Aug 14 - Connecticut and Vermont, Minnesota and Wisconsin!
Another packed primary day, now with a bit of New England and a lot of the Midwest! I got a little behind so this a packed blog, away we go!
Let's start with Vermont:
Despite being one of the bluest states in the nation, VT has a Republican governor, and all the pundits are rating him as a shoe-in for re-election. As with MD, Governor is maybe the one office I would be ok with having a moderate Republican hold, so if that's what VT wants then I'm not going to judge. Also, his main opponents are mad about his support of gun-control measures, which really flips things (even liberals in VT are very much into gun culture) There are 5 Dems running, but none of them seem very impressive, and one of them is a middle school student so...James Ehlers and Christine Hallquist seem to be the top contenders (Hallquist would be the first openly transgender nominee).
For the Senate, Bernie is up. Nuff said :)
For VT's 1 House seat, its Dem-held, but the incumbent does have a couple challengers from the left.
In the State Senate and House, all seats are up. Dems dominate both chambers. In the Senate, there isn't much in the way of competitive primaries, though there are a few here and there. Most notable is the Franklin District where there is an open seat. The House has a little more action. Check out the full lists: Senate House
On to Connecticut!
Governor: Dan Malloy is unpopular and out. CT is a blue state, but has like many NE states elected Republican governors, so we need a good candidate here. There are 2 options, Ned Lamont and Joe Ganim. Lamont successfully challenged Joe Lieberman in a Senate primary, but then lost the actual seat to him, but he's a well known progressive Dem. Gamin was convicted and served time on corruption charges and is trying to make a comeback. I am all for rehabilitating felons, but this seems like locking an alcoholic in a bar, so I am going with Lamont.
There is also a primary for Lt Governor, Attorney General and State Treasurer. Dita Bhargava is the Emily's List candidate for Treasurer.
For Senate, Chris Murphy is awesome and not facing any challenge.
In the House, CT5 (NW corner, west of Hartford) is an open seat after Elizabeth Esty declined to run due to how she handled and sexual harassment charge. 2 ladies are running to replace her, and they both look great. I might give the edge to Jahana Hayes as a woman of color. Dems are likely to hold this seat easily with either of these candidates, so THIS IS THE GENERAL!
In the State legislature, the whole Senate and House are up! The CT Senate is currently an even tie with the Lt Governor breaking the tie, so it's really important to get an actual majority in case that office is lost. There is an active Dem primary in SD13 (Meriden), SD16 (Waterbury), SD17 (Naugatuck), SD23 (Bridgeport), and SD34 (North and East Haven). All of those are either for open seats, or to challenge a Republican incumbent, no Dem incumbent is facing a primary challenge.
In the House, Dems have narrow control and need to keep it! There are only a few active primaries, in HD3 (Hartford), HD5 (Hartford), HD18 (West Hartford), HD29 (Hartford area), HD38 (Waterford), HD43 (Mystic), HD60 (Windsor Locks), HD126 (Bridgeport), HD140 (Norwalk), and HD146 (Stamford).
On to Minnesota!
Governor: The popular Mark Dayton is retiring, so this seat is open, and quite a tossup. Republicans would love to get it back. 5 Dem teams are running, Erin Murphy is the Emily's List endorsed candidate, running on Medicare-for-all.
There is also a primary for Attorney General, and State Auditor. Keith Ellison is running for AG, though I'm really sad to lose him in the House! Complicating that however is a recent allegation of domestic abuse against him, which should be taken seriously, but since this just popped up on Sunday, there is no way to properly investigate the claims before Tuesday. Julie Blaha is the Emily's List candidate for Auditor.
In the Senate, Amy Klobuchar is up, and she is awesome. There is also the special election for Al Franken's old seat, which is currently held by Tina Smith, and she seems pretty awesome too, though she does have several primary challengers.
In the House, there is all sorts of action!
MN1 (Mankato and Southern border): Tim Walz is giving up his seat to run for governor, and Dan Feehan in the only serious candidate to replace him.
MN2 (South of Twin cities): A flippable seat, Angie Craig in unopposed for the nomination.
