The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Daniel Donner, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.
● CA Redistricting: California was one of several states to approve new maps in late December when its independent redistricting commission finalized plans for both Congress and the state legislature. The maps, which can be viewed here, make considerable changes across the state, which for the first time in its history lost a congressional district during reapportionment.
The congressional map, which you can explore in Dave's Redistricting App, also shuffles district numbers for most seats: 37 of the state's reduced total of 52 now have new numbers. To help keep track of those shifts, we've put together a cheat-sheet showing which new district each incumbent has said they'll seek re-election in or, in the absence of a public announcement, where they're most likely to run. We'll keep this tracker updated as events warrant, while in our House section below, we cover all the key developments stemming from the new maps so far.
As a final note, when maps undergo major revisions—something California's also did a decade ago—housekeeping can sometimes get a bit complicated. For instance, we're regarding the new 3rd as the successor to the old 22nd despite their lack of geographic overlap. And as for determining which district got "eliminated," we've given that designation to the 47th, though some have said that distinction belongs to the 40th. We address both of these issues, and much more, in our race-by-race roundup below.
● AZ Redistricting: Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission voted to approve new congressional and legislative maps late last month, which you can view here. County officials will have the chance to make administrative tweaks to the lines, which commissioners will review at an upcoming meeting before they finalize the maps. For more on how the new districts are impacting specific congressional races—in Arizona as well as in Michigan, New Jersey, and Virginia—check out our House section below.
● CT Redistricting: Connecticut's bipartisan redistricting commission has failed to reach an agreement on a new congressional map despite receiving a three-week extension from the state Supreme Court to complete its work. Because the panel missed its Dec. 21 deadline, the justices, all of whom were appointed by Democratic governors, will now take over the redistricting process. To that end, the court appointed law professor Nathaniel Persily as a special master to assist it in drawing new maps and directed him to make minimal changes to existing boundaries; Persily served in the same capacity a decade ago following a similar impasse. The court said it would file a final map with state officials by Feb. 15.
● GA Redistricting: Republican Gov. Brian Kemp finally signed Georgia's new congressional and legislative maps on Dec. 30—just two days before the deadline for him to act and more than a month after Republicans in the legislature passed the new plans. While Kemp never offered an explanation for tarrying, his delay prevented critics from bringing any legal challenges for as long as possible. Those critics were primed, though, as they immediately filed a trio of lawsuits targeting the maps, alleging they discriminate against Black and Latino voters.
● IL Redistricting: A three-judge federal district court panel has upheld Illinois' new legislative maps, rejecting challenges that the maps undermine Black and Latino voting power. The court had taken over the redistricting process in October after ruling that an earlier map passed by lawmakers prior to the release of official census data had violated the constitutional principle of "one person, one vote." However, by that point, legislators had already passed updated maps addressing those issues, and the court found no fault with the revised districts. At least one plaintiff said it would not appeal.
● MI Redistricting: Michigan's new independent redistricting commission approved new congressional and legislative maps just before the new year, bringing to an end decades of Republican gerrymandering. You can view the new maps here.
● NJ Redistricting: The tiebreaking member of New Jersey's congressional redistricting sided with Democrats to approve the party's preferred map in a vote late last month. The map can be found here. Legislative redistricting has yet to take place.
● NM Redistricting: Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed New Mexico's new state House map into law just before the new year, but she has yet to decide on the state Senate map passed by fellow Democrats in the legislature. A spokesperson said the legislation is "still under discussion" and noted the governor "has until noon on Jan. 6 to act."
● VA Redistricting: The Virginia Supreme Court approved new congressional and legislative maps just before the new year that differ somewhat from initial drafts released earlier last month by the justices' two appointed special masters. The maps can be found here, and accompanying data files are here.
● MD-Sen: CNN reported on Dec. 23 that Republican Gov. Larry Hogan "is engaging with stepped-up Republican efforts" to convince him to challenge Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen. The governor's spokesperson responded by pointing CNN to past Hogan statements downplaying his interest, including a July declaration in which he insisted, "I have no interest whatsoever in running for the United States Senate."
● NC-Sen: Rep. Ted Budd's allies at the Club for Growth have released a late December poll from WPA Intelligence that finds him edging out former Gov. Pat McCrory 47-43 in the May Republican primary. The survey did not include former Rep. Mark Walker, who is publicly considering dropping out in order to wage a possible comeback bid for the House.
