The Midterms - Kansas and Iowa!
Let's jump over to the Midwest, 2 states that used to have liberal leanings but have been trending hard Red lately, but might be ready for a pendulum swing back!
Let's start with Kansas!
The KS governor's race is one of the most interesting this year. Former Gov Sam Brownback completed depleted state coffers with his drastic tax cuts and caused huge cuts in vital services. He became quite unpopular so he ran off to a job with the Trump administration. His successor managed to lose in the primary, leaving the nominee to be the notorious Kris Kobach, he of extreme voter suppression fame. Kobach is such an extremist that his nomination actually puts the governor's mansion in play - Cook has it rated as a tossup! The Dem candidate is State Senator Laura Kelly, running on an all lady team with her Lt Gov nominee State Senator Lynn Rogers. They are Emily's List endorsed. Kelly has actually earned endorsements from several prominent Republicans who are disgusted with the policies of the previous administration. There is also a 3rd party candidate in the mix polling at 10% so this could get pretty crazy!
There are also active campaigns for state executive offices like Attorney General and Secretary of State.
No Senate race this year, but there is definite House action! Dems currently hold none of the 4 House spots, and are seriously challenging 2 this year.
KS2 (Topeka, Easter quarter of KS except KC area) : Former Minority Leader Paul Davis is our candidate here for this open seat. Its R+10 but in a Blue year with an open seat it could be a pickup.
KS3 (Kansas City): Definitely the best shot to get a seat in KS, Sharice Davids is our candidate here. If elected, she would be one of the first Native Americans in the House, along with Deb Haaland in New Mexico. Emily's List endorsed.
No KS State Senate this year, but the whole House is up! Republicans currently have an 85-40 majority, but they actually lost a number of seats in 2016 so we could definitely make further gains here. Maybe not a majority, but at least a stronger minority and building for the future. Races to watch:
Dems in Trump districts
HD2 (Frontenac): Adam Lusker
HD3 (Pittsburg): Monica Murnan
HD18 (Shawnee): Cindy Neighbor
HD40 (Lansing): Debbie Deere
HD41 (Leavenworth): Jeff Pittman
HD72 (Newton): TIm Hodge
HD79 (Winfield): Ed Trimmer
HD98 (Wichita): Steven Crum
HD111 (Hays): Eber Phelps
Republicans in Clinton districts (the Dem candidates challenging them!)
HD17 (Shawnee): Laura Smith-Everett
HD19 (Overland Park): Stephen Wyatt
HD20 (Overland Park): Becky Barber
HD23 (Overland Park): Susan Ruiz
HD25 (Overland Park): Rui Xu, endorsed by Our Revolution
HD30 (Olathe): Brandon Woodard
HD45 (Lawrence): Mike Amyx
At the local level, Sedgewick County (Wichita) is having elections for County Commissioners.
On to Iowa! Iowa gets tons and tons of attention because its the first caucus so it gets a lot of Presidential love. Also Obama won Iowa twice, but then Trump narrowly won it in 2016. Come back, Iowa!
IA has a very tight Governor's race as well, rated by Cook as a tossup. Our candidate is businessman Fred Hubbell who has been able to put a lot of his own money in the race. He is facing Kim Reynolds, who took over as Governor when the previous occupant also took a job in the Trump administration (so many parallels!) and is now running for her own term.
There are also races for all the major State Executive offices like Attorney General and Secretary of State.
No Senate this year, but 2 competitive House races! Dems hold 1 of 4, and want to challenge the other 3!
IA1 (Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and NE quarter of IA): State Rep Abby Finkenauer is taking on the incumbent here and she is currently favored to win, but still needs your help! Emily's List endorsed.
IA3 (Des Moines and SW quarter of IA): Small Business owner Cindy Axne is taking on the Republican incumbent here, and its currently rated as a tossup. Emily's List endorsed.
IA4 (Sioux City, Ames, NW quarter of IA): It would be really really great to get rid of Steve King. He is a particularly nasty human being, I wouldn't even mind seeing him primaried by a nicer Republican! But if we can take his seat, so much the better. Our candidate is Paralegal and former Minor League Baseball player JD Scholten. This would be a really tough get, its an R+11 district, but man it would be sweet. Our Revolution endorsed.
Half the State Senate is up this year. Republicans have it 29-20, so 5 seats would do the trick to take Dem control. Races to watch:
SD7 (Sioux City): This is an Obama/Trump district, Jackie Smith is our candidate to flip it. Emily's List endorsed!
SD15 (Des Moines): Another Obama/Trump district, but our incumbent managed to survive. However, the seat is now open and Dan Nieland is trying to hold it.
SD27 (Allison, Mason City, Hampton): Another Obama/Trump district, but here we have an incumbent! Amanda Ragan.
SD29 (Dubuque): Same as 27, with incumbent Tod Bowman.
SD39 (Iowa City): Another potentially endangered Dem, Kevin Kinney.
SD41 (Ottumwa): An Obama/Trump district with an open seat! Our candidate to flip is Mary Stewart. Emily's List endorsed!
SD47 (Davenport): An actual Obama/Clinton district! Albeit pretty narrow wins, a great pickup opportunity. Our candidate is Marie Gleason.
SD49 (Danvenport, Clinton): An Obama/Trump district, that has a Dem open seat, we need to make sure we hold it, with Patti Robinson. Emily's List endorsed!
The WHOLE Iowa House is up this year as well. Republicans have it 59-41, so 10 seats would flip control.
7 Dems in danger, mostly in Obama/Trump districts
HD9 (Fort Dodge): an open seat, Megan Srinivas, Emily's List endorsed
HD15 (Council Bluffs): Charlie McConkey
HD26 (Indianola): Scott Ourth
HD29 (Newton): Wesley Beckenridge
HD81 (Ottumwa): Mary Gaskill
HD82 (Bloomfield, Fairfield): Phil Miller
HD83 (Fort Madison): open seat, Jeff Kurtz
10 Republicans to flip
HD38 (Des Moines): An Obama/Trump but pretty split, Heather Matson is taking on the incumbent. Emily's List endorsed
HD42 (Des Moines and Indianola): A narrowly but steadily Blue district, Kristin Sunde is taking on the incumbent. Emily's List endorsed
HD43 (Des Moines): Another narrowly but steadily Blue district, Jennifer Konfrst wants this open seat! Emily's List endorsed
HD44 (Adel): A narrowly Red and moving Blue district, Kenan Judge wants this open seat.
HD55 (Elkader, West Union, Decorah): An Obama/Trump, Kayla Koether is challenging the incumbent. PCCC endorsed
HD60 (Waterloo): A narrowly split Obama/Trump, Dave Williams is our challenger.
HD67 (Cedar Rapids): a narrowly split district, Eric Gjerde is running against the incumbent.
HD68 (Cedar Rapids): A narrowly but steadily Blue district, Molly Donahue is poised to take this open seat! Emily's List and PCCC endorsed
HD73 (Iowa City and Muscatine): Obama/Trump district, Jodi Clemens is taking on the incumbent. Our Revolution endorsed.
HD91 (Muscatine): Obama/Trump district, our challenger is Laura Liegois. Emily's List endorsed
And that's it!! These are states we Dems should definitely be competing in and winning!! Get out there and #beavoter!!!