This Week in RSLC News: RLCC Executive Committee Announced, Republicans Win Special Elections in MN, GA, and OK, and more

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The Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (RLCC) released its 2018 Executive Committee with Iowa Speaker Linda Upmeyer serving as the caucus’ first-ever Chairwoman. “With Republican majorities in 67 legislatures, the RLCC will have a lot of territory to defend in 2018 but I’m confident with the right message and resources we can maintain and grow these majorities,” Speaker Upmeyer said in a statement announcing the Executive Committee. Kentucky House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shelland North Carolina Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger will serve alongside Speaker Upmeyer as Co-Vice Chairs. The Executive Committee features five new legislative leaders this year: Georgia Senate President Pro Tem Butch MillerMichigan Speaker Pro Tempore Lee ChatfieldOregon Senate Republican Leader Jackie WintersVirginia House Speaker Kirk Cox, and Virginia Senate Caucus Chairman Ryan McDougle.  


On Monday, Republicans won one of two special elections in Minnesota.  Republican Jeremy Munson defeated DFL Melissa Wagner to win House District 23B.  In the race for Senate District 54, DFL Karla Bigham defeated Republican Denny McNamara.  While Democrats and liberal media outlets praise Bigham for winning a district Trump narrowly carried in the 2016 election, this was an open seat formerly held by a Democrat in which McNamara outperformed Trump, and the results are consistent with previous elections in the district.  Barack Obama, Al Franken, and Mark Dayton each carried SD-54 in their respective elections.

On Tuesday, Republicans won two special elections in Georgia and Oklahoma.  In Georgia, Republican John LaHood gathered 71% of the vote to win House District 175.  Republicans now hold 117 seats in the 180 member legislative chamber.  In Oklahoma, state Rep. Casey Murdock defeated Democrat Amber Jensen to win Senate District 27.  Republicans now have a 40-8 majority in the Senate.

On Tuesday, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer named businessman Tracey Mann as the next Lieutenant Governor.  In the announcement, Colyer said, “I wanted somebody who is a strong leader, a go-getter, someone who got things done, someone who listened and was truly in touch with the challenges of our rural communities, of our agricultural communities, of the backbone of our state.”  Mann is a fifth-generation Kansan and successful businessman who previously ran for Congress in 2010.

On Saturday, Politico reported the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) plans to double its spending for the cycle to $35 million in an effort to win back statehouses throughout the country.  In the article, RSLC President Matt Walter said, “When you are at an all-time high, when you’ve flipped a thousand seats over the past decade, you are so far into your opponent’s turf, they’re just clawing back to neutral in a lot of respects, and attempting to capture districts where if they’d run good candidates with a good vision, they never would have lost them.”