McKee and Raimondo also have a notoriously distant relationship, so much so that, as the Providence Journal's Katherine Gregg wrote last month, he's been reduced to delivering letters to his nominal boss—which go unanswered. Things may get a whole lot less awkward in state government if Raimondo goes to Washington, but the governor's allies at home may not be keen to help McKee win the nomination.
Rhode Island, while a solidly blue state in federal elections, has been willing to sending Republicans to the governor's office, and a bruising Democratic primary could give Team Red a larger opening. Outgoing Cranston Mayor Allan Fung reportedly has been mulling a third bid for office: Raimondo beat Fung only 41-36 in the 2014 open seat race, though she prevailed by a decisive 53-37 in their 2018 rematch.
● IL-Gov: Outgoing state Sen. Paul Schimpf confirmed this week that he was considering seeking the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker. Schimpf was Team Red's nominee for attorney general in 2014, a contest he lost 59-38 to Democratic incumbent Lisa Madigan. Schimpf won another term in the legislature from his southwestern Illinois seat two years later, and he decided to retire in 2020.
● LA-02: Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that he had received Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond’s resignation letter and was scheduling the special election to succeed him for the same dates as the contest to replace the late Republican Rep.-elect Luke Letlow in the 5th District. Richmond, who will join the Biden White House, set his departure from Congress for Jan. 15.
The filing deadline will be Jan. 22, and all the candidates will compete in a March 20 all-party primary in this heavily Democratic seat. If no one takes a majority of the vote then the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, would compete in an April 24 runoff.
● Boston, MA Mayor: Politico reported Thursday that Joe Biden had selected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as his secretary of labor. If Walsh is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, City Council President Kim Janey would take over as acting mayor. Janey, who is Black, would be the first woman or person of color to lead Boston. Both Walsh and Janey, just like every notable elected official in Boston, are Democrats.
Janey's ascension could also dramatically shake up this year's mayoral race. Two fellow city councilors, Andrea Campbell and Michelle Wu, had each announced last year that they'd challenge Walsh, whom politicos widely expected to seek a third term. It remains to be seen, though, what they'd do if Janey became mayor and decided to run in her own right.
It's very possible that Walsh's absence in the race would entice others to get in. Indeed, Politico's Stephanie Murray reports that another member of the 13-person City Council, Annissa Essaibi George, is considering a bid. The Boston Globe's Matt Stout reports that state Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, is also thinking about running.
Boston hasn't ousted an incumbent mayor since 1949, when John Hynes defeated the legendary and controversial incumbent James Michael Curley. There's only one instance during the following seven decades of an acting mayor seeking a full term, but it bodes well for Janey. City Council President Thomas Menino assumed the city's top job in July of 1991 after Mayor Raymond Flynn resigned to become the Clinton administration's ambassador to the Vatican, and Menino took first place just two months later amidst a crowded field. Menino decisively won the general election that year and left office in 2014 as the city's longest-serving mayor.
It remains to be seen when the voters will next go to the polls. City Clerk Maureen Feeney says that, should Walsh resign before March 5, the City Council could call a special election this year for the final months of his term.
No matter, what, though, the regularly scheduled contest for a four-year term will take place this year. All the candidates will run on one nonpartisan ballot in September, with the top two vote-getters advancing to a November general election; candidates cannot avert a second round of voting by winning a majority in the first round, which is known locally as the preliminary election.
● Fort Worth, TX Mayor: Prominent attorney Dee Kelly said this week that he would not run to succeed retiring Republican Mayor Betsy Price in May.
● Seattle, WA Mayor: City Councilwoman Teresa Mosqueda announced this week that she would run for reelection rather than compete in this year's race to succeed retiring Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan.