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October 25th , 2022 Political Note #517 Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut
2022 General Election
The last of a series. Close races in our largest states and in regional clusters as big as our largest states. The six states that make up New England have about 15 million people. That is smaller than New York (our fourth largest state) and larger than Pennsylvania (our fifth largest state). Since they are six states, they get 12 US Senators.
With the possible exception of the New Hampshire Senate race, the most important New England races are for the US House of Representatives. Of 538’s 50 closest races, five are in New England – 1 in Maine, 1 in New Hampshire (though it has dropped off he list), 1 in Rhode Island, and 2 in Connecticut. The House of Representatives race continues to be, in my opinion, very close. After reviewing the 538 details for Cook’s 31 Toss up races, I see a likelihood of a Republican House – 220 Republican seats to 215 Democratic seats. Every Congressional seat counts. With money and good deeds and, maybe prayers, we can prevent that stern decree.
Maine’s Second Congressional District
Jared Golden (Political Note #406) is a good fit for a Congressional District that Donald Trump carried in 2020. He voted against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. He was one of three Democrats voting against Article 2 in Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial. He was one of two Democrats to vote against the American Rescue Plan. He was one of two Democrats voting against enhancing background checks for the purchase of guns. He was one of nine Democrats pressing successfully for an immediate vote on the infrastructure plan, against tying it to the budget reconciliation package. A former intern for Susan Collins, he says he would never campaign against her.
Jared Golden grew up on his father’s golf course, getting along with everyone, particularly with the groundskeepers and the other workers he hung out with every summer. After high school, he went to nearby Farmington State and joined the Marines after the war began in Afghanistan. He had a tough war and returned home with PTSD. Robbed of what ambition he had, he worked minimum wage jobs. Like a potential movie star in a coffee shop in Hollywood, he was discovered by a Bates College faculty member, who sent the Dean of Admissions to meet him in the pizza shop where he was working. Jared Golden applied and was admitted to Bates with the financial help he needed. He worked there as a janitor and majored in politics. He was an important figure on campus, defendeding the military in student discussions and taking a summer to learn Pashto. He remained a Democrat – forever affected by his father’s devotion to John F. Kennedy. As a Democrat, he sustained a commitment to supporting mental health services, workers’ comp for first responders, labor unions and the infrastructure programs they value, paid family leave, women’s reproductive rights, and LGBTQ related issues.
Jared Golden’s opponent is Bruce Poliquin, the Congressman he defeated in 2018. That election was the first Maine election to use ranked choice voting. Poliquin had a plurality, but not a majority. Jared Golden got enough second place choices, so that he won the election. Bruce Poliquin has never really gotten over the loss. Count him as one more Republican who does not accept the result of a vote.
- 538 projects Golden would win 67 times in 100 opportunities and found that she was ahead 49.6-46.4
- Recent Polls help
- An anonymously funded B- rated poll reported on September 19th that Golden was leading 44-33.
- According to Open Secrets, at the beginning of October, Golden had $1.3 million available for the balance of the campaign, Poliquin had $1.5 million.
Maine’s First Congressional District shows the Democrat winning more than 99 times out of 100.
New Hampshire’s First Congressional District
New Hampshire’s First Congressional District no longer shows up in the 50 closest House races. It is important, nonetheless. The Republican nominee is a protégé of New York Republican Elise Stefanik, Chair of the Republican Conference.
Chris Pappas (Political Note #429) is part of a New Hampshire and American success story. The grandchild of Greek immigrants who learned English quickly and the business ethic just as quickly, they opened the Puritan Confectionary Company in 1917. They sold candy, added ice cream and became a New Hampshire institution long before they added a restaurant in 1974. The grandchildren, of whom Chris Pappas is one, now share in the business’s ownership.
Chris Pappas got involved in politics supporting Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s candidacy. Afterwards, he was elected to New Hampshire’s 400 member House of Representatives. He was elected County Treasurer twice, lost once to Robert Burns and then defeated Burns for Executive Councilor (Don’t ask). When he ran for Congress, Chris Pappas was attacked for his sexual orientation (“weak” or “lacking backbone” were the form of the homophobic attacks). He won anyhow, running as a fiscal conservative and social progressive – a pretty good formula for success in New England for Democrats and Republicans. Karoline Leavitt, not long ago an intern for Elise Stefanik, she had become the assistant press secretary. Young enough to count as Gen-Z, she insists the 2020 election was not legitimate, opposes abortion, gun control, and public schools teaching critical race theory (Do you think she or anyone has read articles like Tara Yosso and Daniel Solorzano’s “Conceptualizing a Critical Race Theory in Sociology,” — just as a for instance.)
- 538 projects Pappas would win 83 times in 100 opportunities and found that he was ahead 53.1-46.9
- Recent Polls help
- An AARP funded unrated poll reported on October 6th that Pappas was ahead 48-47
- An anonymously funded A/B rated poll reported on September 28th that Pappas was ahead 49-41
- An anonymously fund B- rated poll reported on September 19th that Pappas was ahead 50-43
- According to Open Secrets, at the beginning of October, Pappas had $2.2 million available for the balance of the campaign, Leavitt had $600,000.
New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District. 538 shows Democrat Anne McLane Kuster winning 96 times out of 100. (Defeating Robert Burns, by the way)
Vermont’s At Large District, 538 shows Vermont’s Becca Balint winning more than 99 times out of 100.
Every one of Massachusetts’s nine districts shows the Democrat winning more than 99 times out of 100.
Rhode Island’s First Congressional District shows Incumbent David Cicilline winning more than 99 times out of one hundred
Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District
This is a contest. Former Cranston (My home town) Mayor Allan Fung is the Republican candidate for Congress. He remains popular despite his two losses to Gina Raimondo for Governor. He describes himself as moderate, but fiscally conservative. On abortion, he favors what he calls “common sense restrictions,” an example of which is prohibitions of late term abortions. He opposes same sex marriage, but finds civil unions acceptable. He was endorsed by the NRA, but favors DACA.
The Democratic nominee is Seth Magaziner, son of Ira Magaziner a senior advisor to Bill Clinton. Seth Magaziner came to Rhode Island to go to Brown where he was an active college Democrat. After graduation, he taught in Louisiana as part of Teach for America and got an MBA from Yale. He was elected State Treasurer in 2014 and reelected in 2018. As Treasurer, he created an infrastructure bank and sued oil companies in connection with oil spills. He initially announced a run for governor for 2022, but switched to a run for the 2nd Congressional District when the incumbent announced his retirement. Most of the issues Seth Magaziner raised for his run for governor still apply – abortion rights, clean energy, reducing gun violence, and education.
- 538 projects Magaziner would win 56 times in 100 opportunities and found that he was ahead 48.6-47.4
- Recent Polls are discouraging for Magaziner and for the prospects of Democratic control of Congress
- A media funded B+ rated poll reported on October 4th that Magaziner was behind 37-45
- A Democratic funded B/C rated poll reported on October 4th that Magaziner was behind 40-43
- A media funded A/B rated poll reported on October 2nd that Magaziner was behind 40-46
- According to Open Secrets, at the beginning of October Magaziner had $880,000 available for the balance of the campaign, Fung had $600,000.
Connecticut’s 1st, 3rd, and 4th congressional Districts are represented by Democrats, each of whom 538 sees as winning at least 99 times of 100
Connecticut’s Second Congressional District
Jahana Hayes (Political Note #454) is an African American who, upon being elected, picked a fight with the local press. They were describing her as an addition to The Squad. Jahana Hayes saw that description as both inaccurate and dangerous to her career. She was poor growing up, lived in public housing. Despite her family’s poverty she was an outstanding student. She made the mistakes teenagers do and got pregnant. She lost access to honors classes, lost access to the experiences that fed her aspirations. She was no longer on track for Yale or Wesleyan or Connecticut College. She got some help. A guidance counselor helped her keep her focus. She held on and went to Connecticut State, got a Master’s from St. Joseph, another degree from Bridgeport, and had a life. She was back home in Waterbury teaching in the school system that had sent her off to classes for pregnant girls. And she was burdened with $85,000 in student loans. Nevertheless, she taught for 15 years with hardly a thought about politics.
In 2015, she was named teacher of the year at John F Kennedy School and for the Westbury Public Schools. In 2016 she was named Connecticut Teacher of the year and national Teacher of the year. She made some waves when interviewed by Ellen Degeneris. Her students, she said “don’t learn from people they don’t like.” She taught her students “kindness” and “service.” Encouraged by it all, she ran for Congress in 2018 and won. Her press releases tout success with a student mental health bill, plans to attend the White House Conference on Hunger, funding for local law enforcement, a response to Republicans proposing a national abortion plan – telling them and the public that Congress has no business controlling women’s bodies. She expresses gratitude to the President for his action on student loans. She has, however, been attacked by Republicans who claim she is a corrupt politician paying her kids for working on her campaign. Her two kids did, indeed, work on her campaign. Her daughter was a scheduler. Her son provided the campaign with digital support. Their work and pay was reported regularly and publicly. Each was paid $15 per hour.
Jahana Hayes opponent is George Logan, also an African American. A two term state Senator, he is a musician, a front man for the Jimi Hendrix tribute band called Electric Lady Band. The entirety of his campaign website is a claim that he is proof the American Dream is still alive and a request for money for the campaign.
- 538 projects Jahana Hayes would win 79 times in 100 opportunities and found that she was ahead 52.6-47.4
- Recent Polls help
- A Republican funded A- rated poll reported on October 6th that Hayes was leading 58-46
- According to Open Secrets, at the beginning of October Hayes had $1.5 million available for the balance of the campaign, Logan had $250,000
Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District
Joe Courtney has not been a Congressman forever – only since 2006. Originally from the Hartford suburbs, he got his BA from Tufts, his JD from the University of Connecticut. He started out as a public defender, joined a law firm, served as a town attorney, and was a State Rep for 7 years. In 1998, he made an unsuccessful run for Lt. Governor. In 2002, he lost a race for Congress to the incumbent. From 2006 on, as a Member of Congress, he sought to be a bipartisan legislator. He was not afraid to quarrel with people from showbusiness, though. He wrote to Steven Spielberg to ask him to make a public apology to Connecticut for erroneously showing, in the movie Lincoln, Connecticut Congressmen voting against the 13th amendment. Joe Courtney pointed out that the delegation was unanimous, even the Democrat in the delegation voted for the amendment. He shared the letter with the local press and was praised for it. That kind of personal touch was characteristic. When Members of Congress were encouraged to invite Muslims to Barak Obama’s 2016 state of the union address, he invited the President of a Mosque in Meriden – an act which generated local and national praise,
Joe Courtney’s opponent is Mike France, an electrical engineer who spent his career in the Navy. Retired in Connecticut, he served on a Town Council, was elected State Rep, and now is running for Congress.
- 538 projects Joe Courtney would win 84 times in 100 opportunities and found that he was ahead 52.2-44.8
- Recent Polls help
- A Republican funded A- rated poll reported on October 6th that Hayes was leading 58-46
- According to Open Secrets, at the beginning of October Hayes had $1.5 million available for the balance of the campaign, Logan had $250,000
US Senate Races
New Hampshire – US Senate
Maggie Hassan (Political Note #359) is running for her second term as Senator from New Hampshire. She is a distinguished member of a distinguished family. Her dad was a political scientist who taught at MIT and was a winner of the Norbert Wiener Medal for Cybernetics. He was an Undersecretary in the Housing and Urban Development Department under Lyndon Johnson and had some responsibility for moving the JFK Presidential library to the campus of the University of Massachusetts – Boston. She went to Brown and got a law degree from Northeastern, practiced law in Boston, and served as associate general Counsel for a health care practice. She moved to New Hampshire with her husband who would teach at Exeter and eventually become that famous school’s Headmaster. She got involved in politics to ensure there were services for children like her son whose multiple sclerosis left him unable to speak or to use his hands. Notwithstanding the loss of her State Senate seat in 2010, she was an effective State Senator. She gets credit for passing a bill allowing same sex marriage, reducing the public school drop-out rate by raising the school leaving age, and requiring insurance companies to cover the cost of autism related therapies. She was elected governor in 2012. As governor she issued an executive order prohibiting discrimination against transgendered people. By and large though, she avoided partisan quarrels.
Her race for the US Senate was close. She won by 1,017 votes. In the Senate she has worked to protect women’s right to make their own health care decisions. She protects Medicare and Social Security – programs that will need protecting if the Republicans gain control of either the Senate or the House. Her opponent is retired general Donald Bolduc who ran unsuccessfully in 2020 against Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
Bolduc seems confused about the 2020 election. He has claimed it was rigged. He has acknowledged that Joe Biden is legitimately the President and the election not stolen. He has said he just does not know. He does not have the information he needs. He served ten tours of duty in Afghanistan – earning two purple hearts and, in 2005, was found to have suffered a traumatic brain injury and, as a consequence, PTSD. He is not careful with language and ran a television ad calling Democrats a “bunch of liberal, socialist pansies.” He has tied himself closely to Trump. He called for the repeal of the 17th amendment to put an end to the popular election of US Senators and give the responsibility back to State Senators.
- 538 projects Maggie Hassan would win 82 times in 100 opportunities and found that she was ahead 52.1-46
- Recent Polls help
- An AARP funded an unrated poll reported on October 6th that Hassan led 52-45
- A Republican funded A- rated poll reported on September 30th that Hassan led 48-45
- An anonymously funded B rated poll reported on September 30th that Hassan led 50-43
- An anonymously funded A/B rated poll reported on September 28th that Hassan led 49-43
- A media funded B+ rated poll reported on September 26th that Hassan led 50-41
- According to Open Secrets, at the beginning of October Hassan had $4.8
million available for the balance of the campaign, Bolduc had $800,000
Vermont – US Senate
There is life after losing. Peter Welch demonstrates that. He served in the Vermont Senate from 1981 to 1989 during which time he was the minority leader and the President Pro-tem. In 1988, he gave up his seat to run for the US House of Representatives. He lost in the primary to a Democrat from the state House of Representatives. Back at it, in 1990 he ran for Governor and lost to Republican Richard Snelling. Peter Welch returned to the practice of law for ten years. In 2001, Governor Howard Dean appointed him to fill a vacancy in the state Senate. He was elected in 2002 and 2004, serving for part of that time as President of the Senate. In 2006 he gave up his seat and ran for Congress. He was elected, succeeding Bernie Sanders who was elected to the US Senate. In 2022, he has given up his House Seat in order to run to become Bernie Sanders colleague in the US Senate.
Peter Welch was from Springfield, Massachusetts. He went to local Catholic schools and to the College of Holy Cross in Worcester. After college he worked as a community organizer in Chicago, affiliated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Founded in Atlanta, the organization’s first president was Martin Luther King, Jr. While in Chicago, he made a connection with Lloyd Cutler who was later White House Counsel for Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Peter Welch was convinced that his next step was law school. For that he went to Berkeley. In 1973, he joined the not exactly mass movement to Vermont. He clerked for a Superior Court judge, worked as a public defender, and joined a personal injury law firm housed in White River Junction, Vermont.
During his time in the House, Peter Welch worked with then Majority Leader Eric Cantor to increase funding for pediatric research at the NIH; worked with Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan to reverse a regulation that prohibited the use of wooden shelves to age cheese wheels, bucked the party leadership to oppose arming and training Syrian rebels, and partnered with Senator Chuck Grassley to urge well-endowed universities to use some of those funds to reduce tuition and to make the schools more affordable.
Peter Welch’s opponent for the US Senate is Gerald Malloy. Originally from Boston, he grew up in suburban Westwood. He went to West Point and played hockey and baseball, graduated in 1984 to become a Field Artillery Officer. He has served all over the world and earned an MBA from Temple. He retired as a Major in 2006 having most recently served in New England with the new Defense Coordinating Element for Emergency Management. Since then, he has been consulting with businesses and living with his Vermont attorney wife in Perkinsville. His solution to ensuring economic prosperity is to reduce the 30 trillion dollar debt. He would restart pipelines to gain energy independence and reduce inflation. He would ensure that parents have the right to decide what their children are taught in school. He would build the wall to keep out illegal immigrants and Chinese fentanyl.
- 538 projects Peter Welch would win at least 99 times in 100 opportunities and found that he was ahead 58.3-36.1
- Recent Polls help
- A media funded B+ rated poll reported on October 3rd that Welch led 62-28
- According to Open Secrets, at the beginning of October Welch had $2.6 million available for the balance of the campaign, Malloy had virtually nothing.
Connecticut – US Senate
There are people who rail against the elite, against people on the East Coast and the West Coast who have liberal views, but don’t get their hands dirty. Richard Blumenthal would be a target of those people. He is running for reelection as US Senator from Connecticut.
His father immigrated to the United States and Brooklyn from Frankfurt, Germany. His mother came to Brooklyn from Omaha – as foreign to Brooklyn as Frankfurt. Her family raised cattle in Nebraska and she became a social worker. His father made his way in New York financial services, became a commodities trader and president of a firm. Wealthy as Richard Blumenthal’s family became, his marriage to Cynthia Malkin, daughter of developer Peter Malkin and granddaughter of real estate magnate and philanthropist Lawrence Wien made him wealthy enough so that when he was elected to the US Senate he would be identified as one of the wealthiest members of that Club.
While Richard Blumenthal’s family was becoming wealthy, he was an outstanding student. His high school was Riverdale Country Day in the Bronx. He went to Harvard and was editor in chief of the school newspaper, the Crimson. He studied at Cambridge in England for a year having been awarded a Fiske Scholarship, and then entered Yale Law School. Among his fellow students there were Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Robert Reich, and Clarence Thomas.
Like his colleagues at Yale, he did not fight in Vietnam. He became a Marine reserve. His most serious political error was to slip into speaking as if his reserve duty was equivalent to the service of soldiers fighting in Vietnam. That criticism jeopardized his first campaign for the US Senate in 2010.
After Yale, he had opportunities to work for Senator Abraham Ribicoff, for Daniel Patrick Moynihan when he was assisting President Nixon. He had a clerkship with a US District Court Judge and another with Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackman. He turned to the private practice of law, but was appointed and served for four years as US Attorney for Connecticut in 1977. In 1981, he created and chaired the non-profit Citizens Crime Commission of Connecticut. He also served, from 1981 to 1986 as volunteer counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He married Cynthia Malkin in 1982. In 1984, he was elected to the state legislature in Connecticut and in 1990 was elected Connecticut’s Attorney General.
He served as Attorney General for 20 years. He was prescient, I think, in his law suits against computer and internet companies – anti-trust against Microsoft for preventing competition, Myspace and Facebook for sex offenders, Craigslist for prostitution, and telecommunications firms for surveillance. His involvement in regulation ranging from college sports to air pollution to Lyme Disease were less successful. He was an extremely active attorney general and almost always on the side of ordinary people.
In 2010, he ran for the US Senate. If he is elected in 2022, it would be for his third term during which he will continue to support women’s health choices, continue to support anti-trust regulation of corporations, continue to work on providing child care and better children’s television programming. He will continue his interests in human rights – foreign and domestic. And he will continue to get an “F” from the NRA.
He is opposed by Leora Levy. Born in Cuba to parents who escaped from Lithuania, her family moved to the US in 1960. She went to Brown and became one of the first women commodity traders. Well enmeshed in the Connecticut Republican Party, she was treasurer for Bob Stefanowski’s 2018 campaign for governor, finance chair for the state Republican party, and winner of the Prescott Bush award (Had you forgotten that the Bushes were from Connecticut before they were from Texas?).
