House members' shaky political ladder
Service in the House of Representatives is often a springboard for statewide office, but House members who retired this cycle to run for higher office have so far met mixed results.
Driving the news: Rep. Kai Kahele (D-Hawaii) finished a distant third in the primary for Hawaii governor on Saturday, garnering just 15% of the vote to Lt. Gov. Josh Green's 63% and former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano's 21%.
- Kahele drew headlines this year for voting by proxy more than most of his colleagues and working part time in his old job as a Hawaiian Airlines pilot.
The big picture: Several other House members have faced similarly bruising losses this year.
- Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) lost to Lt. Gov. John Fetterman by a near 2-to-1 ratio in Pennsylvania's Senate primary.
- Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) finished fourth in the primary for Senate in Missouri with just 5% of the vote. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) finished second with 22%, losing to state Attorney General Eric Schmitt at 46%.
- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) failed to make the primary runoff for state attorney general, finishing fourth with 17% of the vote.
- Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) finished third with 13% of the vote in the primary for New York governor, which incumbent Kathy Hochul won with 68%.
Yes, but: Some retiring members have also romped to victory.
- Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) easily secured the Democratic nominations for Senate in their respective states.
- Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) dispatched former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker in North Carolina's Senate primary.
- Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) beat Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in the Republican primary to challenge Hochul.
What we're watching: While Welch is all but certain to win in November and Zeldin is an underdog, Ryan and Budd both face highly competitive general elections. Several other primaries will be determined in the coming weeks:
- Reps. Val Demings (D-Fla.) and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) are favored to win their respective Senate primaries.
- Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) is in a bruising primary with Florida Secretary of Agriculture Nikki Fried to take on Gov. Ron DeSantis.
- Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) is facing a November showdown for Los Angeles mayor with Republican-turned-Democrat Rick Caruso.