Chicken Fried Politics

LATEST COVERAGE

TENNESSEE PRIMARY: TRUMP-BACKED BILL HAGERTY WINS REPUBLICAN U.S. SENATE NOMINATION

Hagerty claims victory

With the backing of President Donald Trump and the GOP establishment, Hagerty, the former U.S. ambassador to Japan, took 51% in Thursday’s vote to 39% for Manny Sethi, a Nashville orthopedic trauma surgeon. He will now face Democrat Marquita Bradshaw, a Memphis environmental activist whose grassroots campaign upset Nashville attorney James Mackler, despite being outspent 190-to-1. Meanwhile, Republicans in the 1st U.S. House District in East Tennessee picked Kingsport pharmacist Diana Harshbarger as their nominee to replace retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, making her a prohibitive favorite to win in November in the state’s most Republican district. (Posted August 6)

READ FULL STORY

3 FORMER PRESIDENTS GATHER TO HONOR GEORGIA U.S. REP. JOHN LEWIS AT ATLANTA SERVICE

Lewis funeral in Atlanta

Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton gathered with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and more than 50 of Lewis‘s U.S. House colleagues at Atlanta’s Ebeneezer Baptist Church to say a final farewell to the civil rights icon who represented the city in Congress for more than 30 years. In his eulogy, Obama said Lewis’s life redeemed “that most American of ideas — the idea that any of us, ordinary people without rank or wealth or title or fame, can somehow point out the imperfections of this nation and come together and challenge the status quo.” (Posted July 30)

READ FULL STORY

17 SOUTHERN U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICANS VOTE TO REMOVE CONFEDERATE STATUES FROM CAPITOL

Seventeen Southern Republicans in the U.S. House joined with all of the region’s Democrats to support a resolution calling for removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol, along with a statue of the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney, who wrote the infamous Dred Scott decision. Among the Republicans voting yes was House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Eleven other Southern Republicans did not vote on the measure when it came to the floor Wednesday. (Posted July 22)

READ FULL STORY

TRUMP GETS HIS REVENGE, AS JEFF SESSIONS IS CRUSHED IN ALABAMA U.S. SENATE GOP RUNOFF

Tuberville claims victory

Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville ended Sessions’s quest to reclaim the U.S. Senate seat he gave up to serve as Donald Trump’s attorney general, beating Sessions by a decisive 61% to 39% margin to win the right to face Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones in November. Tuesday’s result was an ignominious defeat for Sessions, who represented Alabama in the Senate for 20 years and built a political brand so potent that Democrats didn’t even both to contest his election the last time he ran in 2014. But this time around, he could not overcome the implacable opposition of Trump, who has never forgiven Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Posted July 14)

READ FULL STORY

TEXAS PRIMARY RUNOFFS: HEGAR, TRUMP WHITE HOUSE DOCTOR AMONG WINNERS

MJ Hegar

Former Air Force combat pilot MJ Hegar has won the Democratic nomination to take on incumbent Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn for a seat that Democrats have hopes of flipping in November. Also, Ronny Jackson — the former White House doctor whom President Trump tried and failed to install as Veterans’ Affairs secretary in 2018 — won a Republican runoff for a U.S. House seat in the Panhandle, while former House Republican leader Pete Sessions is poised to get back into Congress after winning a GOP runoff in a new seat. (Posted July 14)

READ FULL STORY

WILL JOE BIDEN FOLLOW THROUGH WITH NOISE ABOUT COMPETING IN GEORGIA, TEXAS?

