This Week in RSLC News: Oklahoma Lt. Governor Race Headed to Runoff, Obama Expected to Return to Campaign Trail for Democrats, and more

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President Barack Obama has been working closely with Eric Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee to game out where and when he will campaign for Democratic state-level candidates this cycle. CNBC reported late Wednesday night that Obama has been “engaged” with the NDRC’s efforts and stated that the NDRC intends to “be on the ground to help Democrats running in governors races and for state legislatures.” The NDRC has previously announced it intends to spend upwards of $40 million this cycle to defeat Republican state legislators ahead of the 2020 redistricting process.


On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled on two pending redistricting cases.  In North Carolina, the Supreme Court vacated a partisan gerrymandering case, which alleged Republicans drew federal congressional district lines to their advantage, and ordered a federal court in North Carolina to reconsider whether the plaintiffs had proper legal standing to bring the case.  In Texas, the Supreme Court declined to strike down several state legislative and congressional districts on the grounds of racial gerrymandering – only finding that one was impermissible.

In an article from Governing analyzing the implications of those rulings, RSLC President Matt Walter said, “The Supreme Court has affirmed multiple times this term that the political left’s litigation strategy, led largely by Barack Obama and Eric Holder, to load up our courts with pointless lawsuits has only put the political system into unnecessary unpredictability and confusion, costing millions of dollars.” Walter additionally blamed Democrats for trying to politicize the courts because they have been unable to win elections at the state level.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and his lieutenant governor nominee, Pamela Evettesecured the Republican gubernatorial nomination with 53% of the vote in Tuesday’s runoff election. McMaster is one of seven Republican Lieutenant Governors who has gone on to serve in the Governor’s office since the 2016 election. Evette, a small business owner and entrepreneur, “called for party unity in the wake of the victory,” according to The Greenville News. 

The race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in Oklahoma will head to a runoff after the top two candidates, Matt Pinnell and Dana Murphy, failed to reach 50% in the four-way field. Murphy, a statewide elected official, and Pinnell, a longtime state and national Republican Party official, will faceoff in a head-to-head runoff election at the end of August. In Oklahoma, the lieutenant governor and governor nominees run separately from each other.