- 538 projects Richard Blumenthal would win 98 times in 100 opportunities and found that he was ahead 57.9-42.1
- Recent Polls help
- A media funded B/C rated poll reported on October 13th that Blumenthal led 49-44
- A media funded A/B rated poll reported on September 21st that Blumenthal led 53-40
- An anonymously funded A-rated poll reported on September 19th that Blumenthal led 57-40
- According to Open Secrets, at the beginning of October Blumenthal had $4.5 million available for the balance of the campaign, Levy had $300,000
Maine – Governor
After four years as governor of Maine, Jane Mills seems to have taken the sting out of Paul LePage. She comes from a family with a political past. Her dad was a US Attorney for Maine. She went to Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She did not have it easy, though. She had severe scoliosis, remedied by surgery. The surgery required staying in bed, staying immobile. When she left for San Francisco, she was not so much looking for Haight-Asbury as she was looking for a life that was different from growing up so frequently immobilized. Shades of One Flew Over the Cuckoo Next, in San Francisco, she worked as a nurse’s assistant in a psychiatric hospital.
Whatever she went to San Francisco for, she came back to New England to complete her degree. Not at Colby. Not even in Maine. She went to UMass Boston. There is nothing traditional about that blue collar school. She majored in French, completed her degree, and left for France. Three years later, she was back in Maine at the state university’s law school. She got herself involved in politics. As rebellious as going to San Francisco or UMass-Boston, this was sores. She got involved in Democratic politics. As a Democrat, she was elected the first female District Attorney in New England. As a District Attorney, she married a New York businessman and widower who summered in Maine and moved permanently, starting a real estate business. Nearly 30 years after being elected DA, she was elected Attorney General. In Maine the legislature does the electing of the Attorney General, not the public. Except for a term when the Republicans got control of the legislature, she remained Attorney General until Paul LePage completed his second term and could not run again. Janet Mills ran and won with 50.9% of the vote.
Paul LePage, who prides himself on being Donald Trump before there was a political Donald Trump left her with lots of opportunities. Her first act was to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Unlike her predecessor he participated in Martin Luther King Jr holiday events. She signed a bill prohibiting conversation therapy for gays. She took several steps to address climate and environmental issues.
Paul LePage is back as her opponent. He is promising to cut taxes, phase out Maine’s income tax, and, nevertheless, continue to provide services to the neediest. Fat chance.
- 538 projects Mills would win 92 times in 100 opportunities and found that she was ahead 53.5-44.6
- Recent Polls help
- An anonymously funded A- rated poll reported on September 20th that Mills was ahead 53-41’
- An anonymously funded B- rated poll reported on September 19th that Mills was ahead 53-39
- An anonymously funded B/C rated poll reported on September 9th that Mills was ahead 49-38
- The Center Square of Maine reported that at the end of September Mills had raised $4.8 million, Le Page had raised $2.2 million
New Hampshire – Governor
Gastroenterologist and State Senator Tom Sherman is taking on the popular Republican governor, Chris Sununu. Dr. Sherman was born in Connecticut, got his BA from Northwestern and his MD from the University of Connecticut’s medical school. In addition to being a popular medical practitioner, he has served four terms in the state legislature – two as a state rep and two as a State Senator. He distinguishes himself from other politicians by explaining that his strength is his ability and willingness to listen. That is not a bad quality in a doctor, either.
He takes credit for addressing, while serving as a legislator, mental health issues, clean water issues, and providing effective leadership in dealing with Covid. His candidacy can succeed, though, only if he can find a way to persuade the people of New Hampshire that Chris Sununu is not a moderate. Dr. Tom Sherman’s opportunity is Sununu’s willingness to sign a ban on abortions. New Hampshire’s abortion law prohibits abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy except to protect the life or the health of the mother. Tax breaks for the wealthy, taxpayer funds for private schools are potential issues. The great challenge for Dr. Sherman and the Democrats in demonstrating Chris Sununu is not a moderate is left undiscussed on the campaign trail. Chris Sununu refused Mitch McConnell’s request to run for the US Senate. Some believe that Sununu as a Senate candidate is the difference between a Republican and a Democratic Senate. Many in New Hampshire think Sununu’s choice was a good one.
- 538 projects Sherman would win less than once in 100 opportunities and is behind 40.1-57.3
- Recent Polls help
- An AARP funded unrated poll reported on October 6th that Sherman was behind 41-55
- An anonymously funded B rated poll reported on September 30th that Sherman was behind 39-52
- An anonymously funded A/B rated poll reported on September 28th that Sherman was behind 34-50
- The New Hampshire Union Leader reported that, at the end of August, both Sherman and Sununu had about $700,000 available for the balance of the campaign
Vermont – Governor
Brenda Siegel achieved statewide recognition in her fight for housing for the poor in Vermont when she slept for almost a month on the State House steps. She is from Burlington, VT and is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She is running on three issues that have become more problematic while Phil Scott has been governor – drug addiction and deaths, housing insecurity, and climate change. She deplores the governor reducing some housing programs, his unwillingness to consider safe injection sites, or the possibility of decriminalizing some drugs.