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

Editor Rich Shumate

The last time a Democratic presidential candidate carried Georgia, The Cover Girls (remember them?) were wishing on a star. The last time a Democrat carried Texas, people were still wearing bell bottoms. Every four years, the pundit class and Democrats in these states insist that this time will be different — this year, finally, these states are going to flip. And every four years, Republicans scoff at their wishful thinking and hubris. It’s deja vu all over again. Joe Biden’s campaign is making noises about competing in the Peach and Lone Star states, committing significant resources for a serious ground game in places where one hasn’t been seen in a generation. So what are the chances this will actually happen? Probably pretty slim — not because it isn’t possible for Biden to win these states but because, if they are within reach, winning them won’t be necessary. (Posted July 7)

READ FULL ARTICLE

OKLAHOMA VOTERS NARROWLY APPROVE MEDICAID EXPANSION IN TUESDAY’S PRIMARY

Voters in deep-red Oklahoma appear to have narrowly approved expanding Medicaid in Tuesday’s primary election, overriding Republican politicians who had blocked expansion for more than a decade because of its association with Obamacare. Tuesday’s win makes Oklahoma the fourth Republican-led state where voters have used the initiative process to force Medicaid expansion. Also Tuesday, Republicans in the 5th U.S. House District in metro Oklahoma City set up a runoff between businesswoman Terry Neese and State Senator Stephanie Bice for the right to face Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn in November. (Posted June 30)

READ FULL STORY

AMY MCGRATH SURVIVES SCARE TO WIN KENTUCKY’S DEMOCRATIC U.S. SENATE PRIMARY

Amy McGrath

After a week of counting absentee ballots, McGrath won with 45% to 43% for State Rep. Charles Booker, whose scrappy campaign surged from behind in the closing weeks of the race to nearly inflict an embarrassing defeat on the chosen candidate of the Democratic establishment in Washington. McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot who narrowly lost a race for the U.S. House in 2018, will now take on Kentucky’s most formidable political figure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is seeking a seventh term in November. (Posted June 30)

READ FULL STORY

ROUND-UP OF RESULTS FROM JUNE 23 PRIMARIES IN VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA

VIRGINIA: Former GOP U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor gets a rematch; Democrats pick Cameron Webb in 5th U.S. House District

NORTH CAROLINA: Ally of White House Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows goes down in race for his open U.S. House seat

 

DONALD TRUMP RETURNS TO CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH RAUCOUS RALLY WITH SUPPORTERS IN TULSA

Trump addresses Tulsa rally

After being sidelined from the campaign trail for three months by the coronavirus lockdown, Trump was back in his element Saturday night, addressing thousands of adoring supporters as he returned to the campaign trail in Tulsa, touting the achievements of his administration and offering withering criticism of “Sleepy Joe” Biden, who he described as a captive of a “left-wing mob.” While the Trump campaign had set expectations of a capacity crowd, the arena — which seats 19,000 people — was only about two-thirds full, which Trump blamed on “a bunch of maniacs,” whom he claimed had disrupted the event. (Posted June 20)

READ FULL STORY

VIRGINIA GOP U.S. REP. DENVER RIGGLEMAN OUSTED AMID STORM OVER PRESIDING AT GAY WEDDING

Riggleman presiding at wedding

Riggleman who represents the state’s 5th District, was defeated at a party convention Saturday by Campbell County Supervisor Bob Good, a former athletics official at Liberty University who was recruited to run for the position by conservative activists unhappy with the congressman’s participation in a same-sex wedding in 2019. Good took 58 percent to 42 percent for Riggleman, who lost despite a solidly conservative voting record and the endorsement of President Donald Trump. However, Riggleman sai he may challenge the results over what he termed “voting irregularities and ballot stuffing.” Due to coronavirus concerns, delegates voted from their cars in a Lynchburg church parking lot. (Posted June 14)

READ FULL STORY

GEORGIA PRIMARY: JON OSSOFF’S WIN SETS UP FALL CONTEST WITH  U.S. SENATOR DAVID PERDUE

Jon Ossoff

Ossoff, who rose to national prominence in 2017 in a special election for a House seat that became the most expensive in U.S. history, took 51 percent of the vote in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, avoiding a runoff and moving on to the general election contest against Perdue. Republican Karen Handel will also get a rematch against Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath in the 6th U.S. District, after clearing her primary. And in the surprise of the night, veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. David Scott was nearly forced into a runoff against former State Rep. Keisha Waites for his seat in Atlanta’s southern and western suburbs but finally edged above 50 percent after absentee ballots were counted. (Posted June 9)

