I've never met Craig Hickman but he seems like a remarkable guy. He's a Harvard graduate, an organic farmer and an author in Winthrop, Maine who happens to also be a gay, Black, top national sports blogger... and the first gay, Black, farmer and sports blogger elected to the state legislature. He's running for an open swingy state Senate seat that went for Trump in November and the special election is in 3 days. His opponent is a right-wing Mormon, William Guerrette who owns a tanning salon in Augusta. SD-14, south and west of Augusta, includes Chelsea, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Hallowell, Manchester, Monmouth, Pittston, Randolph, Readfield, West Gardiner, and Winthrop and is the seat previously held by Shenna Bellows, who was elected Secretary of State.
Though Trump won the southern Kennebec County district in 2016, it flipped blue in November and Shenna was reelected 12,998 (56.1%) to 10,189 (43.9%). Republicans are pouring large sums of money into the district to try to recapture the seat.
Tuesday's election will be a good gage to watch both Democratic and Republican voter enthusiasm and to see which way independent voters are leaning at this point in a cycle that has Biden trying to make the point that he's an adult working toward "normal" governance while Trump still out there making a monkey out of himself as a disruptor.
And speaking of special elections, the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Alaska should be very special too, but in a different way. Alex Isenstadt reported today that Señor Trumpanzee, a notoriously lazy slug, is "vowing to travel to Alaska to campaign against [Lisa Murkowski] ahead of the 2022 midterm elections." Señor T: "I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski. She represents her state badly and her country even worse. I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be-- in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator.
Unseating Murkowski won’t be easy, however. Under Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting system, candidates of all parties will compete in an open primary, with the top four finishers advancing to the general election. That means Murkowski won’t face the pressure of a Republican nomination battle, such as the one she had in 2010. That year, Murkowski lost the GOP primary to a right-wing activist, Joe Miller, but then waged a successful write-in campaign to win reelection.
But Murkowski has acknowledged that her "guilty" vote on impeachment could cost her, saying that month: “I know that my actions, my vote may have political consequences. And I understand that. I absolutely understand that. But I can't be afraid of that.”
Potential Trumpist candidates so far are Sarah Palin (who moved back to Alaska, is sleeping with pilots and is, I'm told, "definitely" running), Laura Ingraham and Señor Trumpanzee, Jr., all of whom have publicly expressed interest in taking on Murkowski.
UPDATE: Craig Hickman Wins In A Landslide
With all votes counted, Hickman beat Guerrette 5,247 (62.59%) to 3,136 (37.41). Remember, this is a swing district that Trump won in 2016 but that Biden took by one percent in 2020, is filled with independents. This result portends well for the Democrats' chances in the 2022 midterms.