On the Democratic side, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has picked up the backing of Gov. Roy Cooper as well as Rep. Kathy Manning ahead of what's now looking like an uneventful primary for her.
● PA-Sen: Hedge fund manager David McCormick formed an exploratory committee just before he launched a $1 million TV ad campaign on Dec. 21, though his allies say he still hasn't decided if he'll seek the Republican nomination for this open seat.
Meanwhile, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta has publicized a mid-December GQR survey that shows him trailing Lt. Gov. John Fetterman 44-20 in the May Democratic primary, with Rep. Conor Lamb in third with 15%. The poll later finds Kenyatta pulling into a tie with Fetterman after respondents hear both positive and negative statements about each candidate.
● SD-Sen: The New York Times reported on Dec. 21 that Republican Sen. John Thune is "seriously considering retiring." The incumbent said in mid-November that he'd make up his mind at the end of 2021, but the new year has arrived without any public decision from Thune.
● AK-Gov: Donald Trump declared in late December that he was endorsing Republican incumbent Mike Dunleavy on the condition that the governor doesn't back Sen. Lisa Murkowski's own re-election campaign. Dunleavy himself told Trump's team, "With regard to the other issue, please tell the President he has nothing to worry about."
● AL-Gov: Former Ambassador to Slovenia Lindy Blanchard has launched her opening TV ad campaign well ahead of the May Republican primary, and her campaign says the buy is $1.2 million over three weeks. Blanchard's commercials focus on her biography, ties to Donald Trump, and opposition to vaccine and mask mandates; the spots, however, don't mention Gov. Kay Ivey, whom Blanchard is hoping to beat for the GOP nod.
● KS-Gov: Attorney General Derek Schmidt picked up Donald Trump's endorsement on Monday for his campaign to take on Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.
● MA-Gov: Former state Sen. Ben Downing announced in late December that he was dropping out of the Democratic primary because his campaign lacked "the financial resources to continue."
● MD-Gov: Former Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman announced in late December that she was forming a committee for a possible bid for the Democratic nomination and promised a decision in the "coming weeks." Neuman was a Republican in 2013 when she was appointed county executive, but she became a Democrat at some point after losing the 2014 GOP primary to keep her post.
● MI-Gov: Conservative radio host Tudor Dixon has earned the backing of Rep. Bill Huizenga ahead of the August Republican primary to face Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
● NV-Gov: Clark County Commission Chair Marilyn Kirkpatrick did not rule out a Democratic primary bid against Gov. Steve Sisolak when asked by Nevada Newsmakers last week, saying instead, "I'm not even focused on anything political at this point. I don't even know all the seats that are up." Kirkpatrick used similar language when she was questioned about speculation that she could endorse Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who is seeking the Republican nod, declaring, "There are rumors everywhere. And again, I'm not going to get into the politics."
● OK-Gov: Amber Integrated (R): Kevin Stitt (R-inc): 47, Joy Hofmeister (D): 32 (Oct.: 49-33 Stitt).
● PA-Gov: Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a vocal Big Lie proponent who was filmed on Jan. 6 apparently passing breached barricades at the Capitol, is publicizing an announcement event for Saturday.
● AZ-02: Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran has announced that he'll seek re-election in the new 2nd District, a sprawling northern Arizona seat that is far redder than his existing 1st District. While O'Halleran's current constituency favored Joe Biden by a narrow 50-48, the new 2nd, according to Dave's Redistricting App, would have gone for Donald Trump by a 53-45 margin.
● CA-05, CA-03: Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, whose wife died last month, has not yet announced re-election plans, though his campaign says he's considering both the new 3rd and 5th. However, just before resigning from Congress, former Rep. Devin Nunes exhorted his colleague to run in the redrawn 5th, which would have voted for Donald Trump 55-43, per DRA.
GOP state Sen. Andreas Borgeas is also apparently eyeing a bid for the 5th, but another Republican considering a campaign for Congress, Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig, alluded to the impact McClintock would have on the race, saying, "I consider McClintock a friend" when asked if he might run against the congressman. (Magsig said last month that he'd run to succeed Nunes, but that was before redistricting. Borgeas had also filed paperwork to that end.)
If McClintock does in fact seek another term in the 5th, we'd regard his old district—the 4th—as the predecessor of the new 5th, even though more of the old 4th wound up in the 3rd (57%) than in the 5th (41%). Awkwardly, that would make the seat Nunes just vacated, the old 22nd, the nominal predecessor of the new 3rd, despite the fact that they share no DNA. This, however, is strictly a bookkeeping matter to help us ensure that every new district has at most one (and only one) predecessor.