READ FULL STORY

W. VIRGINIA PRIMARY: SALANGO TO FACE GOV. JIM JUSTICE AFTER WINNING DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY

Ben Salango

West Virginia Democrats selected Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango to take on party-switching Republican Justice in November. Salango won the primary with 39 percent to 33 percent for Stephen Smith, a community organizer and former executive director of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition. State Senator Ron Stollings came in third with 14 percent. Also on Tuesday in the primary for U.S. Senate, Democrats selected environmental activist Paula Jean Swearingen, to face Republican U.S. Senator Shelly Moore Capito. (Posted June 9)

READ FULL STORY

S. CAROLINA VOTE: MACE WILL FACE CUNNINGHAM FOR LOWCOUNTRY U.S. HOUSE SEAT

Nancy Mace

State Rep. Nancy Mace cruised to an easy victory Tuesday in the Republican primary in South Carolina’s 1st U.S. House District, setting up a Lowcountry slugfest this fall against Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham, one of the GOP’s top 2020 targets. Mace, from Daniel Island, took 58 percent of the vote, easily eclipsing Mount Pleasant Councilwoman Kathy Landing, at 26 percent. Also Tuesday, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, as expected, easily dispatched three little-known challengers in his primary and will now face Democrat Jaime Harrison in November. (Posted June 9)

READ FULL STORY

TEXAS DEMOCRATS’ VIRTUAL CONVENTION FULL OF OPTIMISM ABOUT TURNING RED TO BLUE

Biden gives virtual address

A Democrat hasn’t carried Texas in a presidential race since 1976, won a Senate race since 1986, or won the governorship since 1988. Republicans hold majorities in both houses of the legislature and control every statewide partisan office. But you wouldn’t know that from the tone at the week-long virtual Texas Democratic Convention that concluded on Saturday, where past woe was eclipsed by present optimism from party luminaries, including Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Posted June 7)

READ FULL STORY

4 SOUTHERN U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRATS FROM TRUMP SEATS BREAK RANKS ON CORONAVIRUS VOTE

Four of the five Southern Democrats trying to hold seats from U.S. House districts that President Donald Trump carried in 2016 have voted against a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package pushed through the House by Democratic leaders late Friday. The lone Southern Democrat in a Trump seat voting yes was Georgia U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, who came under immediate fire from her leading GOP opponent for supporting “her San Francisco buddy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Voting no were U.S. Reps. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, and Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger, both from Virginia. (Posted May 16)

READ FULL STORY

NORTH CAROLINA U.S. SENATOR RICHARD BURR STEPS DOWN AS COMMITTEE CHAIR AFTER FBI SEARCH

The political and legal jeopardy facing Burr intensified Thursday, after the FBI executed a search warrant for his phone as part of an investigation into stock sales he made before the coronavirus crisis caused a market plunge. Just hours after the Los Angeles Times broke the news about the search warrant, Burr temporarily stepped aside as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. At issue is whether Burr used inside information he obtained as a senator to make the stock sales, which would violate federal law. (Posted May 14)

READ FULL STORY

JEFF SESSIONS’S PLEA TO ALABAMIANS: I REALLY, REALLY LOVE DONALD TRUMP. REALLY.

Jeff Sessions

Facing headwinds blowing from President Trump’s Twitter feed, U.S. Senate candidate and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sent an open letter to his fellow Alabamians expressing undying fealty to the man who has repeatedly, publicly belittled him. In his letter, Sessions insisted that “I have remained faithful to the President and his agenda. I have always stood up for him, and I never backed down, not even for one moment.” Trump has endorsed Sessions’s opponent, former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, in the July GOP primary runoff. (Posted May 12)

READ FULL STORY

INSIGHT: HOW CORONAVIRUS HAS SENT ODD  CURRENTS RIPPLING ACROSS SOUTHERN POLITICS

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

Rich Shumate

The collision between an untreatable and potentially deadly virus and a conservative Southern political culture that is both business-friendly and skeptical of government dicta has sent odd and even angry crosscurrents rippling across the region’s politics. With a few exceptions, states in the South were among the last to close down due to the coronavirus, and they are now among the first to begin reopening, in spite of warnings from some public health officials that doing so might be dangerous. (Posted May 4)

READ FULL ANALYSIS

KENTUCKY U.S. REP. THOMAS MASSIE REBUKED BY DONALD TRUMP FOR FORCING CORONAVIRUS VOTE

Massie rises to object

Massie is defending his decision to force members of the House to return to Washington to vote on emergency coronavirus legislation against a torrent of criticism — including from President Trump, who suggested Massie be drummed out of the Republican Party. Massie objected to pushing through the $2 trillion measure with unanimous consent, requiring House leaders to assemble a quorum of lawmakers who had to travel from their home districts back to vote. (Posted March 27)

READ FULL STORY

U.S. SENATOR RAND PAUL PUSHING BACK AT CRITICISM FOR NOT CHOOSING TO SELF-QUARANTINE

Rand Paul

Paul, who became the first senator to test positive for coronavirus on Sunday, continued with his duties as a senator for nearly a week while awaiting test results. But the Kentucky Republican says he had no reason to believe that he had been exposed to coronavirus prior to the positive result and had only been tested as a precaution because of a lung injury he suffered during an attack by a neighbor in 2017. He called for more widespread testing and “less finger-pointing.” (Posted March 23)

READ FULL STORY

GOP U.S. SENATORS BURR, LOEFFLER UNDER FIRE FOR UNLOADING STOCKS BEFORE MARKETS DIVED

Loeffler and Burr

Richard Burr of North Carolina and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia are facing a torrent of criticism after revelations that they and family members unloaded millions of dollars worth of stock before U.S. markets tanked over concerns about the coronavirus — and while both senators were still making upbeat assessments about its threat. Prior to his stock sales, Burr, as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was receiving daily briefings from Trump administration officials about coronavirus; Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, whose company owns the New York Stock Exchange, sold stock after she attended a private briefing for senators on the topic in late January. Both senators deny any wrongdoing. (Posted March 20)

READ FULL STORY

BIDEN SWEEPS ASIDE SANDERS IN FLORIDA; TRUMP SECURES REPUBLICAN PARTY’S NOMINATION

Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden easily vanquished Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in Florida’s Democratic presidential primary Tuesday, taking 62 percent of the vote in a race overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s Republican primary victory in the Sunshine State, where he established residency last year, put him across the delegate threshold to clinch his party’s 2020 nomination. Despite the pandemic, the Democratic vote total in Tuesday’s primary matched the total in 2016. (Posted March 24)

READ FULL STORY

ANDREW GILLUM LEAVES POLITICS, ENTERS REHAB IN WAKE OF POLICE ENCOUNTER AT MIAMI HOTEL

Andrew Gillum

Gillum, who narrowly lost a bid for Florida governor in 2018, says he will withdraw from political life and enter a rehab program for “alcohol abuse” after police found him “inebriated” Friday night in a hotel room where suspected crystal meth was also found. Gillum, who was not arrested or charged, has denied he was using drugs. He attributed his abuse of alcohol to depression he’s suffered since losing the governor’s race in November. (Posted March 16)

READ FULL STORY

JOE BIDEN CRUSHES BERNIE SANDERS IN MISSISSIPPI PRIMARY; NOW 9-FOR-9 IN THE SOUTH

Biden defeated Sanders by a 81 percent to 15 percent margin, extending his string of victories across the South to nine. His 66-point margin was the biggest winning margin so far for Biden in any state, eclipsing his 47-point victory in neighboring Alabama. As in the rest of the South, Biden’s win was due to a strong performance among African American voters, who made up two-thirds of the Democratic electorate in Mississippi and gave him 84 percent of their vote. (Posted March 10)

READ FULL STORY

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN ROLLS TO VICTORY ACROSS THE SOUTH ON SUPER TUESDAY

Joe Biden

Biden won primaries in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the biggest prize, Texas, cementing his status as the new front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Across the region, Biden rolled up a 130-plus delegate margin over Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and posted double-digit wins in every state but Texas, where he won by 4 points. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who finished third in most of the Southern states despite spending millions on advertising, dropped out after the result. (Posted March 4).

READ FULL STORY

TUBERVILLE, SESSIONS MAKE ALABAMA GOP U.S. SENATE RUNOFF AS TRUMP LOOMS OVER RACE

Sessions and Tuberville

Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville took 33 percent in the first round of primary voting to 31 percent for Jeff Sessions. who gave up the seat in 2017 to serve a tumultuous tenure as President Donald Trump’s attorney general. They will now meet in a March 31 runoff in which fealty to Trump will be a central issue. Trump quickly tweeted that Session’s second-place showing was the result of him not having “the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt.” In other primary races, MJ Hegar gained a spot in the Democratic runoff in Texas, while in North Carolina, Cal Cunningham, a Raleigh attorney and former state senator, easily won the Democratic nomination to take on Republican U.S. Senator Thom Tillis. (Posted March 4)

READ FULL STORY

TEXAS U.S. HOUSE RACES: CHALLENGED INCUMBENTS SURVIVE, AS DOES TRUMP’S FORMER DOCTOR

Granger and Cuellar

Two veteran members of the Texas delegation, Republican Kay Granger and Democrat Henry Cuellar, turned back challenges from within their own party, as a wide-open primary night in the Lone Star State shaped the field for May runoffs and the November contests that will follow. President Donald Trump’s controversial former White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, advanced to a runoff in a Panhandle district, while Pete Sessions, who lost his metro Dallas seat in 2018, found more luck in Waco, where he too made a runoff. However, the latest Bush family member to try to launch a political career, Pierce Bush, came up short in suburban Houston. (Posted March 4)

READ FULL STORY

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN ROARS TO WIN IN SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY

Biden declares victory (From SkyNews/YouTube)

Biden revived his flagging presidential campaign with a clear, convincing win in South Carolina’s first-in-the-South presidential primary, giving him crucial momentum heading into next week’s Super Tuesday contests. Biden won 48 percent of the vote and carried all 46 counties, defeating Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who came in a distant second at 20 percent. The result in South Carolina was welcome news for Biden, who finished fourth in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire, and a distant second to Sanders in Nevada. It also marked the first ever primary win for Biden in his third try for the White House. (Posted February 29)

READ FULL STORY

INSIGHT: PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY CALENDAR TURNS SOUTH WITH A VENGEANCE IN MARCH

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

Rich Shumate

The 2020 presidential primary calendar finally turns to the South on the last day of February, when South Carolina Democrats cast their ballots in their state’s first-in-the-South primary. Then, buckle up. The political version of March Madness is about to take off. During March, 10 Southern states will hold Democratic presidential primaries, with 981 delegates at stake — nearly 25 percent of the total pledged delegates who will officially pick the party’s presidential nominee in Milwaukee in July.

READ FULL ARTICLE

GUILTY: DEMOCRATIC U.S. SENATORS DOUG JONES, JOE MANCHIN VOTE TO CONVICT DONALD TRUMP

Jones announces his verdict (From PBS via YouTube)

Jones, from Alabama and Manchin, from West Virginia, will likely face significant blowback for their guilty votes back in their home states, both of which Trump carried handily in 2016. Jones, who is facing re-election in November, said he concluded that “the evidence clearly proves that the president used the weight of his office … to coerce a foreign government to interfere in our election for his personal political benefit.” Manchin, who doesn’t face voters again until 2024, said while he wants Trump to succeed as president, “I deeply love our country and must do what I think is best for the nation.” The other two Southern Democrats in the Senate — Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia — also voted to convict Trump, while all 24 Republicans representing Southern states voted no. (Posted February 5)

