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Keep an eye on Ohio, where abortion rights backers are down to just days to turn in ballot-question signatures.
To get a proposed constitutional amendment before voters in November, they’ll have to provide about 413,000 valid signatures by July 5. Spokeswoman Celina Coming said Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom wouldn’t have an accurate signature estimate until a little closer to next week’s deadline.
Prospects for the potential ballot question are hard to gauge because the finish line might be moving.
In an effort to make it harder for the abortion question to succeed, the state legislature scheduled a special Aug. 8 election in which voters will be asked to erase the simple majority requirement and replace it with a 60% threshhold for all future constitutional changes. — Eric Heisig
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Welcome to Q3
Tomorrow brings the start of the third quarter, so we anticipate a spurt of candidate announcements.
Any House or Senate hopefuls filing statements of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission in early July will have a full three months to raise as much money as possible — and won’t have to disclose top-line numbers or donor names until Oct. 15.
We could hear soon from Pennsylvania Republican Dave McCormick, a former hedge-fund CEO who’s expected to challenge Sen. Bob Casey (D), and ex-Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), who’s probably going to attempt a comeback after he was ousted by court-ordered redistricting in 2022.
Candidates already running in 2024 elections have until July 15 to file their second-quarter reports, which will list donors and campaign spending for April, May, and June. — Greg Giroux
MONTANA: Sheehy’s In
The recruit leading Republicans clearly wanted got into a race that will test the goodwill and loyalty built up during Democrat Jon Tester‘s 16-plus years in the Senate — years in which Montana shifted more toward the GOP. Tim Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL who’s wealthy enough that strategists won’t have to worry about pinching pennies, is seeking the Republican nomination, with the backing of Montana’s governor and other top elected officials.
Our team examined BGOV contracting data, read Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and listened to earnings calls to draw a picture of Sheehy’s unusual situation as a wannabe overseer of federal spending and current US government vendor.
- ‘A blank canvass with a big checkbook’ — The Hill
- Club for Growth has signaled it would back Rep. Matt Rosendale against Sheehy — NBC
CALIFORNIA: Another Post-Feinstein Aspirant
A former Google vice president joined the list of people who see themselves as the next US Senator from California.
Lexi Reese filed a statement of candidacy, running as a Democrat in field that includes three sitting members of Congress: Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Adam Schiff, all Democrats. Former Major Leage Baseball MVP Steve Garvey is among the Republicans considering getting into the race, the Associated Press reports.
Incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) isn’t running for re-election.
This week brought another Supreme Court opinion affecting how redistricting gets handled in the states. The justices rejected a sweeping effort to transform the ground rules for federal elections.
On the heels of that decision came an order today for an Ohio court to take a fresh look at a ruling that said a Republican-drawn congressional map was excessively partisan.
Meanwhile, the winning plaintiffs in Alabama‘s redistricting case released a proposed remedial map with a second Black-majority district that would lean Democratic. It would revise Alabama’s 2nd District to include Montgomery County, including the state capital, and about half of Mobile County. The reconfigured district would have given President Joe Biden 56% of the vote in the 2020 election, according to Dave’s Redistricting App.
Rep. Barry Moore (R), who represents the current 2nd District, would have a harder time hanging on to the seat if it’s reconfigured that way. Look for the Republican-majority legislature to back a competing map with a new district that’s less heavily Black and more politically competitive.
And opponents of Kentucky‘s Republican-led congressional redistricting formally asked the state Supreme Court to invalidate that map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.
A legal brief describes the 1st District of Rep. James Comer (R) as an “amoeba-like district” that meanders from far western Kentucky all the way to Franklin County (Frankfort) in the north-central part of the state. The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear arguments Sept. 19 in a Democratic appeal of a lower state court ruling that said the Kentucky Constitution doesn’t explicitly forbid partisan gerrymandering. — Greg Giroux
UTAH: Signatures Filed
Former Utah legislator Becky Edwards says she has submitted the 7,000 signatures needed to qualify for the key Sept. 5 Republican primary in an open congressional district.
Edwards, who served 10 years in the state House and opposed Sen. Mike Lee (R) in a 2022 primary, would earn a spot on the primary ballot against Celeste Maloy, a former legislative counsel to Rep. Chris Stewart (R) who prevailed at the 2nd District Republican nominating convention. Stewart is resigning Sept. 15.
Bruce Hough, a longtime Utah GOP operative who’s the father of celebrity dancers Julianne and Derek Hough, also is seeking ballot access through the signature process. The Republican nominee will be favored to defeat state Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D) in a district that President Joe Biden lost by 17 percentage points in the 2020 election. – Greg Giroux
- Our past coverage: BGOV Archive and BLAW Archive
- Tracking Departures in the US House and Senate
- Litigation Trackers: Loyola Law School and Brennan Center
- BGOV OnPoint: US Senate Elections
- BGOV OnPoint: US House Elections
- BGOV OnPoint: Gubernatorial Elections
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