As for the 3rd, Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley says he plans to run here on the belief that McClintock will indeed switch over to the 5th; Kiley ran in last year's gubernatorial recall and finished sixth on the moot replacement-candidate question with just 3.5% of the vote. Democrat Kermit Jones, a Navy veteran who'd been challenging McClintock in the old 4th, also says he's running in the 3rd, which would have gone for Trump 50-48.
● CA-09: San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti, who announced a bid against Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney in the old 9th District in November, says he'll continue his campaign in the new 9th, Another Republican, Assemblyman Heath Flora, could also run here. McNerney, 70, has not yet revealed his own plans, though if he seeks a 10th term, he'd almost certainly do so in the revamped 9th, which would have voted for Joe Biden 55-43.
● CA-21: Former prosecutor Andrew Janz, who'd reportedly been considering a bid to succeed former Republican Rep. Devin Nunes in the old 22nd District, says he won't run for Congress and is endorsing Democratic Rep. Jim Costa for re-election in the redrawn 21st, which would have voted 59-39 for Joe Biden. (A plurality of the old 22nd, 39%, wound up in the 21st.) Meanwhile, two state lawmakers who'd also been looking at the race to replace Nunes, Republican Assemblyman Devon Mathis and Democratic state Sen. Melissa Hurtado, both say they'll seek re-election instead.
● CA-22: Former Democratic Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, who'd been challenging Republican Rep. David Valadao in the old 21st District, says she's dropping her congressional campaign to run for state Senate instead. Valadao hasn't yet announced his plans but he's all but certain to seek re-election in the new 22nd, which would have voted for Joe Biden by a 55-42 margin.
● CA-22 (special): Republican Devin Nunes, who announced last month that he'd be leaving Congress to take a job running Donald Trump's new social media company, made his resignation official on Monday. That allows Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to call a special election to fill the final months of Nunes' term, which will be held using the old district lines that gave Trump a 52-46 win. Newsom has two weeks to schedule the election, which would take place 126 to 140 days later. He's likely to set it for April 5, allowing a probable runoff to be consolidated with the state's regular June 7 primary.
● CA-40: Mission Viejo Councilman Greg Raths, who lost to Democratic Rep. Katie Porter 53-47 in the old 45th District in 2020, said shortly after California's new maps were finalized that he'd run for Congress again in the new 40th. Later that same day, however, GOP Rep. Young Kim, who represents the old 39th, announced that she'd seek re-election in the 40th herself. Raths, though, does not seem deterred by the entry of a much more prominent fellow Republican, as his social media posts indicate he's still forging ahead with his bid. Kim does not live in the new 40th and currently represents just 20% of the district, which would have voted for Joe Biden 50-48.
● CA-40 (old): Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, who in 1992 became the first Mexican American woman to win election to Congress as a Democrat, announced her retirement shortly before the holidays. Roybal-Allard, who rose to become a powerful subcommittee chair on the House Appropriations Committee, first won office in what was then the new 33rd District, a heavily Latino seat in Los Angeles that contained part of a district previously represented by her father, Edward Roybal.
Thanks to redistricting, it's not clear whether there will be a bona fide race to succeed Roybal-Allard: The Los Angeles Times says her current district, the old 40th, was "virtually eliminated." However, according to Daily Kos Elections' calculations, the old 40th makes up a plurality—48%—of the new 42nd District. We therefore think it's more accurate to regard a neighboring district held by another retiring Democrat, Rep. Alan Lowenthal's old 47th, as the seat that California is losing thanks to reapportionment: The largest portion of the old 47th likewise wound up in the 42nd, but it makes up only 38% of the new district.
Whether you regard the 42nd as the successor to Roybal-Allard's district or Lowenthal's, though, there's a safely blue open seat in the offing. See our CA-42 item just below for more.
● CA-42: Candidates are already piling in for the open-seat race in California's new 42nd District, a majority Latino slice of Los Angeles that would have voted 72-26 for Joe Biden. The two biggest names so far belong to Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, both Democrats (the two do not appear to be related). Robert Garcia has already unveiled endorsements from Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Alex Padilla, and nine members of California's House delegation.
● CA-45: Democratic businessman Jay Chen, who'd been running against Republican Rep. Young Kim in the old 39th District, has announced he'll instead run for the redrawn 45th District. That will pit him against Republican Rep. Michelle Steel, who has said she'll seek re-election in the Orange County-based 45th, which would have voted 52-46 for Joe Biden. Steel does not live in the 45th and currently represents just 16% of the new district.