READ FULL STORY

ATLANTA PASTOR RAPHAEL WARNOCK GETS INTO GEORGIA U.S. SENATE SPECIAL ELECTION RACE

Raphael Warnock

Warnock, who holds the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church pulpit where both Martin Luther King Jr. and his father preached, has entered the special election race for a U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Kelly Loeffler, giving Democrats a high-profile candidate for a seat they have high hopes of flipping. Warnock’s campaign launch came with a full-throated endorsement from Stacey Abrams, who energized Democrats nationally in a unsuccessful race for governor in 2018. Warnock is the fifth Democrat to enter the race, in which candidates from all parties will run against each other without party primaries. (Posted January 30)

READ FULL STORY

GEORGIA GOP U.S. REP. DOUG COLLINS WILL RUN AGAINST NEW U.S. SENATOR KELLY LOEFFLER

Collins announces on Fox

Colllins, one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest defenders in Congress, says he will run in a November special election against Loeffler, the state’s newly minted senator, defying the man who appointed her, Governor Brian Kemp, and triggering an intra-party squabble with potential implications for Senate control. In December, Kemp tapped Loeffler, a wealthy Atlanta business executive, to replace Johnny Isakson, despite furious lobbying by conservatives for Collins, who has led the charge against Trump’s impeachment as ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. Collins said his run will allow Georgians “to choose [a senator] for themselves.” (Posted January 29)

READ FULL STORY

U.S. REPS. VAL DEMINGS OF FLORIDA, SYLVIA GARCIA OF TEXAS NAMED IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS

Pelosi with managers; Garcia far left, Demings far right. (From Washington Post Live)

Demings who represents metro Orlando in the House, is the only non-lawyer among the seven House managers, although she has a background in law enforcement as a former police chief. Garcia, a former municipal judge in Houston, is one of just two freshmen House members selected as a manager. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she looked for managers with “comfort level in the courtroom” to lead the House case in Donald Trump’s Senate trial. (Posted January 15)

READ FULL STORY

FORMER SAN ANTONIO MAYOR JULIÁN CASTRO ENDS RUN IN DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Julián Castro

Castro, the last Southerner and the only Latino in the 2020 presidential race, told his supporters that “given the circumstances of this campaign season, I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time.” He exited the race by calling on Democrats to change their nominating process, which he said disadvantages candidates of color by starting in mostly white Iowa and New Hampshire. Castro was polling in low single digits in both of those states, as well as nationally and in more diverse early voting states such as Nevada and South Carolina. (Posted January 3)

READ FULL STORY

GEORGIA U.S. REP. JOHN LEWIS VOWS TO FIGHT AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED WITH PANCREATIC CANCER

John Lewis

Lewis, the dean of Georgia’s congressional delegation and an icon of the civil rights movement, has Stage 4, or metastatic, pancreatic cancer, a disease which has just a 3 percent survival rate. Lewis said that while he was “clear-eyed about the prognosis,” he has “decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it.” Lewis, a Democrat, has represented the Atlanta-based 5th District since 1987. (Posted December 30)

READ FULL STORY

ALL 10 SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS IN U.S. HOUSE WHO FLIPPED SEATS IN 2018 VOTE FOR IMPEACHMENT

Vote tally on second article of impeachment (From C-SPAN via YouTube)

The list of Southern Democrats voting to impeach President Donald Trump includes five members representing districts Trump won in 2016 — Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria of Virginia, Lucy McBath of Georgia, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, and Joe Cunningham of South Carolina. Five other members who flipped districts that Hillary Clinton won also voted yes — Colin Allred and Lizzie Fletcher of Texas, Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala of Florida. The impeachment vote is likely to be a pivotal issue next year as these Democrats try to hang on to their seats against Republican challengers, in an election with Trump at the top of the ballot. (Posted December 18)

