Welcome to this morning’s Decision Desk HQ Morning News Spotlight on Elections Daily as part of the Decision Desk HQ News Network.
- The US Justice Department has said it will appeal a federal court ruling that struck down the federal transportation mask mandate. This comes after the department had previously said they would only do so if the CDC deems the mandate still necessary for public safety. Some officials in the White House worried about what the ruling might mean for the power of public health authorities to take action in future public health emergencies, while others worried about the political implications of keeping the mandate in place during the midterm election year.
- The DNC announced it brought in $16.8 million in fundraising in the month of March, the most the committee has ever raised in a midterm year March. This good news for the party comes as their electoral prospects look ever more challenging in this midterm cycle. President Biden’s approval numbers are still unfavorable in four key states the Democrats need to win to hold on to control of the Senate, and the Democratic candidate there are taking notice and putting some distance between themselves and the President. So far this year the DNC has raised over $42 million, which is a quarterly record for the committee.
- French President Emmanual Macron faced his right-wing runoff challenger Marine Le Pen in their only direct debate of the campaign. Macron went on the offensive on issues such as Le Pen and her party’s close ties to Russia and the rights of Muslim women. Le Pen vowed to cut down on immigration into France and attacked Macron’s tenure for leaving the country more divided than ever. Voters will choose between the two candidates on Sunday in a runoff election.
- A federal court in Ohio has said it will intervene and select a previously rejected set of state legislative maps if the Ohio Redistricting Commission cannot come up with maps of its own by May 28. The court had set yesterday as a deadline for the commission to pass the fifth attempt at maps that comply with state law, but no attempt was made to do so by the commission. The court in its ruling stated that they will use the third maps that were deemed unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court if no new plan is enacted by the commission.
- The White House is expected to announce additional military aid to Ukraine today. The package is expected to be similar in size to the $800 million package announced last week. It will include heavy artillery and ammunition for the Ukrainian military as fighting continues to escalate in the Donbas region in the eastern part of the country.
- Republicans hoping to secure the Republican nomination for US Senate in North Carolina met for a debate last night. Three candidates including former Governor Pat McCrory and former Congressman Mark Walker attended. Former Congressman Ted Budd, who is endorsed by former President Trump and is seen as the frontrunner in the race, opted not to attend. Inflation, student loans, the War in Ukraine, and the absence of former Congressman Budd were all top topics of discussion. North Carolina’s primary is set for May 17, with a runoff on July 26 if no candidate achieves 30%+1 of the vote.
- The Florida Senate has voted to advance a bill to dissolve Disney’s special self-governance status in the state. The status dates back to 1967 and granted the media giant a special tax status and control over the land on which its theme parks in Florida sit. This is a move Governor Ron DeSantis has been threatening and advocating for as Disney has waded further into culture war issues. Local officials in Orange County where the parks are located are warning that this move will stick the county with $164 million in increased expenses that will have to be passed off to local taxpayers.
- ICYMI: Check out Nick Field’s latest for us where he explores how the upcoming May primaries will test how much sway former President Trump still has over Republican voters.
|Tues April 19||CA State Assembly 17 Special General|
|Tues May 3||Indiana Primary|
|GA State House 45 Special General runoff|
|MI State House 15 Special General|
|MI State House 36 Special General|
|MI State House 43 Special General|
|MI State House 74 Special General|
|Sat May 7||TX Prop 1 – Property Tax Limit Reduction for Elderly and Disabled Residents Amendment|
|TX Prop 2 – Increased Homestead Exemption for School District Property Taxes Amendment|
|TX State House 147 Special General|
|Arlington, TX City Council General|
|Garland, TX City Council General|
|Irving, TX City Council General|
|Lubbock, TX Municipal Election|
|Fort Worth, TX City Council 4 Special General|
|Tues May 10||Nebraska Primary|
|West Virginia Primary|
|Newark, NJ Mayoral Election|
|Tues May 17||Kentucky Primary|
|North Carolina Primary|
|PA State Senate 5 Special General|
|SC State House 97 Special General|
|OR State Senate 18 Special Dem Primary|
|OR State Senate 18 Special GOP Primary|
|Charlotte, NC Mayoral Primary (rescheduled from 2021)|
|Greensboro, NC Mayoral Primary (rescheduled from 2021)|