Nov 1, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Familiar names jump into 2024 congressional races

Former Maryland Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox. Photo: Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images.

Two high-profile political figures and another with a nationally prominent relative declared or came close to announcing bids for Congress on Wednesday.

Driving the news: Former Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), who lost his 2022 primary to a Trump-endorsed challenger after voting to impeach the former president, is reportedly inching closer to a run for U.S. Senate.

  • Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) told GOP colleagues that a Meijer family member said the former congressman will announce in the coming days, according to Politico. Meijer didn't respond to a request for comment from Axios.
  • Meijer, an Iraq War veteran whose family owns the Meijer grocery store chain, launched an exploratory committee for the seat in August.
  • The seat is being vacated by retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) and actor Hill Harper are among the Democratic candidates, with former Rep. Mike Rogers and former Detroit Police Chief James Craig running for the GOP nomination.

Dan Cox: The 2022 GOP nominee for Maryland governor, announced his run for Maryland's 6th House district, the state's only swing seat.

  • Cox's landslide loss to Democrat Wes Moore last year was part of a trend of Trump-aligned Republican nominees underperforming more conventional GOP candidates.
  • Cox focused his announcement on the U.S.-Mexico border, fentanyl and the national debt, stating: "As President Trump has courageously led, it is past time that we must choose to put America First."
  • The Democratic-leaning district is being vacated by three-term Rep. David Trone (D-Md.), who is running for U.S. Senate. Cox joins 10 Democrats and a five Republicans already running for the seat, which stretches from the Maryland panhandle to the D.C. suburbs.

Susheela Jayapal: The sister of Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), a county legislator, is running for Congress in neighboring Oregon.

  • Jayapal's announcement cited community health and safety, abortion, climate change and election denialism as key issues and said she wants to be an "unwavering progressive voice" in Congress.
  • Jayapal is running with her sister's backing. They would be the first sisters to serve in Congress concurrently from separate states.
  • The district, which is being vacated by retiring Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), is solidly blue and covers much of progressive Portland and Multnomah County.

What we're watching: One more high-profile name may launch a congressional bid in the not-too-distant future.

  • Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn, who testified to the Jan. 6 committee and wrote a book about his experience fighting off Jan. 6 rioters, is considering a run for retiring Rep. Paul Sarbanes' (D-Md.) seat.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Hill Harper's name.

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