READ FULL STORY

“MATT BEVIN CAN ROT IN HELL”: OUTRAGE OVER  DEPARTING KENTUCKY GOVERNOR’S PARDONS

Louisville Courier-Journal

Bevin is being pilloried by Republicans and Democrats alike after issuing 428 pardons and commutations on his way out the door after his November election loss, including a pardon for a man serving 20 years for his role in a fatal home invasion robbery whose brother hosted a Bevin fundraiser. The GOP Senate president now wants a federal investigation, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the pardons “completely inappropriate.” But Bevin said suggestions that the pardon and fundraiser might be linked are “highly offensive and entirely false.” (Posted December 14)

READ FULL STORY

DEMOCRAT ANDY BESHEAR CALLS FOR UNITY AS HE TAKES OFFICE AS KENTUCKY GOVERNOR

In his inaugural address, Beshear called on Kentuckians to “come together for the common good” after the tumultuous tenure of his predecessor, Republican Matt Bevin, and vowed to “be a governor just as much for those who voted against me as those who voted for me because I view this election as an opportunity — an opportunity to heal wounds, an opportunity to work together instead of angling for political gain.” Beshear defeated Bevin by 5,100 votes in November to claim the governor’s post previously held by his father. (Posted December 10)

READ FULL STORY

INSIGHT: WHAT DO THE 2019 ELECTION RESULTS IN 4 SOUTHERN STATES TELL US ABOUT 2020 RACES?

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

Rich Shumate

Now that the dust has cleared from elections in four Southern states earlier this month, what are the lessons, if any, for 2020 elections in which both the presidency and control of Congress will be on the line? Some pundits in the chattering class and Democratic politicians have looked at victories by Democrats in governor’s races in deep red Kentucky and Louisiana and gleefully found evil portends for their GOP rivals next year. While that would be overreach, the wins by Andy Beshear and John Bel Edwards showed that the Republican strategy of calling Democrats socialists and ginning up the faithful with Trump rallies has its limits, even in states that the president carried by more than 20 points. And more concerning for the GOP are the margins Democrats ran up in cities and suburbs. (Posted  November 22)

READ FULL ARTICLE

TRUMP REBUFFED AS LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR JOHN BEL EDWARDS WINS RE-ELECTION

Edwards addresses supporters in New Orleans

Edwards narrowly won re-election to a second term, defeating Republican Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone by a margin of 51 percent for 49 percent.  The win by Edwards gives Democrats victories in two out of three Southern governor’s races this year, despite fervent interventions in all three races by President Donald Trump in states he carried handily in 2016. In his victory speech, Edwards responded to Trump with a classic Southern putdown: “And as for the president — God bless his heart.” In the other statewide office on the ballot, Republican incumbent Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin easily defeated Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup. (Posted November 16)

READ FULL STORY

FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS WANTS HIS SENATE SEAT BACK IN ALABAMA

Sessions announces on Fox News

Sessions, who served 20 years in the Senate before leaving to join President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, has filed to run for the seat held by Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones. To win, he’ll have to overcome eight Republicans already in the race — including U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne from Mobile, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville Secretary of State John Merrill, and former state Supreme Court justice Roy Moore — as well as resistance from Trump, who called Sessions “weak” and disappointing before forcing him out as attorney general a year ago. (Posted November 8)

READ FULL STORY

VIRGINIA VOTE: DEMOCRATS FLIP BOTH HOUSES OF LEGISLATURE FROM RED TO BLUE

Democrats won majorities in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates for the first time in 24 years, completing a takeover of state government that will give them total control of the reapportionment process after the 2020 census. Coupled with the Democratic sweep of all three statewide offices in 2017 and flipping three U.S. House seats in 2018, Tuesday’s result is the latest evidence that political control Old Dominion has slipped away from the GOP and into Democratic hands. (Posted November 5)

