Swing District Republicans Are Trying To Steer Clear Of Trump

Swing District Republicans Are Trying To Steer Clear Of Trump

Rep. Mike Lawler

Former President Donald Trump

House Republicans in swing districts are already sensitive about being associated with former President Donald Trump, and many are hoping to avoid having to mention him altogether, as Democratic strategists are aiming to do ahead of the November election.

According to Politico, Democrats hoping to retake the majority in the House of Representatives are tying freshman Republican lawmakers running for reelection in competitive districts to Trump. This has resulted in some GOP representatives distancing themselves from the former president.

"I’m just not getting into it anytime soon," said Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY), who narrowly won his 2022 election with 49.9% of the vote after new district lines were drawn. Rep. Anthony D'Esposito (R-NY) has also not yet backed Trump, and would only commit to backing the Republican Party's eventual nominee when pressed.

Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), who likewise eked out a close win in a newly redrawn district, has gone further in his efforts to extricate himself from Trump. In November, Lawler told constituents that he "personally would like to see Nikki Haley as our nominee," calling her "clear-eyed" and "articulate."

Republicans arguably only won the majority in the House of Representatives with the help of New York Republicans like D'Esposito, Molinaro and Lawler. And since disgraced former Rep. George Santos (R-NY) was expelled last year for ethics violations, his district has been rated a "toss-up" by Cook Political Report. If Democrats flip control of those seats, it would put them back in charge of the House next year, given Republicans' current narrow majority.

In December, New York's highest court threw out the congressional maps that resulted in Republicans like Lawler and Molinaro winning narrow victories. Now, the Democratic-controlled legislature will redraw district lines to be used in 2024, making it likelier that the new maps will be favorable to Democratic candidates. Democrats hope that by tying Republicans to Trump, GOP lawmakers in New York and elsewhere will be less appealing to independent and moderate voters.

"These candidates across the country are going to have to answer for every insane thing Trump says," Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC spokesman CJ Warnke told Politico.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.


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