● CA-47: Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, who currently represents California's old 45th District, says she'll seek re-election in the new 47th, a coastal Orange County seat that would have voted 55-43 for Joe Biden. As a consequence, former Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda, who'd been seeking a comeback in the old 48th against Republican Rep. Michelle Steel, announced that he was abandoning his campaign.
Porter did pick up a challenge, however, from former Orange County GOP chair Scott Baugh, who entered the race with Steel's endorsement. Baugh finished fourth in 2018's top-two primary for the old 48th with 16% of the vote but came close to locking Democrats out of the general election (which was won by Rouda).
● CA-49: Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett has announced a campaign against Democratic Rep. Mike Levin in the redrawn 49th District, one of the few California House districts whose number remains unchanged. Bartlett joins two other Republicans in the race, 2020 nominee Brian Maryott and Oceanside City Councilman Christopher Rodriguez. The new 49th would have voted 55-43 for Joe Biden.
● CO-08: Green Beret veteran Tyler Allcorn announced this week that he was joining the Republican primary for this competitive new seat.
● FL-07: Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy surprised many political observers on Dec. 20 when she announced that she would not seek a fourth term, though her weak third-quarter fundraising had hinted she might retire. The current version of Murphy's suburban Orlando seat supported Joe Biden by a 55-44 margin, but no one knows what it will look like once the Republican-dominated legislature is done with redistricting.
Florida Politics reported soon after news of Murphy's decision broke that four Democrats were considering running: state Reps. Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith; Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla; and Chris King, who was the party's 2018 nominee for lieutenant governor. The only one who appears to have said anything publicly is Eskamani, who told the Orlando Sentinel she was "focused on my re-election for the Florida House." She added, "It's also premature for me to make any decisions for higher office without finalized maps."
● GA-07: Rep. Lucy McBath has unveiled a mid-December Democratic primary poll from 20/20 Insight that gives her a wide 41-19 lead over colleague Carolyn Bourdeaux, with state Rep. Donna McLeod taking 4%. This is the first survey we've seen testing McBath, who represents the old 6th District, against Bourdeaux, who holds the old 7th District.
● IL-15, IL-12: Freshman Rep. Mary Miller declared on Jan. 1 that she would seek the new and safely red 15th District in downstate Illinois, and Donald Trump is supporting her in the June Republican primary battle against fellow Rep. Rodney Davis. Trump made his move even though, per CNN, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had tried to deter him from opposing Davis. Trump also probably wasn't put off by Miller using her first week in office to declare, "Hitler was right on one thing. He said, 'Whoever has the youth has the future.""
Miller had spent the past two months keeping the political world guessing whether she'd run in the new 15th District, which shares the same number as her current constituency, or for the 12th against GOP Rep. Mike Bost. However, even though considerably more of Miller's constituents wound up in the 12th, Davis always appeared to be a better foil for her. Perhaps most notably, Davis was one just 35 House Republicans who voted in favor of creating a Jan. 6 commission, a group that unsurprisingly did not include Miller or Bost.
● MI-03: Republican Rep. Peter Meijer announced last week that he would defend the newly drawn 3rd District, which Michigan's new map transforms from a 51-47 Trump seat to a constituency Joe Biden would have carried 53-45. Meijer, who was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump, will need to turn back a primary challenge from Trump-backed conservative commentator John Gibbs before he can focus on a potentially challenging general election, though.
● MI-04: Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga announced that he'd seek the new 4th District, a southwest Michigan seat that would have supported Donald Trump 51-47, hours after the final congressional map was approved last week, but fellow GOP Rep. Fred Upton has not yet committed to anything. Still, Upton sounds likely to campaign here in the August primary, saying, "Now more than ever, we need to seek bipartisan consensus putting policy over politics. That is the winning formula that has led to our previous electoral victories and will again should we decide to run in 2022."
Upton's current 6th District makes up 64% of the new 4th District while only 25% of the new seat's residents live in Huizenga's existing 2nd District, but there's reason to think Huizenga would have the advantage in an incumbent vs. incumbent primary. Upton always had an uneasy relationship with hardcore conservatives long before he voted to impeach Donald Trump, while Huizenga has been far more loyal to the GOP's master. Huizenga, though, did recognize Joe Biden's 2020 victory, which may make him unacceptable to the party base.
To complicate things further, Trump himself endorsed state Rep. Steve Carra's primary campaign against Upton back in September in the old 6th District. It's not clear what Carra's doing, though, as his Twitter account still lists him as a candidate for the 6th almost a week after the new maps came out. To add to the confusion, Carra's state House district is now entirely located in the new 5th Congressional District, a 61-37 Trump seat where 7th District Rep. Tim Walberg is running.
● MI-08: Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee has announced that he'll run for the new 8th District, a seat that is a couple of points redder than his existing 5th District: Kildee's current constituency supported Joe Biden 51-47, while the new 8th would have gone for him by a 50-48 spread. No major Republicans have entered the race yet, but Politico reports that 2018 gubernatorial nominee Bill Schuette, who served in the House from 1985 to 1991, is considering running here.
● MI-10, MI-Gov: There's no incumbent running for the new 10th District—our MI-11 item just below explains why—a suburban Detroit seat that would have backed Donald Trump by a narrow 50-49 spread. However, several notable Republicans are currently eyeing it. The only announced contender so far is Eric Esshaki, who ran for the existing 11th District in 2020 and held Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens to a 50-48 victory; Esshaki kicked off a second campaign for Congress in October before redistricting was complete, but he made it clear last week that he'd seek this new constituency.
Politico, though, reports that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is trying to recruit another person who lost a tight 2020 race, Senate nominee John James. James advisor Curt Anderson says that his client is indeed thinking about a bid, though he added that James was also mulling a campaign for governor. Anderson didn't give a timeline for a decision, though Politico says it could come this month.
Another prospective House contender is former 8th District Rep. Mike Bishop, who expressed interest in running for Congress again in November. The Detroit News also says that businesswoman Lena Epstein and Oakland County GOP Chairman Rocky Raczkowski, both of whom unsuccessfully sought the current 11th District in 2018, are also considering: Epstein defeated Raczkowski 31-25 in that primary only to lose to Stevens 52-45 in the fall.
● MI-11: Two Democratic incumbents, Reps. Andy Levin and Haley Stevens, have each announced that they'll run for the revamped 11th District, a suburban Detroit constituency that would have supported Joe Biden 59-39. About 45% of the new district's residents live in Stevens' existing 11th, while another 25% live in Levin's current 9th District.
● MI-13: State Rep. Shri Thanedar, who unsuccessfully sought the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor, announced last week that he would run in the new and safely blue 13th District and spend $5 million of his own money on his new effort. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who is one of the most prominent Democrats in the House, lives in the new Detroit-based constituency but only currently represents about a third of it, and she has not yet announced her 2022 plans. The new 13th would have voted 74-25 for Joe Biden.
● MO-04: Politico reports that state Sen. Denny Hoskins, who is a member of the redistricting committee, is considering entering the Republican primary for the open and safely red 4th District.
● NJ-06, NJ-11: Former RNC staffer Tom Toomey announced last month that he would challenge Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone in the redrawn 6th District after spending months running against Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill in the current 11th. The 6th would have voted 59-40 for Joe Biden while the 11th would have backed him by a similar 58-41 spread.
● NJ-07, NJ-05: Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski said just before Christmas that he was undecided about seeking a third term in a revamped 7th District that cut Joe Biden's margin from 54-44 to 51-47. The new map was conversely a very favorable development for 2020 Republican nominee Tom Kean Jr., who launched his rematch campaign in July months after losing to Malinowski just 51-49.
Kean did get some unwelcome news Monday, however, when Assemblyman Erik Peterson announced his own primary bid. Peterson made headlines last month when state troopers prevented him from entering the Assembly chamber after he tried to defy pandemic rules requiring members be vaccinated against COVID or show a negative test, but he'll still have a tough time beating an opponent with plenty of money, name recognition, and party support.
A third Republican is also running: Fredon Mayor John Flora switched districts after his 3,200-person township was moved from the 5th District, where he launched a bid last month, to the 7th.
● NJ-08: Democratic Rep. Albio Sires announced the week before Christmas that he would not seek a ninth term in what remains a safely blue North Jersey seat, and it took absolutely no time for a frontrunner to emerge. Robert Menendez Jr., a commissioner for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the son and namesake of New Jersey's senior senator, doesn't appear to have announced he's in, but he's already earned endorsements from Sires, Gov. Phil Murphy, Sen. Cory Booker, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fullop, and the Democratic parties of Hudson and Union counties.
