Sen. Kai Kahele is running for the US House in Hawaii as a Democrat. (Campaign photo via Twitter)
A year from now, voters will go to the polls and select a new president, a new house of representatives, and one third of the Senate plus across the country, voters will be picking state legislature’s, nearly a dozen governors and scores of local offices.
This is Trahant Reports.
First question, how does the 2020 election look in comparison to the 2018 vote? Two years ago at this point, there were nine candidates running for the US house and Senate and by election day, a year later across the country, there were more than a hundred candidates running for Congress, state legislatures and state executive offices. At this point in the 2018 election, there were nine candidates for Congress, four of them Republicans, four of them Democrats and one member of the green party. One candidate who was not yet running was Rep. Sharice Davids Ho-Chunk. Why is that? Because she did not begin her campaign in Kansas until February 2018.
Today we start with four members who are now serving in Congress, Rep. Tom Cole, Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Rep. Deb Haaland and Davids. Two Democrats and two Republicans.
There is also a special election in Wisconsin where Tricia Zunker, Ho-Chunk, is a candidate for the democratic nomination. The winner of this election will serve in this Congress and likely compete for the next one.
The state with the most action so far is New Mexico. Including Haaland there are five candidates for the House and Senate. On team GOP: Yvette Herrell and Karen Bedonie, Navajo, for the House and Gavin Clarkson, Choctaw, running for the Senate. Democrat Dineh Benally, Navajo, is seeking a House seat as well.
Hawaii state Sen. Kai Kahele is seeking the Democratic nomination for the House seat now held by presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. Kahele is Native Hawaiian and his family is from a small fishing village. Miloli. (Kahele decided to seek the seat before Gabbard said she would not run again, and he likely leads the field, but expect other candidates and possibly even another Native Hawaiian.)
That totals eleven candidates in the 2019-2020 cycle. So far. But remember that a couple of candidates, including Davids, did not enter the race until early in the year. So it’s likely that this list will grow.
And, oh yes, there is a presidential election. That’s a big deal in Indian Country for many reasons but the most important might be an uptick in turnout. People really want to vote for president. That race is starting to narrow. The first actual votes will take place this winter in February.
I am Mark Trahant.