Updates in Maryland, Montana & Wisconsin

News: US News
by Jim Ellis  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 12, 2024   

47 seats in DC left open by those deciding not to run

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Candidate announcements and a surprise retirement made Friday a very interesting political day — even outside of happenings on the presidential level.

Maryland

Maryland's 2024 candidate filing closed on Friday, and former two-term Republican Gov. Larry Hogan unexpectedly agreed to seek the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate. He previously said he would not seek to run for Senate. Despite leaving office after eight years with the highest approval rating of any Maryland governor, Hogan will still be in an underdog position for the general election in heavily Democratic Maryland during a presidential year.

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Rep. David Trone, D-Md., and Angela Alsobrooks

The Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate will be either 6th District U.S. Rep. David Trone or Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. The May 14 primary will likely produce a close result. Trone, the founder of the Total Beverage chain store, has already spent $23 million on his Senate campaign through the end of 2023, all but $427,000 from his own pocket.

Although she cannot match his personal war chest, Alsobrooks had raised just over $5 million for her campaign and had more than $3 million of that remaining at the end of 2023. She will obviously stockpile as much money as she can for the final month in hopes of coming close to parity with Trone in late-campaign advertising.

The latest polling of likely Democratic voters from the Trone campaign finds the congressman leading Alsobrooks 45-34%. The poll shows his ads are working, since a November survey of likely Democratic primary voters staked Trone to a 41-34% advantage.

Maryland's Democratic primary campaign is far from over.

Considering Alsobrook's support within the African American community and its strength in the Democratic primary, particularly in her home county of Prince George's and Baltimore, Maryland's Democratic primary campaign is far from over regardless of Trone's massive financial edge.

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Despite winning two terms as governor, Hogan's task to win a federal election in Maryland is daunting. The last Republican to win a Senate race here was then-two-term incumbent Charles Mathias back in 1980.

Hogan, an avowed "never Trumper," has clearly distanced himself from the former president, but that will be of only marginal assistance. Trump is extremely unpopular in Maryland, and Hogan will be forced to share a ballot with him in November. Therefore, Trump as the Republican presidential nominee will likely negatively affect the GOP general election turnout.

The 2024 Montana Senate race will be one of the country's premier electoral contests.

Though Hogan will run a competitive race and certainly do better than any Republican, the eventual Democratic nominee is still rated as the favorite to win in November.

Montana

In a move that has been anticipated for well over a year, Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale, representing District 2, announced that he will run for the U.S. Senate later this year. Immediately after the announcement, Trump endorsed Rosendale's Republican primary opponent, aerospace company CEO and retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy.

Sheehy has also been endorsed by three other Montana Republicans: Gov. Greg Gianforte, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke. In 2018, Rep. Rosendale, then the state auditor, challenged Democratic Sen. Jon Tester and lost 50-47%.

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(L to R) Rep. Matt Rosendale and Tim Sheehy

Campaigning for a different office is nothing new for Rosendale. Since 2010, he has run for the state House of Representatives, state Senate, U.S. House (at-large), state auditor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House (at-large), and U.S. House and won five of the seven campaigns. His move into the Senate race assures a crowded 2nd District Republican primary.

It's been a strange road for Rosendale leading to his Senate announcement. Though he is showing just under $1.7 million in his campaign account, reports suggest that he raised only $98,000 in the fourth quarter of 2023 and has not been actively campaigning. In contrast, Sheehy recorded $5.3 million in campaign receipts and has already been advertising. Of his raised dollar total, $950,000 came as a loan from the candidate.

The 2024 Montana Senate race will be one of the country's premier electoral contests as Sen. Tester again tries to defy the political odds by winning another Senate term in even a more heavily Republican state than he has ever before faced.

Wisconsin

In an unexpected turn of events, four-term GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher, representing Wisconsin's 8th District, announced that he will not run for a fifth term later this year. He says he will take a position in the private sector and spend more time with his family.

24 Democratic members and 23 Republicans are not seeking reelection.

Gallagher was considered a potential 2024 U.S. Senate candidate, and certainly so for 2028 when GOP Sen. Ron Johnson is expected to retire. Rep. Gallagher is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He leaves the 2024 congressional race with over $4 million in his campaign account.

Wisconsin's 8th District, which covers Wisconsin's northeast corner, is safely Republican. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat in favor of the GOP by 20 percentage points.

US House to Fill 48 Open Seats

Excluding the New York 3rd District seat that will be filled tomorrow, 48 U.S. House seats that are up for grabs are open because 24 Democratic members and 23 Republicans are not seeking reelection. The other open seat is a new open 2nd District created by redistricting in Alabama. 

 

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