On top of the GOP gubernatorial primary in Kentucky, there are other contests taking place on Tuesday that could provide some clues about 2024 — even though it’s hard to draw too many lessons from individual races.
For a sense of whether election-denying candidates still hold sway within the GOP, keep an eye on the secretary of state race in Kentucky, where Republican incumbent Michael Adams is facing two primary challengers who have campaigned on voter fraud claims. NBC News’ Jane Timm reports that Adams has worked to expand voter access, and he acknowledged he could lose his job for pushing back on false claims of widespread election fraud.
Voters are also heading to the polls in Pennsylvania, which is hosting a crowded Democratic primary for Philadelphia mayor. The race will test progressives’ strength, with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., traveling to the city over the weekend to boost former city councilmember Helen Gym. The race will also serve as another test for how crime is impacting big-city politics.
Two races will also provide some insight into voter attitudes in two key counties in two crucial battlegrounds.
In Pennsylvania, a special state House election in Delaware County could decide which party controls the state house, and President Joe Biden waded into the race on Monday, endorsing the Democratic candidate.
And a mayoral runoff in Jacksonville, Fla., will provide a clue about the political winds in Duval County. The city is the largest in the country with a Republican mayor, who is term-limited.
In other campaign news…
First in First Read: The National Republican Senatorial Committee is launching a digital ad aimed at Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. The ad focuses on recent reporting from NBC News’ Henry J. Gomez, who found that Brown received an extra property tax credit and was charged late fees on tax payments.
The ad is part of a five-figure buy and will play on Facebook and Twitter. “After nearly 50 years in politics, it’s clear Sherrod Brown has lost touch with the voters who elected him,” NRSC spokesman Philip Letsou said in a statement.
Speaking of Sherrod Brown: The Messenger delves into Brown’s race, and his bipartisan appeal in the increasingly red state. Brown also demurred on whether he would campaign with President Joe Biden, saying it “depends on my schedule.”
DeSantis making moves (literally): Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political team moved out of state GOP headquarters and into a new office on Monday, per NBC News’ Matt Dixon, another sign DeSantis is moving towards a presidential run. Politico also reports that DeSantis is huddling with donors next week.
On Monday DeSantis also signed a bill into law “restricting how race and gender can be taught in Florida’s public higher education institutions and banning them from using state or federal funding for diversity programs,” per NBC News’ Rose Horowitch.
And four New Hampshire Republicans who previously backed Trump announced they are now backing the Florida governor (one says she’s endorsing both men).
Scott’s team: Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., is building out his campaign team ahead of his expected presidential announcement next week, naming former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam as a national co-chair, Politico reports.
Ready for Mike and ready to ride: Former Vice President Mike Pence’s allies, including former Texas GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling and longtime Republican strategist Scott Reed, are launching a super PAC to back him. In other Pence news, he will attend Iowa GOP Sen. Joni Ernst’s “Roast and Ride” event next month, per Fox News (former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is also attending).
Haley’s financial disclosures: Haley reported earning between $1.2 and $12 million in speaking fees from March of 2022 through this past January, per the personal financial disclosures required of presidential candidates.
Also for Alsobrooks: Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. announced Monday that he is not running for the open Maryland Senate seat, and instead endorsed Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.
Jumping in: Former state Rep. Leslie Love jumped into the Democratic Senate primary in Michigan on Monday.
Taking on Santos: Axios reports that another Democrat, nonprofit founder Zak Malame, has jumped into the race against embattled GOP Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y.
Min’s arrest: The Washington Free Beacon obtained footage of the drunk driving arrest of California state Sen. Dave Min, a Democratic congressional hopeful.
SCOTUS watch: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a case involving South Carolina’s 1st District, which a lower court determined was racially gerrymandered.