Morning Digest: Virginia GOP’s new nominee for governor earns ‘surprise’ endorsement from Trump

Morning Digest: Virginia GOP’s new nominee for governor earns ‘surprise’ endorsement from Trump

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

VA-Gov: Venture capitalist Glenn Youngkin emerged with the Virginia GOP’s gubernatorial nomination on Monday after the party finished tallying the votes cast during its “unassembled” convention on Saturday. It will be almost a month before Youngkin learns the identity of his opponent in this fall’s general election, though, because Old Dominion Democrats are holding a traditional state-run primary on June 8.

Youngkin led businessman Pete Snyder, who was the only other candidate who spent heavily on TV and radio ads, 33-26 in the first round of this instant-runoff contest and ultimately prevailed 55-45 in the sixth and final round of tabulations. Both Snyder and another major contender, former state House Speaker Kirk Cox, were quick to back the new nominee, but far-right state Sen. Amanda Chase, who finished third, was far from ready to take part in any unity breakfast.

Chase had said in March that she’d run as an independent if Snyder won but would accept a Youngkin or Cox victory. Once Youngkin actually won, though, she was no longer quite so accommodating. Chase instead labeled the convention “rigged” and warned, “While I will have more to say in the days ahead I’m spending the rest of the week at the beach with my hubby for a trip we planned months ago.”

Republicans are hoping that Youngkin, a wealthy first time-candidate, will boost their prospects in Virginia, where Team Red last won a statewide race back in 2009. Democrats, though, have wasted no time working to tie the newly minted nominee to Donald Trump, who lost the state 54-44 last year.

Campaign Action

Youngkin himself spent the nomination battle refusing to acknowledge Joe Biden’s victory and running ads that featured Trump praising him as a “great guy.” But if Youngkin thought he’d be able to leave Trump behind now that the convention’s concluded, he got a rude awakening Tuesday when Trump issued a non-tweet endorsement―a development that the Virginia Scope’s Brandon Jarvis says caught the campaign by surprise, but no doubt delighted Democrats.


GA-Sen, GA-AG: As expected, Republican Attorney General Chris Carr has announced that he’ll seek re-election rather than run for the Senate, though he’ll likely face a competitive race for a second term as Georgia’s top law enforcement official. That’s because two notable Democrats have already launched bids of their own: former prosecutor Charlie Bailey, who lost to Carr 51-49 in 2018, and state Sen. Jen Jordan, who flipped a historically Republican district in the Atlanta area in a 2017 special election.


CA-Gov: A new poll from UC Berkeley for the Los Angeles Times finds just 36% of California voters support recalling Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom while 49% are opposed. In January, the school found the recall failing by a similar 36-45 margin.

MD-Gov: Businessman Mike Rosenbaum announced a campaign for governor on Tuesday, joining an increasingly crowded field of Democrats looking to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Maryland Matters describes Rosenbaum as “a Baltimore tech entrepreneur who has been active in the city’s civic and philanthropic scene for the past two decades.”

NJ-Gov: Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has launched his first TV ad ahead of his re-election bid this fall. The spot, part of a $5 million buy in the pricey New York and Philadelphia media markets, focuses on the difficulties the state has faced during the coronavirus pandemic and lays out Murphy’s priorities for the future. Murphy has no primary opponents, so this ad serves as a kickoff to his quest to become the first Democratic governor to win re-election in the Garden State in 44 years.  

It also allows the governor to maximize his campaign spending, since he faces a cap after opting into the state’s public financing system. Under the law, candidates receive two-to-one matching funds based on their fundraising but are limited to spending $7.3 million in the primary and $15.6 million in general election. That cap doesn’t roll over after the primary, though, so Murphy’s taking the opportunity to put his name and face before voters now even though he’s unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

The New Jersey Globe also notes that Murphy’s ad comes in response to the commercials former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli has run, which decry the governor’s handling of the pandemic and economy. Ciattarelli, who is the GOP’s likely nominee, has spent $2 million on ads since March.

NY-Gov: Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino kicked off a second bid for governor on Tuesday, though he may not get a chance for a rematch with the man who defeated him seven years ago. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo fended off Astorino 54-40 amid the 2014 GOP wave, but the incumbent, beset by an ever-growing series of scandals and investigations, hasn’t confirmed his plans to seek re-election. Astorino was most recently on the ballot last year when he lost a heavily contested state Senate election, and he had previously lost his re-election bid for a third term as county executive by a wide margin to Democrat George Latimer in 2017.


