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June 27, 2024

Tuesday brought more primaries in New York, Colorado and Utah, and here are the continually-updated election results:

There were a lot of races, but three were of particular interest. In Colorado, despite many attacks on her and some personal missteps, Rep. Lauren Boebert won the Fourth House District GOP Primary to replace retiring Rep. Ken Buck. This is a deep red district that Trump won by 19 points in 2020, so it’s assumed Boebert will be a shoo-in to return to Congress. This must be very painful for Democrats who were relishing the idea of removing her, and for Buck, who quit suddenly while blasting his own party and leaving the GOP with a dangerously small majority. That makes her win all the sweeter.

In Utah, Rep. John Curtis won the GOP Senate primary to replace Mitt Romney, taking 51.7% of the vote in a five-way race to beat second-place finisher Trent Staggs, who was endorsed by Trump and Rand Paul. Curtis has a “problematic” history for a Republican, including being the former state Democratic Party chairman, and his well-funded campaign got big bucks from the climate change activist lobby. Many Republicans fear he will be another “Republican In Name Only,” which would mean he will literally be the new Mitt Romney.

But the best news came in New York’s deep blue 16th Congressional District, where far-left fire alarm-pulling Rep. Jamaal Bowman of “The Squad” was soundly rejected by Democrat primary voters in favor of moderate challenger George Latimer (at this writing, with 93% of the vote counted, Latimer leads by 58.4% to 41.6%.

As polls showed Bowman heading for electoral Armageddon, he became more and more unhinged, shouting and cursing at rallies and attacking the pro-Israel PAC AIPAC for opposing him, just because of his denial of the October 7th massacre and his demand that Israel call a ceasefire in its war on Hamas. In his concession speech, he displayed the same graciousness and rationality we’ve all come to expect of him. By which I mean he was angry, shouting, self-aggrandizing and borderline anti-Semitic.

This was one of the most expensive House races ever, and Bowman was correct that AIPAC did spend a lot of money supporting Latimer. And I’m sure many people would agree with his general premise that there’s too much money in politics and that deep pockets PACs have too much influence on elections (although when politicians say that, they’re usually referring to the PACs that support their opponents, not the ones that support them.)

However, in this case, one could make the argument that the PAC money was not only necessary but worth it to rid the House of someone like Bowman. Heaven knows, I hate all the money in politics (fundraising was one of my least favorite parts of campaigning,) which might explain why I’m one of the few people to end my career in “public service” with personal debts to pay instead of being vastly richer than when I started.  

However, it’s just a fact that incumbency has so many advantages that if there isn’t something to balance the scales, like PAC support, incumbents can become so entrenched you can’t dislodge them with dynamite. Their only potential successful challengers would be billionaires – another reason why only Trump was able to run as a political outsider and win. 

If you don’t believe me, look at the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th District. AOC has been a disaster for her constituents. She seems obsessed with social media, getting her face out in public, and making outrageous far left statements on trendy issues like climate change and Gaza, while her biggest “accomplishment” for her district was driving away thousands of jobs Amazon wanted to create there. Yet she just won the nomination again with 82% of the vote. She’s terrible, but America will likely be stuck with her as long as she wants the job, unless she’s challenged by someone very wealthy or someone backed by major PAC money.

Or unless she gets complacent, her supporters assume she’ll win and don’t vote, and someone backed by a stealthy cabal of insurgents sneaks under the radar out of nowhere and beats her. That’s exactly how she got the job.

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