It will be extremely tough for anyone to beat Menendez in a primary in a state where local establishment support matters a great deal, but he may not quite have a clear field. Incoming state Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz didn't rule out running right after Sires made his departure known, though she doesn't appear to have said anything since then. Belleville Mayor Michael Melham, who was elected as an independent, also expressed interest in getting in, though he said he was undecided if he'd campaign as a Democrat, Republican, or independent.
● NJ-11: When asked last month about a possible run for this seat, Republican state Sen. Anthony Bucco replied, "You never say never, but I'm very comfortable where I am .... Right now, I do not have any desire at this point to take on another election next year."
● NM-02: Albuquerque City Councilor Klarissa Peña, whom local reporter Joe Monahan previously mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate against Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell in the revamped 2nd District, is now a “no-go,” according to Monahan. He also name-drops state Rep. Andres Romero as a potential contender for Team Blue, though there's no word on his interest.
● OR-04: Airbnb policy executive Andrew Kalloch filed paperwork in mid-December for a bid to succeed retiring Rep. Peter DeFazio, a fellow Democrat, and Kalloch's Twitter account now identifies him as a candidate. Meanwhile, state Sen. James Manning has confirmed an earlier report saying that he'd decided not to seek the Democratic nod.
● VA-07: Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger is seeking re-election in a revamped 7th District, which has transformed from a 50-49 Biden constituency into one he would have taken by a stronger 52-46 score. While Spanberger is running in a seat with the same number as the one she currently holds, though, she only represents 25% of the new 7th's denizens. Notably, Spanberger has lost most of her old base in the Richmond suburbs while gaining more than half of populous Prince William County in Northern Virginia.
However, while there's been plenty of speculation that the congresswoman could face an intra-party primary challenger from NoVa, no serious names have stepped forward yet. Indeed, while outgoing state Del. Hala Ayala, who was the party’s 2021 nominee for lieutenant governor, reportedly considered running after the court-appointed special masters released the first draft of their map last month, she said no just before the new year.
On the Republican side, state Sen. Bryce Reeves has declared that he'll continue his campaign for this seat, while Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega and Air Force veteran Gary Adkins have each announced their own bids. Public affairs consultant Taylor Keeney and state Sen. Amanda Chase, however, dropped out of the race for the GOP nomination in the days after the new map was released.
Secretaries of State
● NH-SoS: Incumbent Bill Gardner, who was first named New Hampshire's chief elections officer in 1976 and is the longest-serving secretary of state in America, announced Monday that he was resigning this week and transferring his powers to Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan, a former Republican state legislator; Scanlan will serve the remaining year of Gardner's term.
While Gardner is a nominal Democrat who spent decades cultivating a nonpartisan image, he infuriated Team Blue in recent years when he served on Donald Trump's bogus voter fraud commission and backed multiple voter-suppression laws targeting New Hampshire college students. Democrats made a serious effort to oust him in late 2018 after they retook control of the state legislature, which is in charge of picking the secretary of state, but Gardner narrowly won another term with the support of Republicans and a minority of Democrats in a second round of balloting.
● Milwaukee, WI Mayor: Mayor Tom Barrett resigned on Dec. 22 to become ambassador to Luxembourg, and special election dates were quickly set for the special election for the final two years of his term. The filing deadline will be Jan. 11, and all the candidates will face off in a Feb. 15 nonpartisan primary. The top two contenders will then advance to an April 5 general election.
Several candidates were running before Barrett made his departure official, and the field has gotten larger in the last few weeks. The new contenders include state Sen. Lena Taylor, who lost a 2020 challenge to Barrett by a 63-37 margin, and City Attorney Tearman Spencer, who, among other things, has been accused of sexually harassing subordinates. State Sen. Chris Larson, meanwhile, is also considering launching a campaign. Finally, state Rep. Daniel Riemer kicked off a short-lived bid in late December that he ended days later.
● Two former senators died in the final weeks of December: Republican Johnny Isakson, who represented Georgia from 2005 until his resignation in late 2019, and former Majority Leader Harry Reid, who served as Nevada Senator from 1987 to 2017 and as his party’s leader in the Senate from 2005 until the end of his career.
We detailed Isakson's long career in Peach State politics, which began in the 1970s when the GOP was only a tiny faction in the legislature, when he announced his retirement in 2019, and you can find more in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's obituary. The Nevada Independent's Jon Ralston, meanwhile, provides a detailed look at Reid's ascent, which also included some tough losses at the ballot box along the way.