CA-21: Democrat Bryan Osorio, who was elected the mayor of Delano (pop. 54,000) last year at the age of 25, has filed paperwork with the FEC ahead of a possible bid against Republican Rep. David Valadao in California’s 21st Congressional District. Former Assemblywoman Nicole Parra is already running under the Democratic banner (though she has a long history of backing Republicans), while former Rep. TJ Cox, whom Valadao ousted in a rematch last year, says he’s awaiting the outcome of redistricting before making a final decision.

FL-13: The Tampa Bay Times reports that state Rep. Michele Rayner, who last year became the first LGBTQ Black woman elected to the Florida legislature, is “rumored to be considering a run” for the open 13th Congressional District. Two other Democrats recently launched bids for this seat, former Defense Department official Eric Lynn and state Rep. Ben Diamond.

OH-15: Democratic state Rep. Allison Russo kicked off a bid Tuesday to replace outgoing Republican Rep. Steve Stivers in central Ohio’s 15th Congressional District. Russo flipped a longtime GOP seat in 2018, defeating Republican Erik Yassenoff 57-43 in a highly educated district in the northern Columbus suburbs that had moved from 50-48 Romney to 53-42 Clinton.

Russo joins 2020 candidate Daniel Kilgore in the Democratic field, but the pair may soon have company, as Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano filed paperwork with the FEC for a potential bid. The Columbus Dispatch notes that Stinziano has not made a final decision on running but he’ll have to move quickly, as filing for the Nov. 2 special election closes on May 17.


Atlanta, GA Mayor: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is out with another look at the potential field to succeed Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms this year. The paper writes that City Councilman Antonio Brown “is preparing to enter the race for mayor as soon as Friday,” while Atlanta Hawks chief executive Steve Koonin has told people he won’t be competing. Former City Council President Cathy Woolard, who took third in the 2017 mayoral race, also said Tuesday that she wouldn’t run again.

The AJC also reports that two other politicos are considering getting in: 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jason Carter and City Councilman Andre Dickens. Mary Norwood, who is a rare independent politician in this heavily blue city, is also still thinking about mounting a third mayoral bid, but unnamed allies tell the paper that they anticipate she’ll instead continue with her campaign to return to the City Council.

New York City, NY Mayor: Former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia on Tuesday earned the backing of the New York Times, which is arguably one of the few newspaper endorsements capable of moving voters in a Democratic primary. 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, meanwhile, picked up the support of Rep. Grace Meng, who represents northeastern Queens in Congress.

The Times also reports that the American Federation of Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers will spend a total of $4 million on TV and digital ads in support of city Comptroller Scott Stringer ahead of the June 22 instant-runoff primary.

Stringer lost a number of endorsements in the days after a woman named Jane Kim accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2001, but these two groups have remained in his corner. A.F.T. head Randi Weingarten said Sunday, “Am I troubled by the allegations? Of course … I’m also a unionist who has dealt with false allegations.”

Other Races

VA-LG: Del. Hala Ayala’s newest ad for the June 8 Democratic primary stars her most prominent backer, Gov. Ralph Northam. The governor tells the audience, “In 400 years, Virginia has never had a woman as lieutenant governor. America just made history with the election of Kamala Harris. It’s time to do the same here in the commonwealth by electing Hala Ayala.” Northam continues by praising the delegate as someone who “helped me expand affordable health care, pass criminal justice reform, and raise teacher pay.”


United Kingdom: Elections took place last week in Scotland, Wales, and England respectively for the Scottish Parliament, the Senedd (Welsh Parliament), and various local offices across England. Incumbents largely fared well, with the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) and Welsh Labor both being re-elected to their respective bodies without significant movement.

The Tories, however, did even better than expected in England, winning a Labour-held parliamentary seat in a by-election (special election) by an unexpectedly large margin and taking a number of local offices across the north of England.

Contributing Editor David Beard takes a look at both the short-term and long-term problems facing the Labour Party and where they should look to climb out of the current hole they find themselves in.

Grab Bag

Podcast: Daily Kos Elections’ Jeff Singer appeared on Daily Kos’ The Brief Podcast with Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld on Tuesday. Singer discussed the 2022 Senate map (and its eerie similarity to the 2020 presidential battlegrounds), why this upcoming midterm might not spell doom for President Biden and downballot Democrats, and Donald Trump’s lingering influence over the Republican Party and American politics overall.  

You can find Singer’s musings on these topics and more here.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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