Georgia: Runoff: July 22
David Perdue and Jack Kingston advanced to a July 22 runoff. Vote percentages for all candidates were: David Perdue: 30%, Jack Kingston: 26%, Karen Handel: 22%, Phil Gingrey: 10%, Paul Broun: 10%. In such a crowded primary, paths to victory existed for each candidate in the early going, with the Georgia business community largely supporting former Reebok and Dollar General CEO David Perdue and longtime Congressman Jack Kingston. This is the best possible result for the business community as either candidate would be an excellent advocate. The eventual winner will face Michelle Nunn who secured the Democratic nomination with no real opposition. The general election may be competitive and is a top target of national Democrats.
With three House members running for Senate, there were three open seats in Georgia and Congressman Hank Johnson also faced a tough primary challenge in his heavily Democratic district. All three open seats are in solidly Republican districts and are not expected to be competitive in the general election. The business community will want to be immediately and actively engaged in at least two of the runoffs.
GA-1: Jack Kingston's open seat, centered in Savannah, had a field of six candidates and State Senator Buddy Carter and physician Bob Johnson will advance to a runoff. Carter, a community pharmacist, split business community support with businessman John McCallum who came in third. Johnson, who modeled his candidacy on Ron Paul and courted tea party supporters, attracted controversy last month when he said he would rather experience another 9-11 than put up with TSA search regulations. The general election is not expected to be competitive, so the business community should immediately and actively engage in the runoff in this district, much like the 10th district.
GA-4: Congressman Hank Johnson barely held off primary challenger DeKalb County Sheriff Tom Brown. Brown outraised Johnson financially, but ultimately came up short. This is a solidly Democratic district and not competitive in the general election.
GA-10: In Paul Broun's open seat, covering much of the east-central portion of the state, six candidates vied for the nomination with Mike Collins and Jody Hice headed to a runoff. Jody Hice is an evangelical preacher and radio talk show host who focused his campaign on social issues while local trucking company operator Mike Collins is the son of former Congressman Mac Collins. Collins, who has not held elected office before, is expected to consolidate the support of the business community in the runoff. Hice has actively expressed opposition to several priorities of the business community in Georgia. The general election is not expected to be competitive, so if the business community would like to have a partner in this district, the runoff is the place to engage.
GA-11: Congressman Gingrey's suburban Atlanta district also had six people on the ballot with former Congressman Bob Barr and State Representative Barry Loudermilk advancing to the runoff. Most of the business community here supported State Rep Ed Lindsey and Workforce Development Director Tricia Pridemore and unfortunately neither advanced to the runoff. Loudermilk ran as a champion of tea party values while former member of Congress Bob Barr pointed to his record of conservative activism as reason to return to Congress. The general election is not expected to be competitive.
GA-12: John Barrow is one of the last remaining Blue Dog Democrats in the Congress and will face Augusta businessman Rick Allen who won a crowded Republican primary with over 50% of the vote. The business community here is split between Barrow and Allen and has historically had a good working relationship with Barrow. Allen started and runs a large local construction company and has been an active supporter of local business interests. This top Republican target district went to Romney by 12 points.
All other Congressional incumbents won their primaries and none are expected to be competitive in the general election.
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell easily beat tea party challenger Matt Bevin in the GOP primary. Bevin was championed by conservative groups around the country but McConnell's superior fundraising and organizational capacity left him little to worry about. Democrats see this seat as a pick up opportunity with their nominee Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Current polling has the race very close despite the outsized Republican performance in Kentucky at the Presidential level.
All House Incumbents won their primaries and none are expected to be competitive in the general election.
Incumbent Jim Risch won his primary and the seat is not expected to be competitive in the general election.
In the second district, Congressman Mike Simpson easily defeated tea party financed challenger Bryan Smith. Simpson was endorsed by BIPAC and we actively engaged the local business community through our state partner, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, to share Simpson's record of support for the business community, and sustained job and economic growth. The general election is not expected to be competitive.
Nominations were formalized for incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor and Republican challenger, Congressman Tom Cotton. Neither faced primary opposition. The general election between the two will be among the most closely watched in the country and is a key component to Republican attempts to retake Senate control.
AR-2: Retiring Congressman Tim Griffin's seat is expected to now go to Little Rock banker French Hill who won the Republican primary in this solidly GOP seat. Hill has been a leader in the local business community and received enthusiastic backing from state, local and national business interests. He is expected to be champion of economic growth policies in the next Congress.
AR-4: In the race to fill Tom Cotton's open seat, State Senator Bruce Westerman beat young businessman Tommy Moll in the Republican primary. He will face former FEMA director James Lee Witt in the general election. The seat is solidly Republican, but Witt's high profile makes this a seat to keep an eye on. The local business community split between Westerman and Moll and the race didn't turn heavily on ideological differences.
Incumbents Steve Womack and Rick Crawford both won their primaries and do not expect difficult reelection battles in the general election.
In the Republican Primary, physician Monica Wehby defeated State Rep Jason Conger and a handful of minor candidates to win the nomination to challenge Democratic Incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley. Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, has run close with Merkley in recent polling and is a candidate garnering broad support from the business community in Oregon and nationally. This past weekend, Wehby faced a scandal involving "stalking" a former boyfriend and it remains to be seen how that resolves itself with voters.
All Oregon incumbents won their primaries and none are expected to have difficult reelection fights in the general election.
PA-6: In the race to replace retiring Rep Jim Gerlach, nominations were formalized for Republican Ryan Costello and Democrat Manan Trivedi. Costello is a business-oriented County Commissioner and Trivedi is a physician and Iraq War veteran who previously ran twice against Gerlach. Neither faced primary opposition and though the district leans Republican, Trivedi is an experienced candidate with a strong biography that could make the seat competitive.
PA-8: Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick will face Democratic challenger Kevin Strouse who defeated Shaughnessy Naughton in the Democratic primary 53-46 and presents a potentially serious challenge to Fitzpatrick in this suburban Philadelphia district though Fitzpatrick has consistently outperformed other Republicans in the district.
PA-9: Congressman Bill Shuster easily held off tea party oriented challenger Art Halvorson who partly self-funded a challenge to the incumbent. Shuster is not expected to have a significant general election challenge.
PA-13: In one of the most interesting races of the day, State Rep. Brendan Boyle handily won the Democratic nomination in this heavily Democratic open seat vacated by Allyson Schwartz. With four compelling and talented candidates, each with very different appeals and paths to victory, Boyle gathered almost 55% of the vote. The general election is not expected to be competitive.
All other Pennsylvania incumbents won their primaries and are not expecting difficult re-election fights.