Brenda Siegel is running against the Republican governor of Vermont Phil Scott. Scott is another Republican governor who refused to run for the US Senate. He was first elected governor in 2016 and has been reelected, so far, every two years. He describes himself as a fiscal conservative who is socially liberal. He has signed into law protection for abortion. He supports same sex marriage. After previously vetoing a bill legalizing marijuana, he allowed legislation for the same purpose to become law without his signature,
- 538 projects Sigel would win less than once in 100 opportunities and is behind 38.3-58.6
- Recent Polls help
- A media funded B- rated poll reported on October 3rd that Siegel was behind 31-48
- WCAX television reported that, by mid October, both candidates had raised about $200,000
Massachusetts – Governor
High school and college basketball star, legal star, and political star, Maura Healy has a present and a future. While her family had roots in Massachusetts’ North Shore, she grew up in New Hampshire, the oldest of five children. Her mom was a nurse, her step father coached basketball. She went to Harvard to study and play basketball – captain and point guard. After a couple of years of professional basketball, she went to law school at Northeastern in Boston. First private practice with a big firm, then work in a district attorney’s office, she moved to what proved to be a comfortable fit – the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. Head of the Civil Rights division, she led the fight against the Defense of Marriage Act (Note that she is gay) and confronted the Boston Chamber of Commerce with the need to end systemic racism and its consequent inequalities.
After the Attorney General announced her retirement, Maura Healy announced her candidacy for Attorney General. If anything, she has been smoother and more effective as a politician than she was playing basketball or litigating or leading a division. It is not that she won every race easily, it is that she positioned herself to win every race easily. She announced for governor after the popular Republican governor announced his retirement. You can look at her website and see how she learns. Of all the elements of the national American Rescue Plan, no piece was more important in protecting people from falling into desperate poverty than the expanded child tax credit which moved three million children out of poverty. Maura Healy’s first issue item on her main page is a Massachusetts child tax credit. Unlike the federal plan, which ended after a year, her plan is intended to be permanent. Less than the federal plan, which would not have been sustainable by a single state, her proposal is for $700 per child. It targets younger children – maximum age of 13 instead of 18. Her plan is doable and can have significantly impact on childhood poverty in Massachusetts.
Maura Healy is the overwhelming favorite to defeat Republican Geoffrey Diehl for governor. A former state rep and unsuccessful opponent to Elizabeth Warren, he is the leader of the Massachusetts Republican pro Trump faction that fought with moderate Republican governor Charlie Baker.
- 538 projects Healy would win more than 99 times in 100 opportunities and is ahead 59.6-38.4
- Recent Polls help
- A media funded B+ rated poll reported on October 16th that Healy was ahead 58-33
- A foundation funded A/B rated poll reported on October 14th that Healy was ahead 53-23
- At the beginning of October, Maura Healy had $3.5 million available, Geoff Diehl had less than $100,000.
Rhode Island’s former governor has made a splash. Appointed Secretary of Commerce in the Biden administration, factions in the national Democratic Party believe that, should Joe Biden not run for reelection, either Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg or Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo would be the best Democratic President. Current Rhode Island governor Dan McKee is less likely to make that kind of splash. Rhode Island has separate primaries for Lt. Governor and a separate general election for Lt. Governor. Without any particular support from Gina Raimondo, former mayor of Cumberland, partner in the family heating and air conditioning business, owner of his own health and fitness business, and successful local AAU basketball coach, Dan McKee won primaries and general elections for Lt. Governor. He became governor when Gina Raimondo went to Washington. Getting the nomination for 2022 was not at all automatic. In Cumberland, he had alienated unions creating a charter school, but he had union support for this campaign. He had signed bills for a $15 per hour minimum wage, supporting prevailing wage requirements, staffing requirements for nursing homes, and gun safety measures. He could campaign on high vaccination rates, low unemployment rates, and a reopened economy. Nevertheless, he found it was a struggle to shake the Secretary of State in the primary. His Republican opponent Ashley Kalus is married to a doctor, has a health related business, and is a former Golden Glove boxer.
- 538 projects McKee would win 98 times in 100 opportunities and is ahead 55.1-40.3
- Recent Polls help
- A media funded B+ rated poll reported on October 4th that McKee was ahead 46-36.
- A media funded A/B rated poll reported on October 2nd that McKee was ahead 45-32.
- At , the beginning of July, McKee had $1.2 million available for campaigning, Kalus had put $2.2 million of her own money into her campaign,
Connecticut – Governor
Briefly, in 2006, Ned Lamont became a national figure. He defeated Incumbent conservative Democrat Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary, but lost to him in the general election when he ran as an independent. In 2010, Ned Lamont ran for governor, but lost in the primary to Dannel Malloy, who had two successful terms as Governor before retiring. Consider that primary for a moment – Malloy was the former mayor of Stamford, a blue collar city that transformed itself into the home base of 9 Fortune 500 companies vs the former selectman of Greenwich, the epitome of a wealthy New York suburb.