MN3 (west of Minneapolis): Another flippable seat, 2 men are running, though millionaire Dean Phillips has the money and attention.
MN5 (Minneapolis): Keith Ellison is giving up his safe Dem seat to run for AG, so there is a hot primary. THIS IS THE GENERAL! All of the candidates look great and impressive, except for Frank Drake. Any of the other 4 would be great.
MN8 (Duluth and NE quarter): A rare potentially vulnerable Dem open seat this year, but in a wave year we should be able to hold it with a good candidate. 5 Dems are running, I would go with either Kirsten Kennedy or Michelle Lee.
The whole MN House is up this year (not the Senate). Republicans hold it by a pretty wide margin, which seems odd in a generally leans blue state, so Dems should really be pushing to take some seats here. There are active Dem primaries in HD6B (St Louis county), HD15B (Becker), HD18A (Grove City), HD22A (Rusell/Tyler/Ruthton) (personal note, that's where my mom grew up, hey fam!), HD24A (Owatonna), HD26A (Rochester), HD40B (Brooklyn Park and Center), HD41B (Minneapolis), HD57A (Dakota County), HD59A (Minneapolis), HD59B (Minneapolis), HD60B (Minneapolis, Cordelia Pierson is EL endorsed), and HD62A (Minneapolis, Hodan Hassan is EL endorsed). Most of those are either open seats or challenges to Rep incumbents, but a few are Dem challengers.
There are also several important municipal elections:
Hennepin County (Minneapolis) is electing a Sheriff. The long-time incubment has 2 challengers, both of whom have brought up immigration enforcement and use-of-force cases. Joseph Banks, though not getting a lot of attention, is talking most about these important issues. In the Hennepin County Attorney's race, criminal justice reform is front and center with challenger Mark Haase running on more reform and innovation. However, that race has no primary and we will get back to it in November.
There is also a special election for St Paul City Council on Aug 14.
Ok, and finally, Wisconsin!!!
The much hated Scott Walker is up for reelection, and he need to go. 8 Dems are running, Kelda Roys is Emily's List endorsed. Mahlon Mitchell is also an excellent candidate.
Dems are also battling for Lt Governor and State Treasurer.
In the Senate, Tammy Baldwin is awesome and unopposed.
WI1 (SE corner, Kenosha): Bye bye Paul Ryan! Randy Bryce has run a really excellent campaign here, but Cathy Myers is also running and she has more policy and elective experience.
WI7 (NW and Central WI): a possibly flippable seat, Margaret Engebretson is my pick here.
At the state level, half the State Senate is up! Famously gerrymandered, Dems need major turnout to take the majority and fix the crazy districts.
SD19 (Appleton): Lee Snodgrass is the Emily's List endorsed candidate.
SD31 (Eau Claire): 3 Dems are running for this open seat.
ALL Assembly seats are up!
AD6 (Clintonville): 2 Dems running to challenge the incumbent.
AD9 (Milwaukee): Marisabel Cabrera is the Emily's List endorsed candidate, against the Dem incumbent.
AD12 (Milwaukee): The Dem incumbent has a challenger.
AD16 (Milwaukee): 5 Dems are running for this open safe seat, THIS IS THE GENERAL!
AD18 (Milwaukee): The Dem incumbent has a challenger.
AD23 (Mequon): Liz Sumner is the Emily's List endorsed candidate.
AD56 (Appleton): 2 Dems are running to challenge the incumbent.
AD77 (Madison): 4 Dems are running for this open safe seat, THIS IS THE GENERAL!
AD87 (Medford, Hayward): 2 Dems are running to challenge the incumbent.
AD91 (Eau Claire): Jodi Emerson is the Emily's List endorsed candidate.
AD92 (Independence): 3 Dems are running to challenge the incumbent.
In municipal elections, Milwaukee County is having elections for Sheriff. David Clarke was the Sheriff, but left to go take his crazy to the Trump administration. The acting Sheriff, though running as a Democrat, was still Clarke's assistant for years. Earnell Lucas is a person of color who has spoken about the need for jail reform after several people died in custody. THIS IS THE GENERAL as no Republican is running.
Whew! Lots happening, so get out there and #beavoter!