READ FULL STORY

MISSISSIPPI LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR TATE REEVES WINS GOVERNOR’S RACE IN GOP SWEEP

Reeves claims win

Reeves capped a 16-year ascent through the ranks of state politics by capturing the governorship, extending the GOP’s lock on the office for another four years. Buoyed by a pre-election visit to Tupelo by President Donald Trump, Reeves defeated Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood 52 percent to 47 percent. Republicans also swept six other statewide races to continue their dominance in the Magnolia State (Posted November 5)

READ FULL STORY

BETO O’ROURKE EXITS DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL RACE AS POLLING, FUNDRAISING COLLAPSE

O’Rourke withdraws  (NBC/YouTube)

Seven months after beginning his quest for the presidency with high hopes and lavish media attention born of political star power, O’Rourke, the former U.S. House member from Texas, has brought his campaign to an abrupt and quiet end. O’Rourke made his exit by telling a crowd of supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, that “we do not have the means to pursue this campaign successfully.” His short-lived campaign will perhaps be best remembered for a moment in a September debate where, in a call for mandatory buybacks of assault weapons, he said, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” (Posted November 2)

READ FULL STORY

FIVE SOUTHERN U.S HOUSE DEMOCRATS IN PRO-TRUMP DISTRICTS VOTE FOR IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

The Southern Democrats from districts President Donald Trump carried in 2016 who voted for the measure to move forward with an impeachment inquiry were Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria of Virginia, Lucy McBath of Georgia, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, and Joe Cunningham of South Carolina. Five other Democrats who also flipped GOP-held seats in 2018 — Colin Alled and Lizzie Fletcher of Texas, Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala of Florida — also voted for the measure. (Posted October 31)

READ FULL STORY

STEVEN REED MAKES HISTORY AS FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN ELECTED MONTGOMERY MAYOR

Steven Reed

Reed, 45, currently a county probate judge, won a runoff to become the first black mayor of Montgomery, the first capital of the Confederacy and the cradle of the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s. Reed carried 67 percent of the vote in an October 8 runoff against David Woods, a local television station owner, who carried 33 percent. The two men had taken the top two places in the first round of voting in August. (Posted October 9)

READ FULL STORY

“TEXODUS” CONTINUES TO RESHAPE LONE STAR STATE’S REPUBLICAN U.S. HOUSE DELEGATION

Mac Thornberry

The latest Texas GOP congressman to announce he won’t seek re-election in 2020 is U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, who joins five home-state colleagues — with, together, more than 80 years of seniority — who had earlier announced their retirements. While Thornberry’s district is unlikely to fall into Democratic hands, his departure is the latest shake-up in a GOP delegation that will have lost 14 members in just four years. (Posted September 30)

READ FULL STORY

VIRGINIA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JUSTIN FAIRFAX SUES CBS OVER SEXUAL ASSAULT CLAIMS

Fairfax

After seven months of publicly fighting politically damaging allegations of sexual assault, Fairfax has struck back with a $400 million defamation suit against CBS, accusing the network of abandoning “sound, standard journalistic practices” when it aired interviews with Fairfax’s two accusers in April. A complaint filed in federal court in Alexandria also accuses Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney — a fellow African-American Democrat and political rival of Fairfax — of being involved in the effort to make the women’s charges public. (Posted September 12)

READ FULL STORY

CHASING CORNYN: GAGGLE OF DEMOCRATS TAKING AIM AT TEXAS’S SENIOR U.S. SENATOR

Cornyn

As he faces re-election in 2020, Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn can boast of nearly two decades of experience, has more than $9 million tucked away and represents a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic senator since the days of Ronald Reagan. And yet, Democrats are falling all over themselves to get into what appears to be, at least on paper, an enterprise with dubious chance of success. Nine Democrats are already running, and the question mark hanging over their primary is whether former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke will abandon his campaign for president and return to the Lone Star Star state to try once again for the job that eluded him in 2018. (Posted August 25)

READ FULL STORY

%d bloggers like this: