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Elections Briefing, March 29, 2021: NM House, Murkowski, Scotland

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Elections Briefing 3-29-21 NM-01 Murkowski Scotland

Is the GOP going to circle the wagons around all of Donald Trump’s chosen candidates? Maybe not, as we see in the Monday Briefing.

US Election News

GOP Selects State Senator to Run in NM-01 Special Election

State Sen. Mark Moores (R) will be the GOP nominee in the 1st District special election in New Mexico, taking place in early June. He was chosen by the state party to run for Deb Haaland’s (D) seat after she became Secretary of the Interior under Joe Biden.1

This Albuquerque-based seat has been Democratic since the 2008 election. He has represented part of Albuquerque in the Senate since 2013.

What’s the GOP Long Play in Georgia?

Inspired by a recent article which gives Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger next to no shot in surviving a 2022 GOP primary2, we ask ourselves, what is the Republican long-term strategy there? The Republican Party in Georgia has an agenda to settle all family business after Joe Biden carried the state in 2020. They have already passed sweeping new legislation that limits the power of the Secretary of State in election matters and that some opponents say will make it more difficult to vote. The GOP will next turn to eradicating any opposition to former president Donald Trump. Raffensperger will be targeted by Trump personally for not assisting him in overturning the state’s election results. There is also a non-zero chance Gov. Brian Kemp (R) will face a primary for the same reason.

That’s all well and good if you are a Republican who likes Trump and wants to run on the right, but that just gets you through a primary. What about the general election? The GOP just lost the presidential election and both Senate seats within the last six months. It’s one thing to do this in a solid red state like Oklahoma, and another in a state like Georgia which has changed politically in even just the last five years. The GOP in Virginia and Arizona is finding out you can’t just run anyone on your ticket and expect to win. If their message going into 2022 is mostly about settling a personal score for Donald Trump, it may not resonate as well as they hope.

Michigan GOP In Hot Water for “Witches” Comment

The head of the Michigan Republican Party, Ron Weiser, is in damage control mode. This is over a speech he gave in which he referred to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and others as “witches,” and what do you do with witches in the Salem tradition other than burn them at the stake? Weiser has issued a statement apologizing to those offended by those remarks – not the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state.3

Weiser was not the chairman of the party during either Trump’s 2016 win there or Biden’s 2020 flip.

Sullivan Backs Fellow Alaska Senator Murkowski for Re-Election

The alternative headline here is that Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) will not back a pro-Trump candidate in a primary against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) next year.4 Under normal circumstances, this would not be news, but the Trump faithful in the Republican Party are on a mission to purge all opposition, led by Trump himself. Unlike Raffensperger up in Georgia, who will have nobody coming to his rescue from within his party, Murkowski will have prominent backers. Remember, this is a senator who lost a GOP primary to a Tea Party candidate in 2010 and got re-elected, anyway. Alaska is a red state for the most part, but its political lines are often blurred at the local and state level.

International Election News

Alex Salmond to Run for Pro-Independence Splinter Party in Scottish Election

It’s called the Alba Party, and its goal is to back Scottish independence but not the SNP. Former first minister Alex Salmond, who has become involved in a bitter quarrel with the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, has joined the new party and will lead its slate of candidates in the 2021 Holyrood elections. Two Westminster MPs have quit the SNP to join Alba: Kenny MacAskill and Neale Hanvey. Nicola Sturgeon, for one, is not happy about it.5

One of two things is going to happen here, and it is too soon to know which one it will be: Either the party takes enough SNP vote to put a huge dent in their seat count, thereby forcing a minority government, or it will fade into irrelevance as most pro-independence voters stick with what they know.

Election Calendar

8 days until the Greenland general election.
14 days until the Yukon territorial election.
26 days until the Louisiana-02 special runoff.
33 days until the Texas-06 special jungle primary.
33 days until the Tasmania state election.

Today’s Further Reading

  1. KOB Web Staff, “New Mexico GOP nominates Sen. Mark Moores for CD-1 seat,” KOB-TV, 27 March 2021.
  2. David Siders and Zach Montellaro, “‘He’s toast’: GOP leaves Raffensperger twisting in the wind,” Politico, 28 March 2021.
  3. Dave Boucher and David Jesse, “GOP chairman issues apology as heat rises after ‘burning at the stake’ comments,” Detroit Free Press, 27 March 2021.
  4. Devan Cole, “Dan Sullivan says he’ll support fellow Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski if she runs for reelection,” CNN, 28 March 2021.
  5. BBC News Staff, “Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Significant questions’ over Salmond election bid,” BBC News, 27 March 2021.

Now For Your Commentary

Canadian Elections

2021 Newfoundland and Labrador Election Results

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