Ned Lamont’s family has a history. His mother was a staffer for Estes Kefauver (victor over John F. Kennedy in the contest to be Adlai Stevenson’s running mate in 1956). His father worked on the Marshall Plan and for Nixon’s Department of Housing and Urban Development. His great grandfather chaired JP Morgan & Co. His great uncle directed the American Civil Liberties Union. As governor, Ned Lamont signed into law the legalization of cannabis, sports betting, online gambling, and a $15 per hour minimum wage as well as required paid family and medical leave. None of this made him a popular governor; his handling of the pandemic may have changed the public’s perception. He defeated former GE Chief Executive Bob Stefanowski in 2018 and will face him again in November, 2022.
- 538 projects Lamont would win 98 times in 100 opportunities and is ahead 55.3-42.8
- Recent Polls help
- A media funded B/C rated poll reported on October 13th that Lamont led 46-40
- A media funded A/B rated poll reported on September 21st that Lamont led 55-40
- An anonymously funded A-rated poll reported on September 19th that Lamont led 57-40
- Connecticut Insider reported in mid-October than Lamont had raised $15 million of which he donated personally $14.5 million. Bob Stefanowski had raised $11.5 million of which he donated personally $10 million.
Down Ballot Races
Vermont – Attorney General
Whatever happened to all those Republicans in Vermont? Once upon a time, Vermont was as Republican as….. Mississippi is now. Charity Clark is part of what happened.
Her ancestor, Thomas Chittendon, was a republican in the broadest sense. He was a participant in the convention that drafted Vermont’s constitution as an independent Republic, Governor of Vermont as an independent Republic and as the 14th state in the Union. Her grandmother was Alice Edgerton Clark, a descendent of Major William Bradford of Plymouth, MA and a frequent model for her West Arlington, VT neighbor, Norman Rockwell. Charity Clark’s dad was a grocer in Londonberry, VT. He sold Clark’s Quality Foods IGA in 2019. It4 is not just the out of staters like Bernie Sanders who are Democrats. People like Charity Clark – now the Democratic candidate for Attorney General in Vermont — are Democrats, too. She is a 1993 graduate of Burr and Burton Seminary (now Academy) – one of those odd hybrid institutions in northern New England that is both private school and the school serving the high school students from neighboring communities. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 1997, worked for Governor Howard Dean as a policy analyst, got a law degree from Boston College, and is running for attorney general after 8 years as a staffer. She promises to protect small businesses and consumers, protect the environment, ensure public safety while also overseeing the expungement of criminal records as appropriate. Fourth on her list is addressing violence against women, which includes, in her book, protecting women seeking abortions.
Her opponent is Michael Tagliavia. He is a businessman, not an attorney, and was drafted as the Republican candidate in August. He has heard people asking for law and order in Vermont and will pursue funds owed to Vermont by Big Pharma. Charity Clark raised $40,000 in July for the race and probably more. Tagliavia only entered the race in August.
Vermont Secretary of State
Sarah Copeland Hanzas, a long time legislator from Bradford, defeated the retiring Secretary of State’s principal aide in the primary for the Democratic nomination. First elected to the Vermont House in 2004, she has served as chair of the government operations committee and oversaw the redistricting process for state legislative districts. In addition to overseeing much of the work the Secretary of State does and having led a successful overhaul of state employee pensions, she points out that she “fought to move forward climate action….fought to end workplace sexual harassment… fought to modernize our sexual assault legislative language so that people are protected.”
Her opponent is H. Brooke Paige. He has been a political provocateur in Vermont and certainly is one in 2022. He ran in the primary for six statewide and federal offices and won them all. He argued that he would withdraw from five of those slots only if the Republicans found replacements who satisfied him. Odd,
Massachusetts – Attorney General
Andrea Campbell is running for the position that produced the next governor of Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Boston Latin, Princeton, and UCLA School of Law. She worked for a nonprofit in Roxbury that provided education related legal advice and support for free and then for Governor Deval Patrick. She was elected to the Boston City Council in 2015, ran for mayor in 2021, but came in third, missing the run off. She supported additional charter schools in Boston, the creation of an inspector general for the City (which Mayor Walsh – now Secretary of Labor – opposed), and, in 2020, opposed Mayor Walsh’s budget because it lacked a commitment to address racial inequality and systemic racism. Her Republican opponent, Jay McMahon, lives on Cape Cod and promises to be tough on crime. He addresses the 15 minor offenses identified by the former Suffolk DA and insists they should be prosecuted.
Massachusetts – Secretary of State
Bill Galvin was first elected Secretary of the Commonwealth in 1974. If he is reelected in 2022, and serves a day, he will have become the longest standing person in that role in Massachusetts history. If he serves out the term, that will make 58 years with only two Secretaries – Bill Galvin and his Republican predecessor Frederick W Cook.
Bill Galvin has long outlived his nickname as the Prince of Darkness, earned as a State Rep making last minute deals late at night. Under pressure from fellow Democrats, Bill Galvin, who has long supported mail in voting, now favors same-day voter registration. In contrast, his Republican opponent Rayla Campbell, an African American who grew up in Scituate and worked in insurance and claims management argues for voting only on election day by previously registered voters.
