Sorry, Bernie Fans, A Longer Wait’s Likely: Ballots & Boundaries

Bloomberg Government subscribers get the stories like this first. Act now and gain unlimited access to everything you need to know. Learn more.

Now that Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) have confirmed they’ll seek re-election, almost all of the swing-state senators up for re-election in 2024 are accounted for.

The most conspicuous holdout, of course is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), 75, who’s said he won’t make any decision until year’s end, and that’s consistent with his past practice. In 2018, after a long and public flirtation with quitting the Senate, he announced his re-election bid in late January of the election year.

Other potential Democratic retirees such as Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), 76, and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), 79, wouldn’t wound their party the way a Manchin retirement would because their states are so blue. Last time around, Carper announced his 2018 re-election plans in July 2017 and Cardin made his run official in February 2018.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, 81, also can be pretty confident that if he retires Vermonters would choose a Democrat to succeed him. He announced his last re-election campaign in October 2017.

There’s no re-election history for first-term Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), 46, and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), 76, who haven’t announced their plans.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Sinema, a former Democrat, is “preparing for a reelection campaign,” and Romney filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission but hasn’t made his final determination that he’ll run again, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson (R) is exploring a potential primary challenge. — Greg Giroux and Zach C. Cohen

NEW YORK: Ex-Rep Considers a Rerun
Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), who rolled the dice on an unsuccessful gubernatorial bid, is telling political leaders and wealthy donors that he is considering running for his old seat, CNBC reports.

That seat is now held by one of the best-known members of the freshman class, Republican Rep. George Santos.

(Don’t wait for a friend to forward the next edition of B&B. It’s free! SUBSCRIBE HERE .)

Team Players

Dearly Departed Share the Wealth
Back when she faced tight races in downstate Illinois, former Rep. Cheri Bustos (D) got plenty of outside support. Now she’s returning the favor, slowly emptying out a six-figure campaign account she can’t use now that she works at strategy firm Mercury.

Bustos, a former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, reported delivering over $8,000 to a fundraising vehicle linked to new House Democratic leadership. She also gave a grand each to new Reps. Eric Sorensen (D-Ill.) – her successor in the House – Nikki Budzinski (D-Ill.), Hillary Scholten (D-Mich.), and Shontel Brown (D-Ohio).

The campaign committee of retired Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) is still alive and well and giving. Its first-quarter disbursements included $4,000 each to the campaigns of Casey and fellow Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I).

Former Rep. G.K. Butterfield, newly hired as a senior adviser at McGuireWoods, also kicked in $3,000 to his new employer’s federal PAC and $500 to Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-N.C.), a vulnerable freshman representing the Raleigh suburbs.

Ex-Rep. Devin Nunes’s (R-Calif.) former campaign committee has actually grown since he left last year. With hundreds of thousands of dollars parked with investment firm Edward Jones, his dormant federal account swelled by over $437,000 over the last three months. Nunes has an astronomical $11.6 million parked in his campaign fund.

As for former Rep. Albio Sires (D-N.J.), most of his federal dollars were redirected to his campaign to be mayor of West New York. Some political careers don’t end in Congress, after all. — Zach C. Cohen

It’s Not an Off Year

Big decisions will be on the ballot in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi, where governors are chosen in odd-numbered years and those in the know say personality and candidate quality matter a lot.

The showcase contest is shaping up to be in Republican-leaning Kentucky, where Democrat Andy Beshear is running for re-election in a state that gave Donald Trump 62.1% of the vote in 2020. Trump also was the victor in the other two states picking chief executives this year. READ MORE on the gubernatorial state of play.

Caught Our Eye

MONTANA: Targeting Tester
The Montana state Senate voted to alter next year’s US Senate primary in an apparent bid to thwart Tester‘s re-election. The measure would allow the top two candidates in the primary, no matter their party, to win slots on the 2024 general election ballot. A state House committee held a hearing on the measure today. (New York Times)

ARIZONA: Paper-and-Toner Problem
Problems with ballot printers that caused lines to back up at some Phoenix-area polling places last year were caused by using thicker paper, a retired Arizona Supreme Court justice concluded. (Associated Press)


Add Us to Your Inbox

SIGN UP for Ballots & Boundaries to keep up with congressional campaign trends, ballot initiatives, state voting laws, and redistricting.

To contact the reporters on this story: Greg Giroux in Washington at; Zach C. Cohen in Washington at

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

Stay informed with more news like this – from the largest team of reporters on Capitol Hill – subscribe to Bloomberg Government today. Learn more.