Chris Wright

Against Bishop, It’s GOP’s Move
Favored Candidate May Not Decide on 1st District Bid Until 2004

Republicans see a golden opportunity to retake a Long Island Congressional district that has ousted incumbents in each of the past two elections, but they’ll have a while to wait before learning whether their top potential candidate will even run.

Freshman Rep. Tim Bishop (D) narrowly won New York’s 1st district race in 2002 under somewhat unusual circumstances, defeating then-freshman Rep. Felix Grucci (R) — who won the seat in 2000 following even odder events.

A Look at Utah

The 2004 elections could foretell Democrats’ long-term viability in heavily Republican Utah: They may snatch back the governorship long held by the GOP but could lose their final major foothold in the state’s politics, the 2nd Congressional district.

The state’s other two House seats seem to be safely Republican, as does the Senate seat occupied by incumbent Bob Bennett, also up for re-election next year. Democrats will field challengers in those races, but attention will focus on the gubernatorial and 2nd district tilts, where the Republican machine will face off against Scott and Jim Matheson, respectively, sons of the state’s last Democratic governor.

Brother Act May Be Playing In Utah Soon

Utah Democrats, who have not held the state’s top office since 1985, when popular Gov. Scott Matheson left office, hope his namesake will lead them back to power next year.

If Scott Matheson Jr., dean of the University of Utah’s law school and untested as a politician, runs for his father’s old job, he would make the 2004 ballot an unusual family affair — his younger brother, Rep. Jim Matheson (D), is expected to run for a third term next year.

A Look at Nebraska

Republicans are one Senate seat away from all but completely dominating Nebraska politics.

The state’s governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general are Republicans, as are its other two constitutional officers. Thirty-three of 49 state Senators side with the GOP, as do the state’s three Congressmen and Sen. Chuck Hagel. That leaves Sen. Ben Nelson, a former governor, as the lone prominent Democrat in the Cornhusker State. [IMGCAP(1)]

Puerto Rico’s Delegate Won’t Run Again

Resident Commissioner Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá, Puerto Rico’s non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives, announced late last month that he will not run for a second term in 2004.

Acevedo-Vilá’s decision appears to be related to Puerto Rico Gov. Sila Calderón’s May 22 announcement that she will not seek re-election. Both were elected in 2000, and both are members of the Popular Democratic Party, which favors maintaining the island’s commonwealth status rather than seeking statehood.

A Look at Delaware

If Texas — where Democrats in the state House made a run for the border while their Republican counterparts gave chase with the help of the police — is the World Wrestling Entertainment of state party politics, then Delaware is its antithesis. [IMGCAP(1)]

In the First State, when politicians refer to their “friends” across the aisle, they actually mean it. Two days after each election, candidates participate in the Return Day parade in Georgetown, Del., where the winner and loser of each race ride together in an antique car.