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November 30th, 2022         Political Note #525 Get the House Back in 2024,  Part 2

2022                                           General Election

 I have begun looking at the most vulnerable Republicans and Democrats for 2024. I am using the closest races in 2022.  We can begin to help ourselves in Congress for 2024.  We need to make sure that the most vulnerable incumbents create war chests that protect them. Really early money is a great help.

We can watch the behavior of the most vulnerable Republicans and do what is possible to make bad behavior visible.  We can also help probable challengers to Republican incumbents.

I am using a win with 55% or less of the vote as a standard for vulnerability.  Thirty-one Republicans fit that category. Forty-four Democrats fit.


  1. Mary Peltola (AK AL) (R+15) initially got 49% of the vote in Alaska’s top four ranked voting system to defeat Sarah Palin (yes, that Sarah Palin). When all of the votes were reallocated, she had more than 59% of the vote. Part of the Democratic victory was grass roots support.  She outraised Sarah Palin $5.7 million to $1.7 million.  Mary Peltola ran with a slogan:  Fish, Family, and Freedom.  She said she was pro-jobs, pro-choice, pro-fish, and pro-families.  As for the fish part, she had been the Executive Director of the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. She grew up fishing – for subsistence and commercially.  In high school, she worked for the state as a herring and salmon technician.  She is Alaska’s first Native American representative – a Yup’ik from the village of Kwethluk.  When she was twenty-two she won the Miss National Congress of American Indians pageant.  She danced traditional dances and wore traditional clothing.
    1. After college and the National Congress, Mary Peltola served as an intern in the Alaska legislature, ran for state rep, losing in the primary to Ivan Ivan, then winning the next time round. In the legislature, she helped build the Bush Caucus – a coalition of Alaska’s most rural communities. She left the legislature to work as a community development manager for a mining company.  In 2010, while in that role, she assisted Republican Lisa Murkowski in her write in re-election campaign.  They remain allies – telling their mutual constituents that they would write in each other as first choice in the 2022 voting.  Mary Peltola, spent a couple of years as a lobbyist, led the Fish Commission, and served as a judge on a tribal court before her successful run for Congress after Don Young’s death.  Her first success in Congress was the creation of an Office of Food Insecurity in the Veterans’ Administration.  She has noted that 10% of Alaska’s population were veterans, many of whom faced food insecurity.

  1. Pat Ryan (NY 18) (D+3) got 50.5% of the vote to defeat Republican Assembleyman Collin Schmitt. Schmitt, a theology major at Catholic University, says not a word about abortion on his website. If the projection numbers were precise calculations, Pat Ryan’s win could be considered a slight underperformance.  If it was an underperformance, he joins the disappointing showing of New York Democrats running for congress.  Winning erases everything and Pat Ryan won his election.  The Executive of Ulster County, he is now a part of the Democratic minority in Congress.
    1. In Ulster County Pat Ryan drew on his understanding of how to build a business. Out of the military, he built a successful business using his knowledge of the technology needs of government and non-profits.  As county executive, he led an effort to revitalize an old IBM site that had been abandoned for thirty years.  The building was sold to the County, rented to a New Jersey firm, Natural Resources that had plans to open the building for new industrial and commercial uses. He also worked on helping small businesses, making housing more affordable, and investing in mental health services.  He resisted any effort to raise taxes.
    2. Pat Ryan was a cautious political candidate.  He ran on three specifics – protect a woman’s autonomy for her health care and other purposes as well, strengthen the economy in a way that works for ordinary people, and ensure public safety.  He outraised Schmitt $4 million to $2 million.

  1. Seth Magaziner (RI 02) (D+17) got 50.5% of the vote to defeat well-liked former Cranston mayor Allan Fung who had lost two races for Governor. The son of Rhode Islander Ira Magaziner, best known as a Friend of Bill’s. He was an advisor to Bill Clinton during his presidency and a national and international political and business advisor.  He got his start as a student leader at Brown University in Providence.  Seth Magaziner was able to outraise Fung $3.4 million to $2 million.
    1. Seth Magaziner went from Brown, where he was a student leader in less turbulent times than his dad, to Teach for America, to working for a venture capital firm, to running for State Treasurer to replace Gina Raimondo when she ran for Governor. As State Treasurer, Seth Magaziner established an infrastructure bank to cooperate with the private sector and the federal government to support green investments.  He insisted on a level of transparency of the state’s investments which is a national model.  And he brought class action law suits against companies responsible for two oil spills based on the damage the spills caused for the state’s investments.
    2. His principal goals as a member of Congress are economic – lower gas prices, lower prescription drug prices, more industrial jobs, clean energy, reduced costs for post-secondary education, restoration of the child tax credit, universal preschool and affordable access to child care.

  1. Val Hoyle (OR 04) (D+9) got 50.6% of the vote defeating former candidate Alek Skarlatos – darling of the right since he and others subdued a Moroccan terrorist on an Amsterdam to Paris train. Born on an Air Force base in California, Val Hoyle grew up in New England, the daughter of a firefighter.  She attended Bunker Hill Community College and got her BA and teacher training at Emmanuel College – both schools in Boston.
    1. Val Hoyle and her family moved to Lane County in Oregon out of her education interests. She joined Stand for Children which advocates for equity and racial justice in schools.  Ten years later, she was appointed to a vacancy in the state House of Representatives, eventually becoming house majority leader when Tina Kotek became Speaker.  In 2015, She left the House to run for Secretary of State, but came in second in the primary.  In 2018, she was elected the state’s Labor Commissioner. As Commissioner, she sought to protect workers’ rights, ensure equitable treatment of workers, and to advise employers.
    2. Val Hoyle’s highest priorities for Congress include protecting women’s reproductive rights, addressing the climate and environment which she describes as an international emergency, and addressing inflation and the cost of living. Winning this race was particularly challenging because Skarlotos had outraised her $4 million to $2.2 million.


  1. Michael Lawler (NY 17) (D+7) defeated Incumbent Sean Patrick Maloney 50.41% of the vote. Maloney had moved to this district from NY 18 which he had represented in Congress for 10 years.He had led the DCCC for the 2022 campaign and, except for New York and especially for his own district, had led an effective, but losing defense of the Democrats slim majority.  He certainly outraised Lawler defending his seat — $5 million to $1.1 million.  Party funding is a different story. Republicans supported Lawler with $6 million, while Maloney shifted $600,000 of the DCCC’s money to support his campaign.
    1. Lawler turned out to be a tough opponent. A partner in a political communications firm, he introduces himself noting that he has lived his entire life in Rockland County (not true for Maloney) and has fought for reducing the tax burden in the Assembly. His three most important priorities are
      1. reducing costs to taxpayers (he outlines possibilities like a gas tax holiday),
      2. opposing any “defunding the police” and opposing cashless bail (He says it puts dangerous criminals back on the street. Democrats might respond that cashless bail allows people who are innocent unless provien guilty to go home and to work)
      3. ‘support for education (full funding), teach history in full (but in a way that teaches kids to love their country), and empower parents to “push back against” age-inappropriate education.
      4. Lawler’s communication skills helped him use the Republicans’ 2022 themes while minimizing the offense they might give to New Yorkers.

Sean Patrick Maloney.  Alessandra Biaggi        Mondaire Jones

    1. Can we ensure that Mike Lawler will have a strong Democrat opponent in 2024? Do not start by giving money to the New York Democratic Party until it is reformed.  The Party Chair, asked about the Congressional losses responded with what amounted to “Not my job.” There are three potential candidates we can know of: Sean Patrick Maloney, his primary opponent Allessandra Biaggi, and the former NY 17 incumbent Mondaire Jones, who Maloney had driven  way to an unsuccessful Manhattan Congressional campaign.  Only Maloney as raising money now.  The best bet is to wait.  If you feel compelled to give money toward defeating Lawler,  the progressive Working Families Party (WFP) would be a possibility.  New York allows fusion endorsements and some people credit the WFPs endorsement and energetic support of Kathryn Hochul as a salvation of the governor’s campaign.
  1. Thoughts on Arizona:
    1. The two next closest Republican wins were in Arizona. The Republican candidate for Governor and the Republican candidate for Attorney General are both claiming that they lost due to fraud. Look at the several races in Arizona and consider just how complicated it would have been for fraudsters to achieve that outcome:
    2. Arizona elections:
      1. US Senate: Democrat Mark Kelly won with 51.4% of the vote
      2. Governor: Democrat Katie Hobbs won with 50.33% of the vote
      3. Attorney General: Democrat Kris Mayes won with 50.1% of the vote
      4. Secretary of State: Democrat Adrian Fontes won with 52.4% of the vote
      5. Treasurer: Republican Kimberly Yee won with 55.7% of the vote
      6. Supt of Public Instruction: Republican Tom Horne won with 50.18% of the vote
      7. Corporation Commissioner: Two Republicans won with 26.02% and 26.01% of the total vote (Each voter could vote for two)
      8. Mine Inspector: The incumbent Republican won with only an ineffective write in campaign opposing him
      9. US Congress: 6 of 9 districts elected Republican Representatives.  Three of the six were among the 25 closest Republican wins in the country.
  1. Dave Schweikert (AZ 01) (R+7) defeated Democrat Community Agency and Head Start leader Jevin Hodge with 50.43% of the vote. In retrospect, it is shocking to realize that Schweikert left the state legislature to oversee billions of dollars as chair of the state board of equalization. Financial oversight has proved to be a weakness. Nasty politics might be considered a strength.
    1. Schweikert’s goal was to become a Member of Congress. He lost a primary in 1994 after which he left for a long vacation travelling around the world.  He lost in the general election in 2008, won in 2010, and then faced a post redistricting primary in 2012. He distinguished himself by claiming his opponent “goes both ways.”  He meant, of course, he explained, that his opponent voted both liberal and conservative.
    2. In 2022, Schsweikert was in another post redistricting election. It was also an election after the 2020 ethics committee reprimand and $50,000 fine for oversight of his own campaign funds. The Committee’s investigation revealed undisclosed loans and contributions, personal use of campaign contributions, and encouragement of Congressional staff to do political work.  The ethics committee rejected claims that these violations were inadvertent.
      1. Schweikert had many differences with Jevin Hodge, the Democratic nominee.   He opposed abortion in all instances, opposed Wall Street reform, opposed gun safety legislation and opposed a finding that the gun industry was a high risk industry.  It would not be a shock if he saw Jevin Hodge again, though Hodge is not accepting donations for 2024 at this time.
      2. If you want to help now, you could donate to the Arizona Democratic Party or to One Arizona, an immigrant rights organization.
  1. Juan Ciscomani (AZ 06) (R+7) defeated Democratic State Senator Kirsten Engel with 50.7% of the vote. Arizona is a purple state.  Is it in transition from a Republican state to a Democratic state? Or will it stay in the middle for a while?
    1. Ciscomani has a good “up from the bootstraps story” to tell after working for the University of Arizona and then the Republican Governor. He brings no scandals to the table. His specialty for the governor was dealing with the border, which, he says, is in crisis because of Joe Biden’s policies.  We’ll see what kind of legislative contributions he makes.
    1. Kirsten Engel had a national legal career before finding a home at the University of Arizona law school and being elected to the Arizona legislature. Her principal interest has been addressing the crisis created by climate change – whether working for the EPA, the Massachusetts Attorney General, for Earthjustice; whether as a member of the Arizona legislature or a professor of environmental law at the University of Arizona.  Kirsten Engel could well be back in 2024.  Encourage her with donations or just plain encourage opposition by donating to Arizona Democratic Party or to One Arizona, an immigrant rights organization.


Special Election January 10, 2023 – Virginia State Senate

City Councilman Aaron Rouse Len’s Political Note



Previous recommendations US Congress

Take Back the House in 2024, Part 1 Len’s Political Note #525

Inc Jared Golden (ME 02) (R+10)

New Inc Yadira Caraveo (CO 08) (R+3)

New Inc Gabe Vasquez (NM 02) (D+4)

Inc Jahana Hayes (CT 05) (D+3)

Businessman Adam Frisch (CO 03) (R+15)

Former Inc Cindy Axne (IA 03) (R+2)

Attorney Monica Tranel (MT 01) (R+10)


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