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There Will Also Be Attorney General and Secretary of State Races in 2024

While the presidential race, along with some Senate and House races, and then the gubernatorial races, will suck up most of the political oxygen in the next year and a half, don't forget that there are also races in 2023 and 2024 for attorney general and secretary of state in some states. If you think that SoS races don't matter, maybe the name "Brad Raffensperger" might bring back some memories. Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball has a rundown of some of the key ones coming up.

Some of the races are in states so red or so blue that we know which party will win, even if we don't know the candidates yet. That's just life in 2023. Some predictions are really easy. Of the 23 races on tap, 18 are done deals and two are almost done deals. Of course, that doesn't make them less important, because AGs can file election lawsuits and, in most states, SoSes run elections.

There are two races in 2023 that are not in the bag yet for the Republicans, but almost. The AG position in Kentucky is open because incumbent Daniel Cameron (R) is running for governor. The AG race will pit state Rep. Pamela Stevenson (D), a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, against Russell Coleman, a former U.S. Attorney. Kentucky is quite red right now, but before Cameron it had 16 Democratic attorneys general in a row. So, it would not be too strange if Stevenson won.

The Kentucky SoS race is also not a sure thing for incumbent Michael Adams (R). The Democrat is Buddy Wheatley, who is from Northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati. He is a former state representative. He is a strong candidate and Democrats sometimes win in Kentucky, but Adams is the favorite.

Now for the competitive races in 2024. The North Carolina AG race is an open seat because AG Josh Stein (D) is running for governor to succeed the term-limited Roy Cooper (D-NC). The leading Republican is state Rep. Tom Murry, but U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) might jump in. The leading Democrat is currently attorney and veteran Tim Dunn. However, if Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson's district is redrawn in an unfavorable way, he might jump in as well.

Pennsylvania also has an open seat for AG, as appointed AG Michelle Henry (D) is not running. Currently, the Democrats have a surfeit of candidates and the Republicans have none. Already declared are Democrats Eugene DePasquale, the former auditor general; Joe Khan, the former Bucks County solicitor; and Keir Bradford-Grey, a former Philadelphia public defender. Plenty of other Democrats are also considering the race. They all smell victory.

Texas is kind of a special case. AG Ken Paxton (R) has been impeached. If he is convicted, there will be an open-seat special election in Nov. 2024. But it is still Texas, so the Republican is favored.

There is one competitive SoS race in 2024. In North Carolina, where the SoS does not run elections, Democrat Elaine Marshall is running for reelection. As she always does. She won in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020. But last time she won by only 2 points. At some point the people of North Carolina might say "enough already," but so far they haven't. Two Republicans are running. They are Darren Eustance, former chairman of the Wake County GOP, and Gaston County Commissioner Chad Brown. Neither is well known, while Marshall is extremely well known. But North Carolina will be a huge battleground for president, governor, and AG, and that could easily spill over to the SoS race. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if one party won all the races. It could easily depend on which one has the best GOTV operation. (V)

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