Tags: Mo Brooks

Another Batch of NRCC Young Guns Comes to Washington


Observations from the latest NRCC Young Guns event:

  • Jon Runyan, GOP candidate in New Jersey’s 3rd district and a former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman, stands out in a crowd. I think he could hold my head in the palm of one hand. He notices that his rival, Democrat John Adler, is trying to hold up his vote against Obamacare as proof that he’s a moderate or independent, but Runyan says that argument isn’t plausible when you vote with Nancy Pelosi 90 percent of the time, and points to Adler’s 16 years of reliably liberal voting in the state senate as further evidence. “Look at the mess in Trenton he helped leave for our governor,” he said. Speaking of the governor, Chris Christie has campaigned for Runyan and the candidate hopes to be joined by him again; at first glance, there may not be a stage in the state big enough for Runyan and Christie.
  • I liked this observation from Mike Kelly, running against Kathy Dahlkemper in Pennsylvania’s 3rd district: “The only difference between the voters in this district and me is that my name is on the ballot.”
  • Mo Brooks aims to be the first Republican elected in his Alabama district since 1868. The district is currently represented by Parker Griffith, a Democrat until he switched parties earlier this cycle; Brooks won the three-way GOP primary over Griffith and another Republican easily. He says Democrats in the district were depressed when one of their own left them, then were fired up about the chance to run against him, and now that Brooks is the nominee and leading healthily in this conservative district, “they’re depressed again.”
  • Nan Hayworth, who just won her primary in New York’s 19th district, apologizes when she cites the Public Policy Polling survey of her district commissioned by Daily Kos. I figure no apology is needed when citing a poll showing her narrowly leading the Democrat incumbent, John Hall. She describes the mood in her district as “anger, tinged with desperation . . . But now there’s some excitement that there is a chance to change it.”
  • Sandy Adams has a lot of factors going in her favor in her race against Suzanne Kosmas in Florida’s 24th district, but probably none more powerful than the district’s sense of betrayal. Kosmas ran as a fiscal moderate and was helped by an Obama wave; in 2008, the Democratic presidential candidate was pledging to save manned spaceflight. Kosmas defied her district by voting for health-care reform, and many figured she had traded her vote to the Obama administration for some sort of deal to save Space Coast jobs. Instead, President Obama’s space-policy changes are effectively ending manned spaceflight*, disastrous news for workers in her district.
  • I ran into Bobby Schilling, the once-longshot Illinois Republican whom I mentioned as a potential upset early in this cycle. He thanked me for that early expression of confidence in his chances, and I told him no thanks were necessary; 50 percent of that assessment stemmed from the opportunistic, pugnacious style of his campaign and the other 50 percent reflected the fact that his rival, incumbent Democrat Phil Hare, is such a [coarse term that would make Andrew Dice Clay blush]. Schilling laughed and noted that Hare’s personality is not wearing well in the district. He said that the two key counties in the state’s 17th district are Rock Island and Macon; Schilling feels he has a bit of an advantage compared to other recent GOP House candidates in this district because of his roots in Rock Island. He added his campaign has made 120,000 live calls to voters in the district so far.

The NRCC now has 75 candidates at the “Young Gun” level, which is a threshold that varies by district. In short, this is the NRCC saying, “These folks have promise and are running good campaigns.”

* This is Adams’ assessment; Rand Simberg disagrees.

Tags: Bobby Schilling , Jon Runyan , Mo Brooks , Nan Hayworth , Sandy Adams

Good Chance AL-5 Stays Republican in November


In Alabama’s 5th congressional district — currently represented by Democrat-turned-Republican Parker Griffith — there were contested primaries on both the Democratic side and the GOP side yesterday. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, 44,941 Democrats voted in their primary; 70,273 Republicans voted in their primary.

Mo Brooks, the winning Republican, had 35,712 votes in the GOP primary with only 50.8 percent of the vote; Steve Raby won the Democrat primary with 61.6 percent of the vote, but only 27,694 votes.

Those odds look pretty good for Mo Brooks.

Tags: Mo Brooks , Parker Griffith , Steve Raby

Primary Night Wrap-Up: Looks Like He Picked the Wrong Year to Switch Parties


This morning, I asked, “does Democrat-turned-Republican Parker Griffith survive his first GOP primary in Alabama’s 5th congressional district?” At this late hour, it’s not looking good for him. With 82 percent of precincts reporting, Mo Brooks has 51.6 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff.

Two members of Congress switched parties in this cycle; if this result holds, both Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Parker Griffith lost their primaries in their new parties. Lesson: If you and your old party have enough bad blood that you’re ready to switch sides, the new party may not find you all that warm and cuddly, either. Maybe the issue lies with you, after all.

I also asked, “Does early NRCC favorite Martha Roby win the GOP primary in Alabama’s 2nd congressional district?” Answer: Yes and no. With 57 percent of precincts reporting, she’s at 45.6 percent in a four-way race. Respectable, but probably not enough to avoid a runoff with Rick Barber.

Alabama governor’s race brought a surprise on each side. For Republicans, the three leading candidates are awfully close to a three-way tie at this hour. With 56 percent of precincts reporting, Tim James, son of former governor Fob James, is at 26.5 percent; former state senator Bradley Byrne is at 25.6 percent and state representative Robert Bentley is at 25.5 percent. Somebody’s going to end up third by a small margin and be awfully frustrated. Former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore’s share of the vote in fourth, 19.8 percent, isn’t that far behind.

The Democratic primary made clear that the state’s Democratic voters don’t want the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against the health-care bill to be their next governor. State agricultural commissioner Ron Sparks appears to be thumping Rep. Artur Davis, 64.9 percent to 35.1 percent. Surprisingly, Davis appears to have lost some heavily black communities by a wide margin.

Finally, in Alabama, the fate of Dale Peterson’s bid to be the Republican nominee for state agriculture commissioner is now clear. Apparently quite a few voters don’t give a rip about Alabama; Peterson will ride his horse into the sunset, it seems. (The leading GOP candidate, John McMillan, seems to know his guns, too. Betcha didn’t know that.)

In Mississippi’s 1st congressional district, state senator Alan Nunnelee appears to have a good shot at avoiding a runoff, with 51.1 percent of the vote, 89 percent of precincts reporting. Apparently the high profile of a Fox News commentator does not help get votes in this district; Angela McGlowan is at only 15.5 percent at this hour.

In the 4th congressional district, state representative Steven Palazzo beat Joe Tegerdine for the GOP nomination. He’ll try to knock off Gene Taylor, a southern conservative Democrat who’s been around forever.

In New Mexico, district attorney Susana Martinez has just won the GOP gubernatorial nomination; she will take on the current Democratic lieutenant governor, Diane Denish. Martinez polls best against Denish; a couple of folks on Twitter are noting that the Republican candidate for governor, one state over from Arizona, is a native-born Hispanic woman.

UPDATE: A Campaign Spot reader in Alabama adds two notes:

How can you miss an incumbent GOP Attorney General [Troy King] going down by a 20 point margin in a primary [to Luther Strange]? . . . P.S.: Dale Peterson had a great ad, but many folks in this state love McMillan. He is a stand up guy as well.

Tags: Artur Davis , Martha Roby , Mo Brooks , Parker Griffith , Susana Martinez

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