to amend the Ohio constitution are challenging the Republican-approved language voters are set to see on their ballots.

The complaint filed asks the Ohio Supreme Court to order the state Ballot Board to draft and place in front of voters new language to replace what it claims is a faulty description of the measure. It’s the second lawsuit that the opponents have filed this month. — Eric Heisig

ARKANSAS: Redistricting
A three-judge federal panel dismissed a challenge to the Republican-drawn Arkansas congressional map that shifted some Black Democratic voters out of the state’s most competitive congressional district to aid Republican incumbent French Hill.

“The allegations do not create a plausible inference that race was the ‘predominant factor’ behind the adoption of Arkansas’s new congressional map,” the judges wrote.

That panel’s decision came two days after a similar federal suit was filed against the map, saying it illegally discriminated against Black voters in the Little Rock area by “cracking” them across three districts to dilute their power. Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin (R), Hill’s predecessor in the House, said that suit is “likewise doomed to fail.” — Greg Giroux

FLORIDA: Voter Registration
Civil rights organizations are challenging a new Florida voting law that they claim violates the Constitution by making it harder for Blacks and Latinos to participate in the 2024 presidential election.

The groups say the law will chill their activities by imposing harsh fines for registration applications that are returned late and barring noncitizen volunteers from handling applications. It also criminalizes “routine voter information retention,” according to the suits.

People of color are five times more likely than White residents in Florida to register to vote with help from a third-party organization, the groups say in one of the complaints, adding that there “is no question which Floridians will be most affected by these efforts.” — Erik Larson

Caught Our Eye

Why Republican-led states keep leaving a group that verifies voter rolls —
Democrats vying to replace Feinstein embrace party’s shift to the leftWashington Post


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— With assistance from Andrew Small.

To contact the reporters on this story: Zach C. Cohen in Washington at; Greg Giroux in Washington at; Kellie Lunney in Washington at; Eric Heisig in Ohio at; Ellen M. Gilmer in Washington at; Jonathan Tamari at; Erik Larsen in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Katherine Rizzo at; Bennett Roth at

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