Monday’s Campaign Round-Up, 9.18.23

Gun Rights

Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* Earlier this year, Rep. Jennifer Wexton announced that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but the Virginia Democrat expected to continue with her duties. The news has since taken a turn for the worse: Wexton announced this morning that her diagnosis has changed to progressive supranuclear palsy, and she will not seek re-election next year.

* With incumbent Sen. Mitt Romney retiring, some congressional Republican urged Robert O’Brien, Donald Trump’s former White House national security adviser, to run for the open seat in Utah. Earlier today, however, O’Brien withdrew from consideration.

* The Republican Party of Florida considered a proposal that would’ve required presidential candidates to sign a loyalty pledge — a vow to support the party’s eventual nominee — in order to qualify for the state’s March 19 primary ballot. Donald Trump opposed the measure; Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis supported it; and state GOP officials ended up agreeing with Trump’s position.

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* In Pennsylvania, the latest Susquehanna Polling & Research poll found the former president far ahead of his GOP rivals in the race for the party’s 2024 nomination. Trump led the field with 65% support, followed by DeSantis with 18%.

* In this year’s state legislative races in Louisiana, Republicans were optimistic about keeping their sizable majorities in the state legislature, but now they can rest even easier: Because too few Democratic candidates are running, it will be impossible for the GOP to lose control in the state capitol.

* In Montana, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte has a new rival: Ryan Busse, a former firearms executive, launched his Democratic candidacy late last week. An Associated Press report on his candidacy noted, “Since leaving the industry in 2020, Busse has served as a policy adviser for Biden’s 2020 campaign and written a book and articles highly critical of the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers.”

* And while it’s true that former First Lady Melania Trump has so far kept a low profile during her husband’s latest national campaign, the former president indicated last week that there’s no cause for concern. “Our dinners are nice — dinners are like other people’s dinners,” he told Megyn Kelly. “We get along. We actually get along very well.”

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