Rhode Island Attorney General
Peter Neronha is the incumbent. He was born in Wakefield, RI and went to North Kingston High School. He graduated from Boston College and got his JD from Boston College, making him a Double Eagle. After practicing commercial litigation for almost seven years, he took a sabbatical and became a state prosecutor in the Attorney General’s office. The sidestep into public service became permanent. In 2002, he joined the US Attorney’s office and was named US Attorney in 2009. In that office he focused on the Opioid crisis, on reducing violent crimes by helping ex offenders find work, protecting consumers, safeguarding public money, and protecting the environment. An investigation of Google assisting offshore pharmacies import medications led to a $500 million forfeiture, In 2017, he was dismissed as US Attorney, along with several others, by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In October of that year, he announced he would run for Rhode Island Attorney General. Elected, he and Governor Gina Raimondo submitted a package of gun safety bills to the legislature.
His Republican opponent is Chas Calenda. Calenda’s law degree is from the University of Miami. He served as an Assistant in the Attorney General’s office and now practices law with a firm in Coventry. He has been pressing the incumbent Peter Neronha to debate, but no debate has been scheduled.
Rhode Island. – Secretary of State
Greg Amore is the Democratic candidate for this open seat. A graduate of East Providence High School and Providence College, he returned to East Providence to teach and won the Rhode Island History Teacher of the Year Award. A multi-sport athlete, he has coached baseball and hockey. Currently, he is the East Providence School District Athletic Administrator. His candidacy rests on his many years of teaching civics and participating in civic life. He was elected State Rep in 2012 and served as Deputy Majority Leader. His Republican opponent is Pat Cortellessa. A graduate of Providence’s Central High School and the Community College of Rhode Island, he reports 28 years in commercial and residential real estate management and nightclub ownership. He argues that the previous secretary of state, Nellie Gorbea undermined the voting process. He would tighten election security, end “ballot harvesting,” and ensure a verifiable voter roll.
Connecticut – Attorney General
William Tong grew up in West Hartford. His father left China during the Civil War. His mother left Taiwan for the US in the sixties. He went to Philips Andover, Brown, and, for his law degree, The University of Chicago. He practiced law in New York City and Stamford, CT. He turned to politics and was elected a state rep. His most important action in the legislature is probably his success in making changes in the criminal justice system including eliminating minimum sentences for nonviolent drug possession crimes. When the incumbent Attorney General announced he would not run in 2018, William Tong looked at a run. He won the primary, the general election, and began a notable career in that office As Attorney General, he led a coalition of 49 states suing generic pharmacies for price fixing. He is also part of the law suit against pharmaceutical manufacturers of opioids and has sued Equifax for their data breach. He also promised the office would be a firewall for Connecticut for actions by Trump. His Republican opponent, Jessica Kordas practiced law in Norwalk. When she was in private practice, her firm touted her experience in organizing and reorganizing medical facilities, preparing trading agreements, assisting financial traders to maintain their licenses and other credentials. They say she could view a case through the eyes of a business person or a medical clinician. Her campaign is more general – Support Parents’ rights, Advocacy rather than Activism, Freedom of Speech, Return to integrity and accountability.
Connecticut – Secretary of State
Stephanie Thomas has a BA from NYU and an MS from The New School in non-profit management. Non-profit management has been her work. After two years at the United Negro College Fund and a year at the Red Cross, in 1995, she joined Susan Ulin Associates as an intern and went from intern to president of the company – assisting non-profits in fund raising. In 2013, she founded her own firm, Stetwin Consulting and was a New York heavy hitter. She is on the Board of Nonprofit New York and chairs the Selection Committee for Nonprofit Excellence Awards. She is past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is a leader in the field. In 2018, she ran for the Connecticut state legislature. She ran again in 2020 and was elected. Now she is running for Secretary of State with a commitment to integrity of elections, advocating for and encouraging civic involvement, and maintaining a transparent system that includes regular communication. Her opponent is Dominic Rapini. A graduate of Trinity College, he is a salesman for Apple and, eventually became Vice President of sales and marketing for Microtech, Inc. Growing up in Hamden he was an all New England football player and track and field hammer thrower. As an adult, he has been a coach for Pop Warner football for 32 years. Active in Republican politics, when he ran for the US Senate in 2018, he was dismayed by stories about wet, missing, and magically appearing ballots as well as late floods of election day registrants who pushed closing time well past what it should have been. He is running for Secretary of State to remedy those problems.
Who in New England needs support?
ME 02 Jared Golden $100
RI 02 Seth Magaziner $100
Mitch McConnell has taken his money out of New Hampshire. You could try to flip Chris Sununu in New Hampshire or Phil Scott in Vermont, but the likelihood of succeeding is slim. Make up for spending so much on the Northwest and Pacific states. Spend $200. Spend a little more on Seth Magaziner if you want. Defeat Allan Fong – the former mayor of my home town.
I have helped you look at the possibility of supporting Democratic candidates throughout the country. Until election day, I will devote these pages to the 20 or so races that could save democracy in this country. Stay with me.
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